10. March 2010 01:33
Marketing at all Events of the Year
Wedding season is rapidly approaching along with showers and there is not a better gift for the attendees to these events then a candle to commemorate the occasion. Develop a "custom package" that simplifies the selection process for the bride or individual organizing the activity. Maybe it is organza bag with a votive/small jar with a nice personalized tag identifying the event including names and dates.
While it is coming fast enough for my kids, end of the school year will occur soon and candles can represent a nice thank you gift for Teachers, Bus Drivers and School Aides. The key would be to have a package that can easily be customized. The Avery Company has made if very easy to make custom labels using their templates you can import your own pictures, graphics and text. Let your customer choose what goes on the label including possibly a picture, quote or graphic. The way the templates are set up you can make each label personalized fairly easily and if you a color printer they can be printed right at your home computer.
Real Estate Agents and other professionals are always looking for nice gift items to give away to their customers. Candles that can be customized for them presents a great marketing tool.
On a larger scale the entire retail climate has undergone a transition where only the strongest retailers are surviving and others are shutting their doors. This can create tremendous opportunities because consumers still want choices and with so few retailers to choose from the selection of "niche items" like candles are hard to find. The key is to try and reach these consumers.
With the current high employment rate people are going to be looking for new opportunities. Some of the most successful candle companies have achieved their success through "party plans". Pitch the idea of a candle party to your friends, neighbors and acquaintances as a way for them to make money. Even if the attendees may not purchase anything be sure to get them to sign up for your mailings.
In addition using every online resource is going to be essential for survival. With new technology and other conditions building a website is much more reasonable. As you may have read just putting up a website will not be enough you will need to drive traffic to the site but in the end it can be more cost effective than opening a retail store. If you already have a retail store use the site to drive traffic to your store by offering coupons that can be printed out. Or if your customer prefers to shop from home make that experience easy as well.
As you begin to build a customer base, the key is also to keep on top of the trends in the industry. Fragrances are very important to people and having them timely to the season of the year is critical to maximize the impact of the season.
Without doubt the entire supply chain is undergoing a huge transition and techniques and efforts that may have been successful even several years ago will not be as effective. The key is to continue building your own brand that consumers want even if currently on a local scent.
10. March 2010 00:24
NEW SELLING VENUES
Despite the current economic situation people are still taking vacations or as the new term “Stayvacations”. They just may not be venturing as far as they did in the past. This is a great opportunity if you have a resort area close to you. Approach these retail stores and offer to sell your candles on a consignment basis. The retailer will like the idea in that it is another product they can sell and what helps them is they don’t have to pay for it right away or take a chance it will sell. Again make candles that are suited for the location or time of year and also possibly use special containers that the customer may not find in the traditional retail locations. The 100% recycled glassware is a great option in that none of the large manufacturers are using this type of glassware. Choose fragrances that truly fit the area you wish to sell if in a beach town fragrances like Cottage Breeze , Citrus Breeze or Coconut Lime. If the location is the mountains or lake; Cotton Blossom, Cool water or even Moonlight Path are excellent choices.
Another nontraditional approach would be to contact campground stores and offer either outdoor candles (check out March’s issue for the perfect candle) or was we have written in past issues fire starters are a natural extension of candle companies.
Most wineries have gift stores and are probably looking for complimentary products to offer. The traffic at these stores increase immensely during the summer months. Several years back the state stores in PA (for those not from PA...all wine and spirits are sold at State Stores) introduced a very nice line of candles to complement the store.