Many emerging designers dream of having products out on the market that people love! When you have an amazing idea sometimes it's hard to understand how anyone else would not love it. As much as the excitement and hope is a great thing to have it's important to test out the market and gain knowledge about your target base.
Interesting enough emerging designers skip right over the research part of their brand, to find themselves spending hundreds to thousands of dollars without a real idea if people would actually want and need to purchase it or not.
While working with our consulting client (Xstatic) researching the T-shirt industry before she tested out the market. Our goal was to make sure she was all prepared for testing out the market, getting the results and applying them for a much more successful launch.
Here are 4 Key Takeaways identified while preparing and consulting with this brand.
Know the exact market you are testing
When you are starting to build a brand you want to narrow down the market in which you are testing. We often find emerging designers who has the idea that "everyone" is their customer. Before you start you must know that this thought is wrong, "Everyone" is not your customer and you will have to figure out exactly which shoppers you are trying to encourage to purchase from your brand. When you know the target market you can research the entire market in full from full demographics to economic data that will help you make the best decisions when building your company. Completely understand who your direct market is helps narrow down the industry trends and what the industry growth expectancy is looking like. This allows you to make the best decisions possible for your strategy.
Consider your local area first
For emerging designers they tend to look for global recognition fairly quickly and tend to overlook the local benefits of connecting with a target base where they are. When market research becomes apart of your business development the importance of local interests, competitors and opportunities have benefits. One important task to handle first in your local research is to find out if the market is over-saturated. This will help you know what you need to do to introduce a brand that is coming into a crowded industry. Local competitors and promotion information should be apart of this research.
Strategy is your key to the next step
Positioning and Messaging, Marketing and business growth plans are important to any business. Once you prepare your research creating a complete strategy allows for you and your team to have a direction and make any necessary changes as you experiment and grow. Understanding your customer is important, it's also imperative that you understand and have a plan of how you will tackle getting the product in front of the customer. The strategy should highlight growth plans, locally and national. When you are getting ready to test out the market strategy can save you money. Starting out with 3-5 products to see how the market responds to it then move your brand along slowly and strategically.
Research is the most important task you will handle
It's important to know if there is a market for your business. You need to know if you are starting with a fresh idea, on a fresh market or a market that is crowded. You need to know what your competitors are doing and how you can create new, innovative ideas. Research allows you to create effective market surveys that can help you prepare for a better launch. Creating a brand requires lots and lots of research. Research is your starting ticket for success and without it you are allowing yourself to fall behind on business before you even start. Without research you end up spending lots of money on products, labels, branding that may not even sale. Without research you have no idea what your age group is getting their consumer information from, how they want you to present it to them and how they are likely to respond.
Research in form of the industry trends and trend research should be apart of your strategy. Introducing outdated designs and idea's can be a killer to your budget, because it will be hard to sell. Making sure you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and ways to introduce a fresh idea on the market.
Creating a brand is fun and also lots of work! Before you open your wallet to spend hundreds and thousands of dollars make sure you have done your research. Nothing worse than having products you can't get rid of.