Analyze the Market
All right, you guys ready for our next lesson? Alright, our goal for this lesson is defined your unique opportunity no matter where you want to be in the market, we all have a great opportunity out there. This lesson is all about figuring out what that is and getting you positioned into it. All right, so here's, where we are in the boot camp, this is less and four of session one analyze the market so here's the problem that I see and I see this problem way too often you let other people tell the story of your business and you don't even know it. You let other people tell the story of your business and you don't even know it. What does this look like? Well, looks like when you have the same pricing structure it's everyone else it looks like when you use the same font, says everybody else. It looks like when your website set up the same way as everybody else, where you're opting instead of it's the same as everybody else's and the reason it's the same as everyone else's is because you're...
only looking at a really small part of the market. This lesson is all about understanding just how big the market is that you have to play it how much room for creativity there is how much room for intentional design when it comes to the structures of your business the products or services that you offer the pricing that you use the way you communicate your palette for creating the painting of your business has so many more colors on it then you think that it has at least that's the problem that I run into with my clients all the time they think you know, this is this seems to be the way it's done so this is the way I'm going to do it or everyone else is doing this so I think that that this is how I have to do it that's letting other people tell your story when you let other people tell your story you throw out that opportunity, you're essentially just you're not even wasting it because you haven't spotted it yet so today we're going to claim that opportunity and to do so we have to do a lot of research into what else is out there we have to stop looking at the sea same voices and find new voices toe look for and we've got a special guest megan almond who's going to help us do that but first let's look at one of my very favorite quotes markets are conversations so is one of the very first if not the first idea from a book called the clue train manifesto and the clue treon manifesto was written by a whole bunch of smart people back in two thousand one, when really the social web was just starting to emerge before two thousand won, the web was mostly kind of isolated little pockets, isolated little communities, isolated websites, nothing talked to each other very much, and then, starting in the early aughts, the webs started talking. People on the web really started talking to each other more conversation became the norm and that shift in how we talk to other people on how we related to communities in how we went shopping changed the way markets were perceived before two thousand won before the social era markets weren't really conversations now markets our conversations, the people who are talking about what you do, the people who are talking about the problems that you solve, the people who are talking about whether or not they should purchase the solution like yours, that's a market markets are conversations. The other piece of this is that conversations our happened between people who sound like people and we're going to get to that because there are some of you here, I bet who don't actually sound like a people your business, we're going to fix that problem, don't worry, but for today we're going to think about the whole conversation that is your market, because like I said, that problem of letting other people tell your story, your business story comes from not knowing how big the market is how vast how many opportunities they are you're only listening to a few voices so we're going today keep our ears out for his many different voices as possible we're gonna look for a lot of different or we're gonna listen for a lot of different voices so you khun start to grasp of the full depth and breadth of the market that's available to you so what conversation is your business participating in what's the conversation what are people talking about that relates that relates to your business when you put out messaging when you create media when you post on facebook when you write a blogger post what conversation are you participating in for me I'm participating in a conversation about business marketing entrepreneurship the social era the new economy they're all different conversations that I weave in and out and I listened for different voices in each of those conversations I have influencers and I am an influencer in each of those different conversations and again here we're thinking broad I'm not looking I'm not asking you what your specific niche is here right entrepreneurship is not in niche it's a market I have a particular need you have a particular voice that I use a particular topic of conversation that I use in that conversation but the conversation itself is entrepreneurship makes sense tiffany what markets are you participating in or what conversation are you participate women's lives jewelry, fashion yeah, yeah absolutely women's lives jewelry, fashion you probably put accessories in there as well. Yeah, yeah beautiful, very simple don't overthink this don't overthink this janice what conversation? You participate again for women in business self development perfect beautiful anybody else conversation maggot healthy living, huh? Good, sustainable living? Yeah, gardening gardening? Yeah, actually