Today was a particularly difficult day. A little less stressful than negotiating with different vendors and manufacturing companies, but I'll revisit that topic later.
I wanted to test out my hypothesis of customization with live clients, so I went to The Market NYC to meet with prospective clients. This also gave me great insight to my target demographic. I even took pictures of the girls that bought lipsticks to remember them!
It's tiring to be talking and engaging with people constantly, but this experience was worthwhile because getting to meet girls who buy my lipsticks in person was very valuable.
1. Customer thought process
I don't do a hard sale when meeting new women. Yes, I am at a marketplace and making money is nice, but my ultimate goal at this market was to test out the waters and see what I could learn about potential customers. Customer acquisition is very important when launching a new brand, especially in a saturated industry like cosmetics. I needed to know more about how they shopped and react to a new way of customizing cosmetics. No assumptions or binary questions when making the first encounter. Engage with the customer, but let them be the one to talk and tell you about themselves and what they're looking for. You'll learn plenty if you ask open ended questions and avoid loaded ones as well.
After speaking to around 100 women, I began getting a good feel for the type of woman that were interested in my concept. I continuous make notes about each person after we do a color consultation and make the lipstick. I know my profile is somewhat accurate, despite it not being "statistical significant" because there was a specific profile that spent an extended amount of time with me chatting and PAYING for the product. They were happy to swipe their credit cards, which is the ultimate validation. I now understand where they shop, travel, eat, live, think, and even down to the type of guys they date! If I walk into a crowded room, I know exactly which girl to target and sell to without wasting time on those who would never even consider me!
Learning the key words is KEY. Being observant is extremely important when speaking and watching people's reactions. I am understanding the type of things my customers care about and how they like it to be communicated. Do they care if it's "organic" or "non-toxix"?
4. Brand Awareness
Great awareness and a chance to share your story. Nothing beats in person interactions. I love sharing the story behind the name of the brand and mission statement. I grow a potential client list and get to connect to real people.