If you have a successful jewellery manufacturing or retail business in a specific niche, perhaps it’s time you expand into new demographic and cultural markets to help your business evolve and grow. Getting into a new market segment or geography requires a lot of market research and testing. The following are some pointers to help you get started.
Identify at least three new markets you might want to target: Before jumping headlong into one area, try to identify at least three areas that you see as viable options. Then, do a business viability exercise for each. You may have some strength that you want to take advantage of. For example, if you have established skills in manufacturing a particular type of jewellery and selling it in one city and industry grapevine tells you there is increasing interest for that style in some other region as well, you should definitely do a survey to determine whether selling there will be feasible.
On the other hand, you might want to expand into a different line of jewellery targeting a completely new demographic segment within the same geographies – this could be a cheaper product line to target the aspirations of the middle class or a funky style to target college-going girls.
As you study new possible markets for expansion, you may find that market conditions do not favour your most favourite proposition and some other option is in fact more viable – So, it’s always a good idea to consider multiple options.
Study the competition: You will need to study the competition of the new geographical location or market segment in great detail. How many companies are there in operation, what are their products, what are their prices, what are their sales figures, where do they sell? Let’s say for example, there are too many companies selling the same kind of product you intend selling, you might want to tread into that market with caution, perhaps initially partnering with a local retailer rather than opening up a retail outlet of your own. Studying the competition will give you insights into which niche it would be most viable to enter or position your product.
Study Local Laws: Since each state has its own laws for doing business, you will need to study the laws and analyse whether they are conducive to your business plans. If you want to expand into international markets, you will have to hire the appropriate consultants to guide you.
Study cultural nuances: If you plan on selling in a different geography, you will have to understand the cultural nuances of the place. Again, if you want to sell to a different age or income group, you will have to understand the nuances of your new market. This will ensure you relate to your target audience correctly.
Study psychographic characteristics and consumer behavioural patterns: Knowing your target market’s demographic profile is not enough – you need to study the psychographic profile of your typical customers. What are their buying patterns, where do they buy, when do they buy, who makes the buying decision, what and who are the influencers to their purchase decisions, where do they spend their time, what are their interests? – Answers to these questions will help you connect with your audience in your product development, marketing activities and advertising campaigns.
Create products that mirror your target market’s desires: You should always keep up-to-date on your target customers’ likes and dislikes, and should create products that mirror their desires.Don’t forget to innovate and surprise them, but never stray far from their general preferences.
Test market your products: If youintend to mass-produce, or to come up with some exclusive themed creative line, it’s always a good idea to conduct market testing within your demographic group before plunging into production.
Develop a price positioning that will work: Your pricing strategy needs to be one that fits in with your overall market positioning. Remember that if you offer an exclusive product, you can and should charge a premium. Make sure that there is enough profitability with each piece, and do not depend on large numbers of sales to sustain your product line or business – with a product like jewellery, that may never happen! If other neighbouring stores are charging low prices for similar products, offer some other value like better quality. Don’t forget to educate your customer about the same, and provide certification to support your claims.
Use your established brand name to your advantage: You will definitely need to nameyournewline, but don’t forget to publicise your umbrella brand name or company name in all branding activities, if you are already established in the field of jewellery.
There’ll be a lot you need to do before you set up shop in a new locale or market segment. Make sure you have the A to Zs planned before you start – Right from your manufacturing personnel and processes to your distribution channel. Like Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”.
Here’s wishing you every success in your plans and endeavours towards expanding your business.