Recently I have seen quite a few very promising watch models by not reaching their crowd funding thresholds. The reason why? Marketing. With the micro brand cosmos filling rapidly up with new stars, you are not automatically the brightest anymore just by being there. You will need to actively pursuit customers, and here are a few tips:
Marketing starts before almost anything else
Most micro brands treat marketing like an afterthought. When they have received the first prototypes they start thinking of how they are actually going to sell them. You’ll be surprised how often that answer is “Kickstarter”, but crowdfunding websites are a sales channel, can be part of your marketing but is by no means an all-in-one marketing solution. Marketing starts with analyzing the marketplace, preferably before you even start to design your product. Why? Because designing and making a product and finding a suitable market for it is a lot harder than the reverse.
4 P’s can help you
The marketing mix is what it’s all about, and the 4 P’s are an easy tool to get your bearings. First, you have the actual Product, your watch. Then there is the Place where you are going to sell, and the Price you are going to ask for it. Final P is for promotion, how are you actually going to let people know A. that your product exists and B. that they should buy it. Keyword is balance, the price of the watch should reflect the quality, the place where you are selling them should be one your customer target groups actually visit and buy from, and with promotion you should tie this all together, and present your case, not to the public, but preferably as focused as you can possibly can.
There are a lot of varieties of the 4 P’s, some with additional P’s, sometimes even with other letters. I urge you to research them when you are thinking of launching a watch brand of your own. It might give you some valuable information.
Promotion means spending money
One of the reasons why marketing should never be an afterthought is promotion. You can make the best product in the world for the lowest price but if nobody knows about it, they will also not buy it. The promotion of your product also costs money, and it is money you have to spend before you actually get income. Very important to account for this as early as possible, so your budgeting reflects this investment. Also, include it in the way the price of your product is build up. This way with each watch sold, you add a portion to your promotion budget, because promotion is not a one-time thing, but something you need to keep up.
When you have no idea who is going to buy your product you will probably do a scattershot, get some ads, do some promoting on social media, hoping that you will reach people that want to buy your product. Not a very effective strategy. You need to find out who is most likely going to buy your product, and the more precise you know this, the more focused you can promote it. That is one of the reasons why market research before you even design the watch can pay off handsomely: you know where there is an open niche in the market, and you know what type of customers you will help by filling this niche. Of course, you can also go after a niche that has already been filled, but then you are hunting for market share, which often means a more significant investment in marketing activities.
Make a plan
Most people who want to start their own watch brands don’t like to be bothered with the business side of things. However starting a watch brand is a business, so do the work and make a marketing plan. It can give you valuable insights and will increase the chance of success. Never made one? Most people haven’t, but those that did are often happy to share their experience. Google the topic, check out some books at your local library, ask a friend with a business of its own about it. There are many ways to get more in-depth information about this. And remember: a good watch with a marketing plan is far more likely to outsell a great watch without one, then vice versa!