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The 5-step guide to vetting your business idea and conducting market research (Tools & Strategies)

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Today I wanted to discuss the best way to conduct market research and to ensure that you are clear about the path that you are taking. I am obviously going to share from personal experience having built a nail polish brand I know what it is like to work on a love project and making sure that you tackle the business side of things with the same amount of focus and intelligence.

I have already spoken about how it took me three years to build and launch my said nail polish brand and my purpose ever since has been to pay it forward and to share as much useful information to help you get started on your own journey in the next few months. So today I am going to share a crucial and foundational part of the journey that focuses on self-reflection, idea vetting on the marketplace.

I am going to share tools and actionable steps that will expedite your market research efforts and help you get ahead of the game in no time. This is going to be very practical, so get and pen and paper so that you can take note and act on this later. Grab the offer development kit as well as I have included prompts and worksheets that will ease up this process for you. The Kit also include a practical video tutorials amongst which one on how to conduct and validate your business idea in less than a day.

So this session will be divided into five specific sections: personal readiness & concept viability, market analysis, industry trends and standards, competitive intelligence and finally brand value test.

Let’s begin now, shall we:

1.PERSONAL READINESS & CONCEPT VIABILITY

Starting your brand online will no doubt a potentially rewarding venture, but it requires careful planning and a deep understanding of your motivations and market needs. You need to identify what is prompting you to start this brand by reflecting on your personal experiences and passions that drive you towards your industry. You need to highlight the key attributes that make the right person to set on this journey.

I personally was always a beauty enthusiast who was out for quality products that we were not offered on the local market so I set out on a journey to ensure that I would bring about an array of products that would fill the gap on the market. So define the purpose of your brand clearly. Understand why your brand will exist and what mission it will fulfill. Ask yourself why your offer is needed in the market and what specific problems it will solve for your customers. This clarity of purpose will not only guide your product development but also resonate with your target audience.

Your offer should provide distinct value, whether it’s through superior quality, innovative ingredients, or ethical practices. Relate your personal story to your brand’s creation. This relatability can build trust and connect you with your audience on a deeper level.

Timing in business is also crucial, so analyze why now the right moment to launch your brand is. Consider current market trends, consumer behaviors, and industry shifts that you can capitalize on.

Assess your level of preparedness in terms of business skills, market knowledge, and operational readiness. If there are gaps in any of those areas, seek out resources and training to build your capabilities. You should also surround yourself with mentors, advisors, and a network that can provide guidance and assistance.

Lastly, consider your financial situation. Determine how much capital you have and explore various avenues for raising additional funds, such as personal savings, bank loans, investors, or crowdfunding.

2.MARKET ANALYSIS

Conducting a thorough market analysis will be critical for launching a successful brand online. Start by identifying what made you think your business idea has an audience. This could be based on personal observations, feedback from potential customers, your own needs and pain points or gaps you’ve identified in the current market offerings.

Determine the product market size and growth rate over the past five years. This will give you a clear picture of the market’s potential and overall profitability. Look into industry reports, market research studies, and competitor performance to gather this information.

Understand what you do not know about the market. Identify areas where you need more information or where the data is uncertain. This will help you address potential risks and refine your strategy. This is where I made a lot of mistakes when starting out, I have already shared that on my episode on what I wished I know before starting my brand online. You want to make sure that your product has enough demand and that you can make a sizable profit from it.

Outline your key assumptions about the market. These could include beliefs about consumer behavior, purchasing patterns, or competitive dynamics. Validate these assumptions through market research and adjust them as you gather more information. Assess whether your target segment is large enough to establish a sufficient market share and generate profit. Analyze the demographics, preferences, and needs of your potential customers to ensure they align with your product offering.

Here are some of the tools that you can use to get started:

  1. Google Trends: Head over to Google Trends and analyze the international trend for your chosen product. Determine if there is a consistent demand for the product or if it exhibits any seasonality. Understanding these trends will help you gauge the potential market size and identify any market fluctuations.
  1. Algopix: Algopix is a product market research platform that enables sellers to gather data-driven insights for multiple online marketplaces, including Amazon, eBay, and Walmart. It provides information on product demand, pricing, estimated expenses, and profit margins.
  1. Answer the Public: This tool will provide you with a list of questions that users are asking about your product. Analyze these queries to gain insights into consumer needs, pain points, and expectations. This information will be invaluable for developing a value proposition that addresses these concerns.
  2. Quora and Reddit: Explore Quora and Reddit communities related to your product. These platforms are rich sources of user-generated content and discussions. Pay attention to the questions, comments, and discussions surrounding your product category. This will provide valuable insights into consumer perspectives, product recommendations, and potential areas of improvement.

