Test your knowledge of
your newly identified market

You've spotted an opportunity to sell your own perfume — a market that is ripe for exploitation. If you are right about this market and if you can put together an appropriate fragrance and promotion, you can make money. This could even be your first step in developing a larger, even more profitable, fragrance-focused business.

But before you jump into this marketing opportunity, test your knowledge of this market. Can it really deliver for you? Quiz yourself on each of these six points.

# 1 — Boundries

How are the boundries of your market defined? Can you point to the borderline at which people will be either "in" or "out"? Are the boundries physical: a city, state, country, or perhaps one or more retail stores? Or are the boundries defined in some other way, such as all who follow your social media? It is important to know where the target market cuts off so that you don't waste resources on non-prospects.

# 2 — The people you are targeting

What do you know about the people you are targeting? Where do they hang out? What social media do they follow? Or, if this is not an online audience, where do they cluster? School, country club, health club, religious organization, non-profit group? Are there influencers in this market that you can work with to spread the news of your fragrance? Have you talked to them? How do you get these people to take action? Do you share a common "language" with them that will make your communications more authentic? You want to know these people really well. They will make or break your promotion.

# 3 — Market size

Within your target market, how many people are highly likely to buy from you? This should be a number, not a percentage, although you may calculate the number from a percentage. This number is very important. First, you are likely to overcount the number of people who will buy from you. (We all do this!) But secondly, your profit will be dashed to pieces if you spend money to producd significantly more inventory than you can sell. If you are at a total loss to judge the size of your target market, run a live market test. This will give you real data on how your market responds.

# 4 — Distribution

How will you provide distribution of your fragrance to your target market? Will you work directly with retailers? Will you provide your fragrance through established distributors in this market? Will you sell direct to the customer, handling the shipping yourself?

Here again, judging the size of your market is important. If you try to sell in too many "doors" (individual retail stores), you will be forced to provide inventory which, at this point, you have no data on how well it will sell. Also, a large distribution network requires sophisticated logistics. You may not be ready for this yet.

If your plan is to take invividual orders yourself, be aware of what is required to pack and ship them. This may involve daily trips to the post office, which you will be happy to make on days when sales are good but this may seem more of an annoyance on solw days when you have only one or two orders to ship.

Remember, if you are going to sell your fragrance, you must have arrangements for putting it in the hands of your customers.

# 5 — Media

What affordable media is available to you to promote your fragrance to buyers in your target market? Without media, you can't promote (unless you are selling door to door), and if you can't promote, you can't make sales. Are there means to communicate to just your target market without the expense of communicating to a much large audience, very few members of which fit your target profile? Do you have social media followers? Will that be the start of your market, people you can promote to "for free?" What media do people in your target market trust? Using media they trust can be helpful in making sales. If your media campaign requires cash, be sure that you have enough on hand to run your entire promotion. If your media campaign is to make use of social media, be sure that you have the time and energy to stay engaged with your market. For some, it's second nature. For others, it can become a real drag.

# 6 — Current state of the market

Will competition exist? When you launch your new fragrance will you simply be giving competitors new ideas they can use to bury you? What pricing will be acceptable in this market? Remember, you must allow for both your production costs and, if selling through distributors and or retailers, the discounts that will be taken at each level. Are you seeing fragrance being sold in your target market? Who is selling it and how are they selling it? Have you ever sold anything in this market before?

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Philip Goutell's Signature

Philip Goutell
Lightyears, Inc.

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