You might not see many inclusions of FudgieChunks in gift guides and Christmas recommendations this year.
Why not? We hear you ask. Well, as we just had our 5th request of the day (it’s 1pm on a Tuesday) for some free product for a great review, let us tell you why.
We’ve also got Wotsits so who knows where this might go?
We’ve fast discovered that there seems to be two entries into a lot of the guides or recommendation formats. (We stress not all):
- The person asks for (in one case, demanded) some fudge for free to ‘experience it as a real customer’ so they can then review it positively for us and ‘get us more sales’.
- The person asks for money (and some fudge would go down well if we really want to be highlighted) to feature us in whatever it is they are doing.
Now, there are bound to be tons of gift guides, recommendation lists and other things of that variety out there that are genuinely trying to help small businesses, and that’s great. Anything to help the little guys.
You get plenty all across the different Social Media sites who ask for nothing in return, and share and retweet, and that’s lovely. We’ve been featured in the National Press without being asked for anything in return and across various social media accounts who truly promote small business by sharing, retweeting and featuring - again, for nothing than a thank you.
We want to be fair, so yes, you could also argue that a little contribution to the cost of creating these gift guides or for sharing your brand to their following is fair for someone’s time…but be honest about it upfront. No doubt, plenty of small businesses are happy to pay a fiver here or a tenner there to be included into something such as an online market or showcase, but that’s not really for us at FudgieChunks, particularly if the cost is only made clear several messages into the conversation.
Not cricket, Tim. Not cricket.
We, as we suspect many small businesses, and no doubt large businesses, receive many requests for free products each day. It’s always in the same pattern. The person contacts us out of the blue, tells us how much they love our page (not by name, just ‘our page’, would love to try our ‘product’ (again, not fudge, just ‘product’ to give an ‘honest’ positive opinion about it. Of course, they would love to receive the ‘product’ (sometimes just providing an address on very first contact – punchy) and then they will mention it to all of their followers (lowest so far is 23).
Clearly a message copy and pasted to lots of fishies to see if one takes the bait. We respect the hustle. It’s tough old world out there. However, from a small businesses’ point of view, the only feedback that matters to us; is that of our real customers. Not someone pretending to be one (one actually used that phrase. We’re not a pretend company, Karen!) If someone is willing to pay good, hard-earned money, for our products, we respect and honour that in the way it deserves. We feel that only real, genuine feedback from actual customers is the way to go.
It may mean we grow slower, it may mean fewer people hear about us, but it means we are built on stone-cold rock. Integrity in this day and age is everything.
We won’t pay for reviews, we won’t give free fudge to influencers so they can say how nice it is regardless of their real view, and we won’t pay for someone to give us a shout on Instagram (£15 for an account with 30 followers cold-contacting us last night may have helped prompt this blog). If others choose to, all hats off to you. It’s just not for us.
So, if you wonder – wow, how come that delicious Welsh butter fudge company that has such tasty flavours isn’t being recommended / retweeted / shouted out in whatever it is? – wonder no more. It could be that.
It could also be something else, but we're awesome. It's not us, it's them.
We joke of course. We meant very awesome.