Defining the market fit of your image consulting business is one of the most important steps of any marketing strategy. The most essential part is specifying the market fit to limit the niches that are interesting to the company, especially when it comes to image consulting businesses that aspire to enter a specific market. The success of every marketing strategy will depend on the level of customer awareness. The more information you have about your clients, the more probability you will have to provide an effective and quality service.
In order to find the right market fit for your image consulting business, you have to think about which kind of people you relate to and identify with. As an image consultant, you attract the people that are similar to you because you can understand them and offer the right solutions to their needs. You must comprehend your clients in order to improve their images and lifestyles accordingly. Only if you can analyze their styles and behaviors properly, will you be able to give them the tools they need to become the best version of themselves.
An image consulting business should enter the market as a unique and valuable brand which offers products and services for particular customers. You have to specialize to reach a concrete number of people who are influenced by your messages and attracted to your services. If you present yourself as an expert image consultant with experience in a niche market, you will reach your true potential customers. Then, the communication between the clients and the company will be much more effective and accurate. You will communicate directly with potential customers who have expectations that you can meet. STYiLES is explaining how you can define a market fit for your image consulting business.
KEY TIPS TO FIND YOUR MARKET
First of all, you need to design the business plan and the marketing strategy of your image consulting company. Finding your market fit is part of the marketing strategy. It is relevant to determine who are the people that your services and products are aimed at. In the image consulting business, the people you will be able to help are the ones that are similar to you.
For instance, if you are an elite and experienced image consultant in your 30-40s, you will empathize with successful entrepreneurs and business executives who have similar lifestyles as you. Those kinds of image consultants will focus on polishing up their clients’ images so they look more sophisticated and stylish both for their personal and professional lives. Instead, young image consultants in their 20s who are starting their careers will be able to connect with people who have just graduated from college and are beginning to look for a job. Then, those image consultants will work on advising their clients about how to dress for interviews and how to find their personal style.
We are giving you some key tips to find your market fit:
- Focus on getting potential clients that you can understand and relate to.
- Take advantage of your experience and background.
- Define your market fit so you attract the exact type of client that you can help.
- Try to reach markets that are distinct and accessible.
- Do a lot of research about your potential customers’ lifestyles and needs.
- Do networking to expand your business and find potential customers in the process.
- Be active on social media to build a strong brand and get to your market fit online.
WHAT IS THE MARKET FIT?
The market fit, also known as target customers, is the group of people to whom your product or service is directed. Individuals belonging to this group have similar characteristics to each other. For example: geographic location, age, gender, socioeconomic level, aspects of behavior or lifestyle, among others. The definition of market fit refers to a set of potential customers, who probably want or need the products or services that your company offers.
Defining the market fit of your business allows you to optimize resources in the dissemination strategy, in the distribution and in the promotion of your products. Working with your potential customers in mind makes it possible for you to find the most appropriate channels to establish communication with your clients, according to their behavior and preferences. That way, you will offer personalized and quality services. This translates into greater effectiveness of your company’s business plan.
Difference between potential market and market fit
The potential market is a portion of the total market with customers that have the possibility of purchasing your products and services. Potential customers have the capability of buying your products or booking your services. However, this does not imply that everyone is going to do it, nor that you need to provide specific products or services for them.
On the other hand, the market fit is a portion of the potential market. That is a segment that you select among those who can get your products and services to focus your marketing efforts, dissemination strategies, market research for innovation and, in general, to offer your products and services. The customers that integrate the market fit are more likely to establish a long-lasting relationship with your company.
WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN DEFINING YOUR MARKET FIT
1. Demographic profile
Age range, sex, type of population, places of origin… That is everything that allows you to create a profile of your potential customers based on their preferences and market tastes. Women do not consume the same products and book the same services as men, or the elderly as teenagers.
2. Social group
In many cases, the social group determines the income, purchasing capability of the customers and some of their buying habits. Depending on the wealth of your target customers, your marketing strategies will have to adapt to their lifestyles and needs. It is fundamental to understand the clients, their characters and daily routines.
3. Educational level
The educational background of your target customers will define your sales strategy. You must connect effectively with customers when sharing messages, which means that they have to comprehend them and relate to them. If the product generates empathy, you will be one step away from getting it right.
The educational level of your customers can determine not only relevant service specifications, but also communication. It is not the same to sell a product to an architect as it is to a nurse, a designer or a housewife. The profession and occupation of your clients define aspects such as their interests, their level of demand regarding certain topics and their specific needs.
4. Cultural elements
Culture also influences consumption habits. There are elements such as religion, norms or social imaginaries that set trends. It is necessary to know them in order to better approach customers. This section also includes issues such as expectations, dreams and goals that consumers set for themselves on a daily basis. This can give you an idea of how to engage in a direct and clear dialogue with them.
5. Buying patterns
On a second level, you should analyze what moves your customers when buying a product or booking a service. For example, for what purpose do they get it and what elements make them choose your brand and not another one.
6. Competition and brands
It is also important to see which brands your customers prefer and what added value they provide. It is not about stealing customers from rival brands; the question is to create your own niche. However, if it is within your reach to improve existing offers, it is a possibility that you should not ignore. Of course, always look for quality.
