Fringe Box



Letter: ‘The Village’ – We Should Not Throw Good Money After Bad

Published on: 15 May, 2017
Updated on: 15 May, 2017

From A Atkinson

In response to: Pop Up Village to Be Relaunched in June as ‘The Village’

There is nothing wrong with failure, we learn from our mistakes. Test, measure and learn, develop, test, measure and learn,  at the most minimal cost or MVP (minimal viable product) is the way businesses develop nowadays. I dare say they have changed what they can, ie the name, but they have not changed the fundamental offering.

But throwing “events” at this isn’t going to change the fundamentals. Who is the specific target audience?

The look and feel, the experience, the communication strategy, type of events, tone of voice in communication, type of traders and food, the staff recruited and drinks served at the “licensed bar” all need to clearly resonate with that audience. Appealing to the “all the family” is such a laughable desire and is doomed to failure, and a waste of our taxes.

Have the council defined “the family”. This place, like every successful business/product nowadays, needs to appeal to a niche, it must mean a lot to a “few” rather than a little or nothing to a lot.

It’s simple. If it was my space or my creative brief I’d target 100%, all the way, students.  There are enough of them in Guildford. Make it their space, the ACM can run the events as part of their courses.

Let’s not have WiFi – what are the students working on from a digital perspective, lets make that available not free. What is the digital strategy around “free Wifi”?

Why is the space “unique” as claimed by the lead councillor? This space will not work if the council think it is unique just because they use the words in a press release.

I’m really glad the food will be “tempting”, what else should it be? And why is the space described as “dynamic”?

I’m sorry but this space looks like a random cross between a garden shed retailer and a cheap patio door showroom. The picture* in the article looks like a windswept seafront.

It has no soul, no character, no sense of purpose. The crass use of the green and white colour scheme is so unappealing.

Has anybody actually visited the likes of Boxpark Shoreditch or Croydon or Pop Brixton before making this decision?

I’d be very interested to see the brief and the honest response to the brief by the events agency. How much is this costing? Who is the agency and what experience have they got?

The other thing about failure is that one has to fail fast. There is nothing wrong with failure but what is wrong is throwing good money after bad.

*The photo referred to was taken when the Pop Up Village was first open in December. Ed

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