You probably think that title should be FINDING THE MARKET FOR YOUR PRODUCT, right?
Even if you’ve made eleventy hundred doodads it doesn’t mean they will sell – or are selling. You can sit at craft show after craft show and list your items in an online store until your fingers can’t type another thing but that doesn’t mean your doodads will sell.
Which just goes to show that just because you have a product doesn’t mean you have a market.
So how do you figure out what might sell?
Look at current trends
Go have coffee in the trendiest area of your city and see what the people are doing or wearing. Where do they hang out? Now, how can you configure what you make to fit this market? Maybe it’s just a change of colors or adding a second element to jazz it up a bit. Maybe you need to take something away from your design to make it cleaner and simpler. Watch the trendy people for clues.
Google Trends lets you check to see what is trending on Google. Is it a movie star or other personality? Check their latest photos for style insight that might relate to your product. Is it a current event? Can you make that work with what you make?
Know the numbers
Try The US Census Bureau, a website FULL of data that might give you insight into how your local markets work and how you can mesh that with what you like to make.
Get to know your competitors
Who are your competitors? What are they making? What is their market? Now, I’m NOT saying to COPY what they are making but I am saying that you can use this intel to make your own version of a product.
Check out the people you will be in competition with to see if your product needs to be fine-tuned in order to compete. See where they are selling their items and to whom.
Create a poll
Try creating a poll on your website, in your newsletter or even on your Facebook page to get insight from your potential customers. Your current customers, who already know you and some of your products, might give you some very valuable insight.
The U.S. Department of Commerce is another site that might be useful in your market research.
FedStats.gov is very useful as it collects data from over 100 agencies
Publications from the US Government has more free and valuable market research
And, of course, as is the nature of the internet, many of the sites mentioned here have more links to even more market research and data.
Just to remember to try and stay objective – if you are so madly in love with your product that you aren’t willing to see that research and data don’t show a market for it, you will only end up disappointed.
Then again, if you have your heart set on making harnesses for reindeer you can always make some of those and round out your product line with things that are more likely to sell. In Florida. During hurricane season.
I’m kidding. But you get the idea.
Did you fall in love with making something only to find that the market won’t support it? What did you change?
By: Vicki O’Dell, The Creative Goddess
You can find more of Vicki’s article right here on her profile page!