UNDERSTAND YOUR MARKET
Entering a flooded market, lack of manufacturing know-how, lack of logistical understanding, no distribution options and not understanding your market could cripple your launch. So solid planning is crucial.
It’s important from the onset to determine what sets you apart from your competitors and how you can exceed customer expectations. And it’s vital to realise that it takes more than just a great-tasting product to get attention from a supermarket buyer, get customers to try your product and ensure that customers buy it again.
Market research is a good way to understand your competitors. The easiest way to conduct market research is by spending time online or checking in with industry associations for their latest information and data. You can gather competitor pricelists, check out their websites and try their products to get a good idea of what they offer. Look at what they do better than you’re planning to do – investigate price, quality, customer service and the professionalism and effectiveness of their marketing materials.
If you want to go to the next level, you can try to gather information yourself by using questionnaires, surveys or other research tools. And if you have the money to spare, you could hire a commercial research agency to do the work for you.
Another useful exercise is to conduct a SWOT analysis to see where you fit alongside your competitors. A SWOT is a great way to identify your areas of strength, weakness, opportunity and threat. If you want to go a bit further, you can divide your SWOT into internal and external factors to give you a clearer picture of where your business sits in the market.
Once you complete your SWOT, you can turn the results into a list of goals for your business. One of these should be to source quality branding, something that will make you stand out from the crowd and from similar products in the marketplace and on the shelf.