yours is a great example because it shows how different the conversations khun b too. So you started with healthy living what you have, what? Your business is the creative vegetable gardener so you're talking specifically about gardening vegetables for food and it's so it's participating in this gardening conversation but the more to me anyway, the more interesting conversation the more interesting voice that you have is in that healthy living conversation because you're approaching that conversation with a voice that not that not a lot of other people are approaching it with yeah makes sense. All right. So now here's the big question for today's lesson who else is talking? Who else do you hear in this conversation? So for me I might hear people like well, I quoted amir hey hk earlier um I quote nilufer merchant all the time on then I also look to influencers like marie for leo or my friend amanda steinberg who found a daily worth these are different voices that are all happening in the conversations that I participated and actually none of them really do the job that I do right there different kinds of businesses participating in the same conversation saying different things different levels to different people but we're all talking back and forth and we're all informing the conversation so there's a pretty good example of the depth and breath of my market and I haven't even touched like a whole huge slew of my quote unquote competition so who else is talking in your market and before I actually get you guys to answer that question although this is the question I want you to have on your mind for about the next fifteen minutes I want to bring on another very special friend of mine her name is meghan almond she is a jewelry designer an educator she's a regular creative live instructor on she's also a metal smith see um meghan has routinely floored me by her ability to examine and analyze the market in which she operates to find opportunities that other people operating very similar businesses to her can't fine or don't find because they're not looking and so the reason I asked her on today was to talk about exactly how she does that now she's going to talk about it from a jewelry perspective but keep in mind that these things you know these ideas know no bounds they totally cross industries they cross between products and services so no matter what you are putting out to the market think about how what meghan has done to analyze her market and find opportunities how you can use that for your business as well. So let's bring on megan on men meghan almond there she is! Hey oh meghan's wearing her fancy new gem necklace big I love it thank you and it's very funny to be talking to you on creative live in a room that I have spent a lot of time in. Yes, awesome. So meghan, we go way back and actually when you pulled up the date on this I was like, wow, we go way back backer than I thought we went s o I found meghan omine two months after I started my business I sort of my business in january of o nine we have I found her in march of o nine when she was the featured etc cellar and I as soon as I found her work as soon as I saw her feature, I was like, oh my god, if I ever make any money in my life I must have some of this jewelry. And then a couple months after that I was speaking at my alma mater which is down the street from her and we had coffee and then I've been wearing meghan on jewelry over since which is pretty much the best thing that's ever happened to me so megan, as I said, I met you are I found you on etc. But one of the reasons that I wanted to have you here is because you don't run your business like the typical etc seller and you never have. So I want to know what really tipped you off to kind of needing to go your own way to make your jewelry business work. Yeah, so there were actually a couple of factors that really led me to not just focus on etc. And the first one was that for me, as he was never the be all and all of my business, it was really just a tool in the tool box. So I actually started selling on ed see, in february of two thousand seven, which is fairly early a doctor for etc you know what started in two thousand five, but it hadn't gotten a lot of traction yet on guy started in february two thousand seven, and I always think it bears mentioning that I sold nothing for six months on etsy like sold zero, you know, people are like, I've been at sea for a month and I sold nothing yet six months, nothing happened, so, you know, I started, but it was a time when I was just really experimenting to see all these different things in my business. So I was just finishing up a yearlong professorship at university. I was doing all of these outdoor retail craft shows, and then I think we live in and the like six or eight months of starting on etsy, I had actually applied to do my first trade show, and I did my first trade show about a year after I had started on, etc. So I was really just kind of looking at all of these areas. And, you know, in a way, I was sort of like throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks on dso, as he was one of the things that I tried, but I rapidly started gaining traction in, you know, more of the craft shows and the trade shows, so it was a tool in the toolbox, and really just a way to have an online presence on. And then when you pair that with the fact that firm, very early on, it was really obvious to me that there was a downward price spiral happening on etsy, people were looking, or at other sellers and etc, and mistakenly thinking that the only way to win it, etc was to get cheaper and cheaper and cheaper, and that was a game I did not want