It’s strange, but in an ironic way, I feel like I could launch the product and do the work for the product in any African country bar Tanzania or Kenya. I don’t know why, but it is just how I feel. Feel so judged when I am here. Anyway I have been doing more thinking about how to market my little product, that may or may not see the light of day lol!
Here are some of my initial ideas on marketing & what the brand will be about (still no name, still thinking!)
- Distribution: I would like this product to be available online-only. I want it to be the kind of premium product that you order online, wait, and then receive it in the post (hopefully) excited. This does mean we will rely wholly on e-commerce, which is a terrifying but fun feeling at the same time. The positive side for this I think is that there is no pressure of looking for it in a variety of shops, it is merely a click away
- Target customer market: I have noticed that Miss Jessie’s and Kinky Curly are targeted to a multicultural audience, and from a business perspective, this makes a lot of sense because it maximises turnover chances. For now, I am thinking that I would like to target black women who have their hair relaxed or natural for the product line, but this could change, but for now, that is who my target customer is. And moreover, black women of the two groups (relaxed and natural) who like to shop online.
- What problems would we be solving?: My hair is ridiculously dry all the time, I hope the product (or products God makes me lucky) will help to solve the dryness problem of Afro hair whilst protecting the fragility.
- Ingredient focus: No lanolin, petroleum, mineral oil etc. Nothing against ladies who like those products, but I am hoping to go for natural ingredients as they don’t work for my hair.
- Geography: In fact, I think this is one of the most crucial lessons. I was reading on entrepreneur magazine, of one entrepreneur who launched his own vodka line. He was from the USA, but get this, he saw each major city in the USA as a market, as opposed to seeing the USA as a whole market in itself. I find this really fascinating because quite clearly breaking the USA is more than just going there and setting up an office. I would be happy to go anywhere that wanted me, but the main markets I hope to break, God-willing, are: New York, London and South Africa. I would like to start with one and then (hopefully) proceed to the others. Geography is really really important, because I have to make sure the product is targeted to my hopeful customers.
This is where I need to ask the big question. The general view in business and entrepreneurship is that if you can make it in the USA, you can make it anywhere. But then again, the ethnic haircare market in the USA is so saturated with so many brands with millions of pounds behind them,
Do you think that if things work out for my concerning my career website etc, do you think I should move to New York, London or South Africa first? Which of the three places should I go to?
Is it paramount to be in America first before I can expand to London or South Africa? Or can I go to London or South Africa first?
I mean my idea is that it will be an online product only, so you can buy it from anywhere in the world but I want to make sure I have a good group of customers.
In my eyes, I would like to sell 10,000 units of product over 3 years as a first estimate. Where do I need to be?