No matter what you sell, you need to be sure who your target audience is. All your marketing, sales, and advertising exercises hinge on this. This becomes even more crucial when you are catering to a niche market, and are selling something that isn’t for everyone.
Maybe because it is rare, bespoke, exclusive, or all of this put together. Here are 5 rules to mind while selling something that is for a chosen few:
Branding is essential for your product to stand out. You need to make your product and everything associated with it appealing to your target audience. For instance, when it comes to exclusive and premier products, packaging plays an essential role.
Oftentimes, these products are purchased as gifts for someone else. Make sure the packaging speaks for itself. For me, sometimes my packaging is more expensive than the product! And it works perfectly, too. If someone purchases an expensive silk journal from me, I make sure it is put in a beautiful box, with the person’s name printed on the journal.
Serve your customer:
Customer service is important, and it is not limited to your executive at the store helping someone pick out her size. It is about an entire experience – from customization of the product, how it is presented, to how it is sold. In fact, in gifting and corporate gifting, which is one of the areas I am in, very few people take products without customization.
The minute you can add more value to what you are selling to the consumer, you are on the right path. Also, serve your customer where you know she will be. If your premium product is for business people, be present in airports and luxury hotels.
Even if you have to keep your margins low, make sure you are sell at these places, because your store in a luxury hotel isn’t just a source for sales. It is also an exercise in branding and visibility.
Be your best, everywhere:
Technology today is both a blessing and a curse. Suppose someone passed by your store, liked the display window, but was too busy to go in. What does he do? He looks you up online. Or vice versa. Make sure no matter where a prospective customer finds you, you brand is presented in its best possible way.
A bad-looking website, poor representation on social media, or a dingy store, any of these can spoil the party for you.
It isn’t always about sale:
When I customize for someone, I put my brand name on it. It could be a small logo, but people who see it know I did it. This is useful for word-of-mouth, which is good for niche products. Also, sometimes, it isn’t just about getting direct business.
I designed the ISL trophy because it would showcase my bespoke side, apart from the retail and wholesale that I might be doing. No one bothers if you made a profit on it or not; they have noticed your brand and they like what they saw. I also don’t let my products go on discount to ensure the “niche” part is not compromised with. One also has to send in samples and gifts to the circles you want visibility in. Everyone loves freebies and surprises. And if it something you can floor them with, what more could you ask for?
(As told to Prerna Raturi)