to play. It was not how I wanted to position my brand on dh, so I didn't want to be lumped into that audience and so once there were other alternatives to easily have a shopping cart online, I kind of graduated from etc because I also wanted that control over my own brand and that was really the last factor is, you know, etc could make changes at any minute and I never thought of myself as an etsy cellar. I thought of myself from the beginning as a business owner as a brand and so any place that I could make more autonomy in my business and not be controlled by somebody else's brand that was the direction that I was going to go beautiful yes and that's what our lesson today is all about is finding that autonomy to position your business the way you want to position your business, not the way people tell you you should be positioning your business or that story that other people are telling for you. Yeah, so you mentioned trade shows you've also leveraged major media how has using trade shows and major media teo sell your business to promote your business you are to sell your product and promote your business how's that really affected your strategy in terms of positioning your business? Yeah, so I actually have a really interesting challenge in my jewelry and that I worked predominantly in steel and that could actually have a lot of really kind of negative connotations if I let it so it's an inexpensive material, so it doesn't have the perceived value of even silver and certainly not gold on dh then it's not a material that people where are I know a lot about so there's a lot of questions, and there could really be a lot of nervousness now course for me, I work in this material because I see the positives it's strong, it's, durable, it's, lightweight it's got this beautiful color to it, and so I want to sell up those positives, but especially in the beginning, I needed to really help the perceived value of what I was doing and doing trade shows and getting to work. My work in stores was really the quickest, fastest way to do that because, you know, you might see something online and you're like steel, I don't, I don't know, I like, why is it so expensive? And, you know, and I had all those issues in the beginning, but when the work was in a really high end craft gallery or respected museum store, people come in and they're like there's, an automatic stamp of approval of, oh my gosh, these people said, hey! This stuff is valuable we think it's worthwhile you should buy it here it is and so I was able to reach a lot of customers and get over that anxiety that people had about kind of an unknown designer and unknown material you know, there were a lot of question marks that doing trade shows and then also, you know, having the work being major media it really helps legitimize what it was do it yes. So you use them as a way to tell your story better that the story that you wanted to tell because I mean, look at the piece that you're wearing today, which is made out of steel and it does not look cheap or weird at all. It looks amazing and, you know, that's that's part of that story, right? Oh, absolutely. And what's beautiful about especially trade shows and working with stores is that I was able to have buyers coming to my booth at the show, and I told them the stories that I wanted to tell you I could give them all of the positive attributes about steel and I could create this entire presence around my brand in the booth. You know, when you see my booth from a distance at a trade show, nothing about my ruth says cheap bargain like it is meant to feel high end not in a high end diamond and gold kind of way, but in and I'm taking a really commonplace material and elevating at kind of way, and so I'm able, teo, you know, show that off with the brand, I'm able to tell the stories that I want to tell, and then my buyers remember those stories because I make them really compelling and memorable, and then they come back and they tell them to their customers, they tell them to their sales staff, their sales staff remembers them, the sales staff and and the buyers where the product in the store so I'm making sure that I'm telling the stories that are most important to my buyers and then there turned around and telling them to the customers. So even though I don't have one hundred percent control what a store might say about my product, I'm making sure that I'm telling really strong, compelling stories that help tell the work. So of course, then they're going to turn around and tell those stories too brilliant. So we've looked at how you've chosen to intentionally position yourself, and the way is that you've chosen to do that. Let's look at what you are positioning your business in relation, teo in other words, your competition, which, you know, I hate using the word competition. And at the same time, I think it's an important thing to think about there are other people trying to fulfill the same needs with with similar kinds of products to u s o what brands do you think of as your competition? Where do you go toe look and see what other people are doing in a market that you want to be in? Yeah, so, you know, I also don't like the word competition, and so for me, I don't spend a lot of time focusing on what other jewellers air doing, I don't look at competition and that really narrow way, because first of all, like it's really easy to get stressed out and lose your mind, right? If I was looking at what every single other jeweller was doing, so for me, there are other jewellers in my field that technically, I guess to be my competition, but I think of them as they're either my peers and my friends, or they're