Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Finding Your Target Market - The Sara Blakely Example

Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, found a need for clothing accessories that minimize undergarment lines and make women feel better in their clothing. She used one word that I think summarizes the need the best: “confidence.”

We all want to feel more confident, whether it is in the corporate environment, during a sales pitch or presentation for our companies, or on a first date. Self-confidence (self-esteem) is a multi-billion dollar industry. Think of products such as breast implants, minoxidil, lipstick, and cologne. I could spend two hours listing products in the category and would have barely touched the surface.

If there is any doubt that self-confidence is a major market, just take a look at the hundreds of pages of books available on the subject at Amazon.com.

The opportunity that Sara discovered early in the process was that her idea was truly original, could be patented, and she smartly kept the idea to herself as much as possible. With a patented product in place, she was able to expand the product into an entire brand, sometimes doing nothing more than creating a “better” version of an existing product – a copycat model that has created some of the greatest and most beloved companies in the world.

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