Lesson 4: Think Beyond the Obvious

When it comes to finding the right market for a product, one of the most important ways to go about this is our fourth lesson, think beyond the obvious.

When I first undertook this project, one of the challenges that I immediately began to “noodle” on was how to build this housewares community. At first blush, it would seem that it would be difficult to identify a specific community for each of the products in the housewares industry. After all, when a product is sold in this industry, the consumers do not register for support or service. It is very difficult to know who purchased a product — let alone what was thought of it.

Applying our fourth lesson made this a relatively easy task.

My wife, Annie, started the process. When it comes to cooking, I consider Annie a subject matter expert. She has taken courses with some accomplished chefs and the food in our home is the best evidence that she has learned quite a bit about the art and science of baking and cooking. She also uses a fair share of gadgets.

Annie explained that in this industry KOLs and communities were everywhere.

Culinary demonstrations at Williams-Sonoma...The Food NetworkChef CentralRachel Ray’s web siteEpicurious.comGourmet Magazine The Today Show…cool new product presentations…

These are all examples of sites or media or events that cater to people who use houseware products.

Suzy, in our conversation, had mentioned that I should consider all circles of influences. In fact, she pointed out that book clubs, mom’s groups and PTA meetings frequently go off on tangents about life in the home and how to make things easier and better. Another opportunity.

Suzy also reminded me that one of the great ways to access these opportunities to promote houseware products was through the effective use of public relations, which she referred to as free media. I liked this idea because, as you may recall from one of the earlier posts, it had been noted that this industry does not allow for the investment of heavy marketing dollars to create the brand.

While all of this was exciting, there was still one more area that I felt compelled to investigate so I turned on my computer and went to google.com. In the search box, I typed in — “blogs’ and “housewares’ — with quotes around the key words. Naturally, and “obviously” one would expect there to be very few people who write passionately about housewares.

To my surprise Google returned 1,060,000 sites. That’s right, more than a million blogs! This tells us that there are large communities of people who share a fascination about houseware products. Wow! And get this — searching for “blogs and brushes” returned 1,380,000 blogs! (Author’s Note: While there are painter’s brushes and a host of other types of brushes, still many of these blogs related to houseware industry brushes. To further illustrate the point, “blogs” and “brooms”, a category that is more defined, still returned 78,200 blogs)

Suddenly, channeling this interest was very exciting. The ability to create a consumer franchise by leveraging the impact of appropriate on-line advertising, public relations, search engine optimization and web marketing did not look so daunting…

In fact, it was beginning to look so much easier.

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