literally not on my radar at all. So when I think about, like the competition, I think about why would someone not buy my product? And the reality is that I think a lot of times I'm competing with women's own insecurities, you know? They're looking at my product and they're thinking like, I really loved that, but like, I don't know, could I pull that off. I'm not really sure, you know, like, oh, that looks great on meghan, but like, I don't know. Like where? What? I wear it. What would I d'oh? So, for me, I'm really thinking about those stories that people are telling themselves it's like, I'm not worthy to wear this, I can't pull that off, I don't have that confidence on dh, so that to me is my is my real competitors, this like, women's, lack of self confidence, which is what I want to help boost. So when I'm looking at the conversations that I'm interested, I'm not looking at like, oh, should I pick this necklace, this necklace or this necklace? Because that's not what my customers doing instead of my customers thinking, okay, I have this event that I want to look fabulous for I need to go buy something I need teo, you know, I need to make sure you are that I look presentable for maybe it's a conference, maybe it's their twenty year high school reunion, maybe it's there, you know, husbands like work party, maybe it's their work party, they've got a big presentation. Whatever it is, they're trying to think about how they can use their wardrobe, too. Boost their confidence in a certain situation and so they're not saying okay I need a necklace they're saying I need an outfit and they need something that's going to help pull that outfit together and that might be a necklace it might be a pair of shoes that might be a great blazer so for me I'm looking at these broader kind of style conversations about what you might wear to an event or for something because that's I think the conversations that my customers were having more so than waking up on being like you know today I need a new necklace because they're just not doing that brilliant now I want to get into that the nitty gritty before I let you go and pin you down on something that I remember very distinctly from a time when we were speaking at any years ago which was that for a long time and I don't know if you still do best but it definitely influenced you before you had the jewelry section of was it nordstrom's or neiman marcus it was neiman market and marcus have on your computer and you had it up there all the time it was part of your talk yet woody when you go looking for brands that will help you push the edge on your positioning where do you do that and then what does it influence in your business? Is it pricing is it merchandising is a product descriptions yeah, that's a great question. So I do. I actually still do go to neiman marcus is website and I also go to actually now one of the other ones I like to look at his net a port, eh? Because it's, another place where people are having these high end conversations. Really, what I want to see is like, if people are spending a decent amount of money on jewelry, where they going and what are the things that are happening there? So then I'm looking at so it's like that and I would say for me, it influences some of the things like my, you know, product description, it definitely impacts my pricing because I want to be in that upper level, and so I'm very aware of what's going on in that pricing scheme on dh you know, it also for me influences a little bit of my design aesthetic and a little bit of some of my material choices. So while I work in steel, I don't work on ly in steel, you know, I bring silver in I've used a lot of bronze in the last couple of years and that's, because I'm paying attention to what's going on in those spheres, I'm saying, ok, well, I can make this necklace ins steal but I also realised that there's this you know warm metal color story that's been happening so I'm should also make this necklace and bronze you know when one of the things that I'll give you guys like a sneak peek of what on my potential radar and maybe like the next six months or so is that I also would like to start taking some of the steelers some of the bronze and and getting a gold plated because I'm looking at those spears I'm seeing that that's what people are buying so doesn't change you know my brand so much is it me going okay this is the kinds of designs that I want to make how do I fit them into this conversation so that that consumer is also interested in my product or that buyer is also interested in my product you're you're pinpointing opportunities in this market you really want to be in that is brilliant and so helpful I know for everyone here where can we find you online so you confine me online on my website making almond duck on dh I am at meg anon anon seriously every social media platform there possibly is my two favorites are instagram and pinterest so if you really want to see what's going on I'm a visual girl so that's where you should follow me but at mega nomine on everything perfect meghan thank you so much that was so helpful thank you for having me. All right, so we just kind of took a look at how meghan, you know, she had that she could have gotten pinpointed into a certain story. She could have gotten stuck in that etc story like she was saying about that downward pricing spiral, right? All of the and all of the hang ups that come with it. But instead she chose to look outside side of that story that everyone else was telling used trade shows major media, neiman marcus to break out of that story and craft her own. And within that new market, look for the opportunities that were