7. Purchasing resources
You must be sure that your potential customers have access to your products and services as well as ways to communicate with the business. In the same way, you need to develop easy and effective ways for your clients to make purchases online and get in contact with you. Improving the overall client experience is essential.
MARKET SEGMENTATION TO DETERMINE YOUR TARGET CUSTOMERS
1. Geographical segmentation
Geographic segmentation is given by the location of your customers. This is not only related to the location of your company or the distribution scope of your products and services, but mainly to the location of who is buying. For example, in the case of services provided through the Internet, your client can be anywhere in the world. It is important to know the location of your market fit because people who are in the same place -country, city or region- share characteristics such as the economy, climate, language, habits and customs. These factors affect advertising and marketing, among others.
2. Demographic segmentation
Demographic segmentation allows image consultants to know personal aspects of their clients such as age, gender, education, marital status, socioeconomic level, among others. Age is a determining factor in consumer preferences. The different generations are marked by characteristics as a consequence of events and historical milestones. Gender and marital status can also determine people’s interests and preferences.
The socioeconomic level is an aspect that is not only related to purchasing capability, the price of the product or the payment conditions. In it you must also take into account consumption habits, the perception of money for different generations and other cultural aspects of the reality of each socioeconomic level. The above are determining factors when defining the market fit, even when you consider that your services work well for any type of person.
3. Psychographic segmentation
This type of segmentation analyzes the behavior, needs and preferences of consumers and is determined by variables such as personality, lifestyle, motivations and interests. Knowing the needs is the first step to satisfy them. The interests and motivations of the market fit are closely related to expectations, that is, what customers expect from their experience with the brand. Knowing the expectations of your clients allows you to avoid unnecessary efforts in matters that are not valuable to your target customers and focus on those that are.
Personality and lifestyle are two relevant variables in the psychographic segmentation of your market fit. Find out if your clients are normally stressed because of work, introverted or extroverted, sentimental, serious… All these details can help you select the right market fit and build your business’ value. You will have to design marketing and communication strategies that inspire your clients and connect with their values.
HOW TO DEFINE THE MARKET FIT OF YOUR BUSINESS
Defining the market fit is a key aspect of your company’s business plan. Therefore, it is important that you take the necessary time and do it in a structured way. The following steps will help you define and segment your market fit:
1. Collect information about your current and potential customers
The best way to understand who the customers are in your market fit is to find out which of your products or services they show interest in. When it comes to a new company or a different product, it is useful to ask yourself: what is the need that my product or service will cover? Then, you will be able to know what kind of person may have that need. Focus on the benefits that customers will receive when getting it. Those are the real reasons why they will buy your products and not others.
In the information you collect about your customers, consider the segmentation criteria or aspects that determine the types of market fit: age, gender, geographical location, language, profession or occupation, socioeconomic level, spending habits, lifestyle, interests and motivations. In the case of B2B sales, the segmentation criteria analyzes elements such as: the size of the company, number of employees, location, scope or coverage (local, national or international), among other aspects that are relevant to establish your market fit.
You can also make use of other types of tools, such as social networks, which provide valuable information on aspects such as personality and lifestyle as well as other data that can be very useful when defining the market fit. Check the statistics section of your social networks and also take advantage of tools such as Google Analytics to obtain reports on the visitors of your website. All this data will become valuable information for your company, so you just have to watch carefully.
2. Analyze the competition
Knowing your competition can reveal interesting facts about what works and about new segments that you may not have considered yet. You can start from what the market currently offers to create something different or that suits another type of market fit. Social networks play an important role in this analysis because they contain public information, customer comments, complaints and other inputs that can serve as a starting point.
3. Put yourself in the shoes of your customers
Now that you have gathered information and analyzed the competition, it is time to put yourself in the client’s shoes to define your market fit. Think about whether your products and services will meet the expectations of your customers or if they will need to be modified. Also, how would your customers like you to speak to them? Try to think of possible objections, consider aspects that you observed in your competitors and everything that can help you understand their needs and expectations to build or adjust your services based on your market fit.
4. Build your customer profile
With the information obtained, make a complete description of your market fit. Do it with as much detail as possible according to the segmentation criteria. Define all these aspects: gender, marital status, age range, geography, socioeconomic level and its associated characteristics, activities, hobbies and lifestyle.
Remember to include all the data obtained and document everything. Keep in mind that this profile does not end here, you must update it constantly and complement it with the different interactions or whenever you consider it necessary. It will be a useful tool to train new employees and to understand sales behavior.
5. Test your market fit
Once you have defined your market fit, run tests to ensure it is correct and to identify potential opportunities. An interesting sign that will tell you if the selection of your market fit is adequate is the effectiveness of advertising on the different channels, especially on social networks where you can make a more specific segmentation.
If the response is not what you expected, you should analyze if you are focusing on a market fit that is not right or if you are communicating well with your potential customers. The important thing is to make the necessary adjustments so that your product and your communication are focused on the correct market fit.
Now that you have the tools to define your market fit, build lasting relationships with your customers based on an understanding of their needs and expectations in order to improve the client experience and grow your business.
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