One of the most effective ways to launch a lucrative business is to sell products that will appeal to your target audience. Before you even start thinking about which products or designs to sell, you’ll want to establish your target demographic. This may sound daunting, but it’s easier than it sounds. When you’re determining what niche to appeal to, think about the following factors:
- Is there an established audience?
- What’s the size of that audience?
- Is the audience passionate about the subject?
- Are there any competitors?
An easy way to answer these questions is via Facebook Ad Manager. The tool will let you focus on particular topics (niches) and see how many users like the applicable pages. Sure, this doesn’t give a definitive answer, but it will provide you with some clarity (especially if you’re comparing multiple subjects).
The “passion” aspect is much harder to gauge, and it goes beyond the number of “likes” on Facebook. Specifically, you’ll want to focus on a subject that’s evergreen (i.e. relevent at any time). If you’re going to be focusing on a pop culture subject (whether it be a celebrity, TV show, etc.), you’ll want to assure that the topic has a cult following. This assures that the niche won’t disappear after several years.
“Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.”Seth Godin, former Yahoo VP of Direct Marketing
Why is passion important? Well, the more passionate your audience, the more likely they are to buy. Someone may be interested in a local band, but will they go out of their way to buy relevant gear? On the other hand, you know Justin Bieber’s fans are passionate, and they’ll be more than willing to dish out money for apparel.
For subjects that aren’t as specific, you’ll want to determine if there are already any major competitors. These businesses likely have a following, and there’s a good chance that those “passionate” consumers will be familiar with that opposing brand. Unfortunately, you may be too late to the game, and it could be tough for your new company to break into the scene.
Of course, we’re not saying you should avoid that subject entirely; there’s plenty of market share to go around. However, you’ll want to make sure you’ve researched what your competitor is selling, how much money they’re making, and how they’re reaching their target demographic. This information will help you gauge whether your efforts are worthwhile.
Finally, you’ll want to determine the “perceived value” of your subject. Talk with some members of your targeted community and see what products and designs they’d be interested in buying. No one needs a t-shirt with their favorite show’s logo on the front, but they might spend on a t-shirt that features unique fan art. It will be your job to satisfy their urge to buy.
Still struggling for an idea? Consider the following themes for inspiration:
- Love and Friendship
- Social Success
- Material Wealth
- Self-Actualization and Personal Fulfillment
The following “evergreen” subjects have also proven to be reliable money-makers:
- Mass Media (Celebrities, TV, Entertainment)
- Diet and Weight Loss
- Dating and Relationships
- Trending Topics