by Lisa McGrimmon
Consistent, targeted craft marketing and branding is crucial to the success of your home craft business. Developing a targeted and consistent brand image and craft marketing plan often isn't given the kind of consideration it deserves.
Too often artists and crafters make the mistake of trying to appeal to everyone. They may include items at all price ranges or in widely varying styles in an attempt to appeal to everyone at a given venue. The impulse to use this strategy often is fuelled by the fear that sales will be lost as a result of developing a focused range of items that appeal to a specific group of people.
Instead of focusing on the specific, committed customers who love a particular style, entrepreneurs launching a home craft business may fear and focus on all of the customers they will lose because their style or price range does not appeal to everyone. It's important to accept that not everyone will be your customer and focus on understanding and meeting the needs and expectations of your target customer.
When you try to be all things to all people, you end up being nothing to all people. If you lack focus, your potential customers will just be confused. They won't be able to quickly figure out who you are, what your work is about, and whether they connect and identify with your style.
Early in the development of your business, it is important to make decisions about your target customer. Who is your target customer? What is your area of "distinctive competence" (i.e in what way is your company outstanding) and what competitive advantage do you have over your competition? How will customers perceive your product and how will you communicate a consistent message which emphasizes your product's unique characteristics?
By presenting a consistent message to your customers your home based craft business will begin to develop a distinct personality and you will create credibility and be remembered in the marketplace. Your products will stand out from the crowd of competitors because customers will have a clear and consistent image of who you are and what you do especially well.
Trying to appeal to all people does nothing but undermine any attempts to develop a consistent, memorable underlying image for your home craft business. You don't have to appeal to everyone. Your consistent branding and craft marketing plan should help you to appeal to a core of customers who love the way your products seem to speak directly to their own self image and world view.