3.INDUSTRY TRENDS & STANDARDS

Understanding industry trends and standards is essential for positioning your beauty brand effectively. Start by researching the current industry standards, including quality benchmarks, safety regulations, and customer service expectations. Familiarize yourself with any barriers to entry in the market, such as special licenses or permits needed to operate legally.

Identify the key industry benchmarks and indicators. This could include sales figures, market share, customer satisfaction metrics, and other performance indicators used by successful companies in your sector. Assess your knowledge of the industry’s key players. Understand who the major brands are, their market positioning, and their strengths and weaknesses. Leverage this knowledge to explore potential partnerships or collaborations that can enhance your brand’s visibility and credibility.

Consider major seasons or events that could impact the exposure of your offering. These might include industry trade shows, fashion weeks, holiday seasons, or promotional events that can boost your brand’s visibility and sales.

Clearly define the product category your offer falls under, understanding your category helps in targeting the right audience and aligning with market expectations. Evaluate the viability of your offer for e-commerce. Consider factors like shipping logistics, packaging durability, and the online shopping behavior of your target audience.

With my brand I ensure that I delivered my products on time and invested in high-quality packaging to build trust and satisfaction for my customers.

By thoroughly understanding industry trends and standards, you can strategically position your brand to meet market demands, comply with regulations, and capitalize on emerging opportunities.

4.COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE

Identify which competitors are most likely to be affected by your offering and why. Analyze their product lines, market positioning, and customer base to understand how your unique value proposition will disrupt their market share.

Evaluate how likely the competition is to copy and implement your concept. Consider their resources, innovation capabilities, and strategic focus. To protect your brand, put measures in place such as patents, trademarks, and copyrights. These legal protections will help safeguard your unique formulations, brand name, and innovative designs.

Identify the key aspects of your target segment that the competition is overlooking. This could be niche demographics, specific concerns, or preferences. By addressing these unmet needs, you can differentiate your brand and attract customers who feel neglected by existing options.

To take market share away from the competition, focus on delivering superior value. This could be through higher quality products, better customer service, or more engaging marketing strategies. You will have to build strong relationships with your customers by understanding their needs and consistently exceeding their expectations.

Here are some tools that you can use to get you started:

  1. Terapeak: Terapeak provides insights and data related to product sales performance, pricing trends, and competitor analysis on platforms like eBay and Amazon. With Terapeak, you can analyze historical sales data, identify popular product categories, track competitor sales, and discover market trends. This tool helps you make informed decisions regarding pricing, inventory management, and product selection based on real-time market data.
  2. Alexa: Alexa is a web analytics platform by Amazon that provides comprehensive insights into website traffic, audience demographics, and competitive analysis. It offers data on competitor website rankings, audience interests, and engagement metrics.
  1. Competitor Website Analysis: Analyze the websites of businesses selling similar products. Take note of points of customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction mentioned in customer reviews and testimonials. This will help you identify gaps in the market and provide opportunities for crafting a stronger value proposition. Additionally, examine your competitors’ websites to understand their positioning, pricing strategies, and unique selling points.

 

5.BRAND VALUE TEST

Testing your brand value is essential to ensure its long-term success and sustainability. Start by identifying what will guarantee the smooth running of your operations. This includes having efficient supply chain management, robust customer service, reliable technology infrastructure, and a skilled team. Streamlining these aspects will help maintain consistency and quality in your operations.

The way I made sure that my brand stood out was to ensure that I provided an array of high-quality products and amazing customer service. This made my brand recognizable and I had a lot of referrals in no time. So think about how you are going to stand out and how you are going to keep this engine running.

Determine the key elements that will make you stand out. This could be unique product formulations, exceptional customer experiences, innovative packaging, or a strong commitment to sustainability. These will set your brand apart in a crowded market and attract loyal customers.

Reflect on experiences you’ve had that others in your field most likely have not. Perhaps you have worked in a different industry that offers valuable insights or you have overcome personal beauty challenges that shape your unique perspective. These experiences can inform your approach and give you a fresh outlook on the beauty industry, helping you identify opportunities that others might miss.

Decide on how you will engage and gain brand authority in the market, use a multi-faceted approach through social media, a professional website, and engaging content. Participate in industry events, sponsor an event, or host webinars to share your expertise. Consider writing a book or industry manual to establish yourself as a thought leader. These activities will not only increase your visibility but also build trust and credibility with your audience.

By focusing on these aspects, you can test and enhance your brand value, ensuring that it resonates with your target audience and stands out in the competitive beauty market.

So now that we are pretty much done with this session, use the workbook to get started, you are going to love how systematically designed it is in giving the best results for your product creation process, it includes 35 prompts that will go in depth into all that we have just discussed and will go you a clear roadmap on your next steps. You can print it or fill it in your pdf document, totally up to you.

And that is it from me friend, let me know what you think in the comment section, I will catch up with you next time. Take care.

Xo,

Ange

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