allowed. Going to allow her to tell that story even better. Makes sense. Great. All right, so for you to start thinking about this, the questions you need to start thinking about our where else do people go to fulfill the need you, phil, where else do people go to fill the need you, phil, are they going to neiman marcus? Are they going to lulu lemon? Are they going to a life coach? Are they buying self help books? Are they going to creative live? Are they going to gosh only knows where where else are people going to fill the need your product or your service pills? And the reason we have to ask this question because we need to start prime ing our brains to think about, you know, all of the different options in the market that your customers have. And so the second question I want you to start thinking about is what other businesses do your customers use and what other products do they buy to fill that need to complement what you d'oh or to use it and to do that instead of what? You d'oh, right? Eso like what? Megan said, someone might go looking for a great pair of earrings or great necklace to pull an outfit together. They might also go and spend the exact same amount of money or more on a great pair of shoes. I prefer to do both, but that's, who she understands as her competition, the market that she has, right. So, you know, is someone going to bat an eye at two hundred dollar earrings if they're also willing to purchase two hundred dollars shoes? Probably not s o she uses that as a way to influence her story, to judge what the opportunities are in her story, different businesses that fulfill the same needs exist in every market and their differentiated by positioning now I've used the word positioning a lot already in this lesson. What is positioning is one of my favorite topics this is really this is a boot camp on positioning, but you wouldn't you wouldn't be watching if I told you is a boot camp on positioning, so this is this is everything okay? Positioning is one of the four ps of marketing marketing has four piece the one we always think about is promotion and guess what? Promotion is the least important p off all of them. If you don't get the other three peas, right, promotion is nothing, it doesn't work, you can do everything the right way and it won't work for you won't get traction. You won't stand out so promotion, purpose and I think most of us have spent a good amount of time thinking about what the purpose of our businesses, people who your ideal client is what market you're in, what conversation you're participating in and who is there with you on positioning? Positioning is how your business your business is story relates to everything else that's going on in the market it's how people perceive you right to go back to the idea of fascination advantage it's how the world sees your business it's the story that you're telling and the story most importantly that others are receiving positioning is all about details it's all about taking advantage of every opportunity and it's about intentionality in telling that story that's what positioning is all about but to determine your positioning to give it that intentionality, you need to do some research first and that's what? The homework for this lesson is its market analysis. Ooh, that's that sounds scary, doesn't it is really easy, guys. Okay, so in your worksheets that you get when you are a svp to this boot camp, you have this handy dandy little charts. Three columns, people, this is easy. Okay, so you start with your business or product. So what other businesses? What other products exist in the conversation that you're busy? This is participating in they could be similar products to yours. They could be very different products to yours. So let's, take the example of, like a life coach. All right, life coaching is one product in that market. Another product in that market is self help or personal development books. Okay, so lastly, different price points now another product in that market are, you know, like platinum v I p mastermind programs that may start at ten twenty fifty or a hundred thousand dollars. Another vastly different price point, right that's the breath of that market and that's our only really talking about, you know, hard core self help or personal development work those very particular questions, so in the business in the business or product column you want to write down what some other products some other services or other businesses are that are operating to fulfill the same need in the same conversation or conversations that your business is participating in then you want to describe their positioning don't overthink this this is about how you perceive them how do you perceive them? How do you perceive the difference between target and walmart? Somebody tell me quick how do you perceive one's a little higher and why do you think that because of the way target has there store structured in their products and they bring in designers and a little bit better quality product than walmart sometimes carries yes that's position if they're advertising their pricing the products they put on their shelves the story that they tell about those things the people that they bring in to their stores tells you a different story than wal mart does target story is different than walmart story that's positioning in another natche in a in a nutshell oh all right so described the position and what's the story that you are hearing from that brand and then what gives you that impression so just like with with tiffany said she said target higher end like higher and mass market mass marketer mass merchant right on what gives you that impression