Monday, October 13, 2008

Success in the Candy Aisle

Sunday, September 19, 2004
Success in the Candy Aisle
I was talking with two of our Mastermind partners just a couple days ago and we decided we were each going to find some group of people (a market) to create a product for. Then on Monday the 20th we will meet for comparing notes and Brainstorming products for those groups.

This process is similar to going to the snack or candy aisle at the grocery or convenience store and not having a real particular favorite (like a Snickers candy bar) that you plan on getting. There are literally dozens and dozens and dozens of candy bars, probably 100's of candy bar choices. Then there is gum, I chew Trident Original flavor so that is an easy choice for me. On candy bars though it is another matter, usually it would be a Nestle Crunch Bar, but if they had a frozen candy bar section I would go for a Whatchamacallit, when frozen they are hard to beat. I used to do frozen Snickers but my teeth prefer the Whatchamacallits' now. Now in the candy aisle candy bars and gum are only 2 of the categories with all those choices, there usually is dozens and dozens of other items that you have enjoyed before like licorice (Twizzler's, Nibs, Red Vines, etc.), hard candy (Sweethearts, Jawbreakers, etc.), what about items that are sort of junk food but sort of okay? Like beef jerky (Hickory Smoked, Mesquite, Teriyaki, Slim Jims, etc.) or Sunflower Seeds (They used to come just one flavor, but now they have Original, Bar-B-Q, JalapeƱo Hot Salsa, Honey Roasted, Reduced Sodium, Ranch and Nacho Cheese).

Then there are the chips; Doritos has Nachos Cheesier, Guacamole, Taco, Salsa Verse, Ranchero, Salsa, Four Cheese, Cooler Ranch, Spicier Nacho... and there are probably others and we haven't even started on their 3-D variety. Then their our all the varieties of Lay's, and the varieties of Pretzel's, and Sun Chips, and gheesh!

So when trying to figure out a snack has all these choices and hundreds more, frozen varieties, fruit varieties, drinkable varieties (isn't that what Starbuck's is all about?) there is little wonder that when you are trying to figure out what group of people you want to market to, it is such a daunting chore?

The hot shot's in marketing will tell you to "get rich in YOUR niche", what if you never really had a niche? Evidently I am one of those, since I was 10 years old and could scrub parts or clean shop floors or "push cobs into a blower"(that's a whole niche by itself) my dad had me working. I should probably go into the industry I have been trying to get out of for so long, doesn't that sound like and oxymoron? Why would you want to go into something you have been trying to get out of? Familiarity? Because you understand "most" of the language? Maybe because you already have a foot in the door there? Maybe it isn't so far from your comfort zone?

There, I did it again. What did I do? I gave myself yet another choice of groups to market to, didn't I? Is it any wonder when we were in school the teacher gave us daily assignments that those went sort of okay, but when they gave us a report to do of our choosing it was done at the last minute or handed in late?

Maybe getting "rich in your niche" is so easy we make it hard? T. Harv Eker has a video tape out, from 1994, called "How to Generate Hot New Business Ideas" or How to Generate Million Dollar Ideas Every 60 Seconds. In the video he gives a guideline of how to generate these hot new business ideas:

1. Find a business that is "Right For You", that suits you. Why? Because if you are going to be successful you are going to spend a lot of time there in your business. So "Doing What You Love" will be a lot easier than "Doing Just What May Make You Money".

2. There are two main motivators, everything we do is motivated my these two: Gaining Pleasure or Avoiding Pain. And for most of us avoiding pain is more of a motivator than gaining pleasure. Example: Avoiding the pain that may come from a sales call that might lead to more sales calls that might make you wealthy (gain pleasure) is avoided because sales calls can lead to no's that we have somehow linked to pain.
Problem Solving because problems create opportunities, where you see problems you will find people in "pain". What do people want to avoid? Pain. They don't have to be big problems, they might be little inconveniences, irritations and annoyances.

3. Improve anything (At this point in the video he has everyone in his meeting take out a sheet of paper and for 60 seconds he has them list the physical items in the room that they can see.) Then he asks, "Is there room for improvement of any of these items?" Items on my list included: DVD's, DVD Player, Clothes, TV, Couch, Chairs, Lamp, Coffee table, books, air conditioning (the wife likes to turn it down to freezing while she naps), cat hair, etc.

4. Look for Change: Changes in technology, changes in social interests, changes in the law, etc. A change in social interest was an example of a buddy of his that was a professional dancer, he noticed when line dancing started coming out and he created a video to teach people how to do line dancing. A Law change was one on all businesses having to have a CPR chart on their premises, a guy he knew laminated up a ton of these and direct marketed them to businesses (they had to have them). Shift in technology could be how DVD's have come out so popular or if you ever shop ebay how everyone is selling a "how to make money selling on ebay" course. The first ones probably made some decent money.

5. Model a Proven Winner: Copy a Concept (Harv had seen in a magazine about the fitness boom in Los Angeles, he travelled there, saw how the person was selling the equipment, came back to Toronto and started his own. Copy a product, yogurt, pretzels, Hawaiian ice, etc. Take advantage of the "lag time" between when something is hot in New York or California and when the rest of the country discovers it.

6. Niches (A niche is a small area.)
According to him there are 6 types of niches and they all start with "P".

Examples he gave were of the store "Sharper Image", it started as a catalog and someone decided to turn the catalog in to a retail store. Or a product like pizza, pretty much a low budget item, well California Pizza Kitchens started "Gourmet Pizza's" and they just kept opening stores from the profit flow, then PepsiCo bought them and they started selling them in the frozen food aisle at your supermarket.

So we are back to creating our niche, our market, above are a few more methods to help you develop a market with. Good luck and God bless.


1 comment:

AZMike said...

I wrote that, Success in the Candy Aisle, I actually thought I would be closer to my goals by now. I still think it is a good article, relevant (Ever-Green). Feel free to leave positive comments and links.
AZMike(Mike Feddersen)
P.S. What's your favorite niche?