No one wakes up in the morning and says: Yes! Market research day!
It’s probably not a topic that makes you super excited. And that’s normal. You’re not alone. But it’s so important to not overlook it. Market research is probably THE most important aspect of a product launch.
Why is it so important? Because if you don’t do it you won’t know what the competitor has, what they offer and how to well, compete with them. It is the strategy that will bring you the most potential for success, and also steer you away from wasting your money on crowdfunding ideas that have already been done and proven not to work.
How Sun Tzu Relates to Market Research
Now, knowing your competition is more of a philosophy.
“….If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle…”
It relates to market research because in The Art of War, Sun Tzu talks about what it will help you win in a battle. If we think about the market competition as a battle, then market research is what will help you know your enemy or competitors and create a strategy that will “defeat” them, meaning that you’ll get people to spend money in your product and not in someone else’s in the same niche.
This applies to absolutely every niche, product, project and idea. If you’re an entrepreneur, you have to be in the know about what people are craving and what other entrepreneurs are creating for the market: what is working, and what is not.
Competitors and Market Research
Market research gives you an inside scoop on your competitors and gives you the insight you need to know what they did right and learn from what they did wrong.
If you’re offering a service, you want to know what market gap might be out there that you could fill in. You want to know what other people have done wrong when trying to fill the same market gap. And you definitely want to know what people have done right, where did they get their audience, what’s their social media strategy… and what’s their product or service still lacking.
How can you be better?
1. Market Research for Trends
It might sound cheesy to “jump on a trend”, but it’s proven that works when done right. If your product is related to a competitor’s trends, market trends, seasonal trends, etc., then you have a chance to jump on it and show what you can do.
If you’re on TikTok then you know what I’m talking about. Same audio, same trend, but executed so differently by each creator than when it works, it works.
Market research will let you know what’s going on, what people are talking about and doing and you’ll want to get on it as well.
2. Positioning Yourself in the Market
Not every product is for everyone. Your audience is not the exact same audience as your competitor’s. You want to know how you can position yourself correctly.
Imagine you’re launching a new exclusive sustainable peanut butter. Do you know how many peanut butter options are in the market?
- What makes your product different? Features? Pricing? Sustainability? Then you have to look for people for whom this difference matters. This is what will separate your product from the rest of the offers in the market.
- What is not being covered by competitors?
- Who is your audience? Who is passionate about what you’re passionate about?
- How do you stand out?
3. Pricing Your Product Adequately
Are you pricing in the right range for the product you’re offering? Knowing your competitor’s pricing range will help you better understand how you should be pricing your product.
If your product price is way higher than what is on the market, then you’re probably doing something like manufacturing or using materials that are more expensive than those of your competitors. Or perhaps your cost is lower than the market average, and then you should look into what people are paying for when they pay more.
The most important thing is that market research will let you understand and justify to your audience your price.
For example, if your product is environmentally friendly, that usually makes manufacturing more expensive, so is something you have to explain and market to your target audience. You’ll have to find people who care about the environment and that are happy to find an environmentally friendly option, and happy to pay for it.
4. Marketing Visuals
Visuals make or break a launch due to the trust and credibility they bring to a product and its founder. When you do your research you’ll find similarities in the same niche product visuals. Why? Because that is what works. Is what people want to see.
If we talk about fashion products, people want to see size charts, different angles, different color options, social media strategy, etc. So why would you do something less than that?
Go ahead and see what people are doing with colors, fonts, pictures, voice tone, etc. All of that will give you an insight of what you should be doing as well for your own visuals.
As you can see, there are many aspects that can be learned from market research and form knowing your competition.
On the bright side, as a bonus, while doing your market research you can meet other creators and share insights and thoughts with the community.
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