pricing products designers um advertising aesthetic all of that stuff is what gives you that impression? What gives you that impression are details so this is the story and this is the details in the story product story details okay, now, while you're doing this analysis, I want you to seek out businesses that have vastly different pricing than yours both of the high end and be intentionally low end and that's a small caveat high end is almost always pretty intent intentional, right? I decide I'm going to charge x many thousand dollars for this thing the low end has two different types of businesses businesses that have felt forced down there and businesses that choose to create solutions that are designed to be mass marketed or low end, which is a perfectly great decision to make it just needs to be intentional. So I want you to find businesses that compete with yours are in your same market at both the low end and the high end also businesses that have different guiding principles than yours. You know? So if you think about if you were doing a market analysis and you were male chimp, you would look for email marketing service providers that didn't necessarily have fun and design as part of their guiding principles, and it would be very easy to find those ah you want to look for businesses that attract different customer group so people who are um you know businesses that are working with different people who have different values who want to pay different things who have slightly different needs all that good stuff ah businesses that speak different languages than yours so the language that target speaks is different than the language the walmart speaks right target would speak maybe the innovation language or the prestige language which is funny it's a big box store but still I would definitely put them in the prestige category in many ways and wal mart is going t o have the trust language right because you can always depend on them to have the same products the same brands at the same price or lover that's that's how their languages are different ah and then finally fill the customers need in different ways once you filled out that market analysis your job is to look for your opportunity where can you fit yourself in that market? What story can you tell what details can you use to stand out from everyone else that's there you are not directly competing with thes people just like what meghan was saying the opportunity here is to do something different the opportunity is to do something different we're going to talk a lot more about that in the next lesson so start looking for your opportunity I'd love to get a couple of shares here we haven't heard much from you guys in this lesson what are some of the ah businesses in the market analysis that you're thinking about kathy is the only one I could really think of their some corporate ones that I haven't even looked at it I don't like okay um you know, look at that I know I don't want to be stuffy like them yeah, but like tony shay was zappos this huge on culture yeah and so he would definitely be we want teo and he's got a book, right? Yeah. So a book him is a speaker on then you've got these stuffy corporate options that really we need teo we need to look at those two because you have such a great opportunity to position your business in opposition to that s so you'd really be doing you're just yourself a disservice if you didn't examine them really close right bridget you have some really interesting competition. I think some really interesting players in your market. What do you think those are? Well, I see them as being ah blue apron kitsch it um cook smarts uh meal lime and plated. So basically two different businesses that either ship the groceries to your house on dh give you the recipe is to cook from war just give you a meal plan that's like a lower price membership that you you know, pay a monthly thing but it's not like really personalized yeah and so what do you see is your opportunity well, you kind of set it just then but say it again what's your opportunity customization yeah, yeah and I think coming in at at a higher end too I mean personalization is great we generally associate personalization was spending mohr and some people just like spending mohr for their solutions right? And I think that's largely probably been your market in the past and will continue to be exactly nothing wrong with that. That is an excellent opportunity great! We're gonna pinpoint even more of that soon but first let's look at today's homework today's homework is of course to complete that market analysis considering the positioning of other businesses participating in the same conversation look at the business or the product look at the story that you see being told about it the story that you perceive and the details of that story what gives you that impression then look for an opportunity to position your business differently what is your opportunity? How could you enter the market in a way that's true to your fascination advantage that's true to your guiding principles but takes advantage of an opportunity that you see in that market analysis and then once you know that opportunity tweet me tweet me at terra gentilly use the hashtag stand out business so let's look at that next lesson that's coming up this will be our last lesson of session one find you're unfair advantage so in that next lesson, you're going to find your unfair advantage. The thing that makes your business, you know, uniquely qualified to seize the opportunity that you've just identified sound good. Alright, great. So let's, bring it on back, and we'll be back here for that next lesson.