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The blue ocean strategy is a method of searching for new market opportunities. It’s not a single decision or idea, but the result of making many smart decisions and searching for creative solutions. The blue ocean strategy works for small businesses because it focuses on what makes you special and how you can use that to find new markets. Let’s talk about how you can pin point your candle business niche.
Have you ever heard of the blue ocean strategy? It’s a way to search for new market opportunities. The idea comes from W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne’s book Blue Ocean Strategy, which explains how businesses can find new markets by creating value for customers.
This is something that small businesses should use if they want to grow in their industry or expand into other industries. Candles are a good example: You could sell candles online as well as at craft fairs, but that wouldn’t be enough to make your business stand out from competitors or attract more customers. You’ll need an extra edge when you’re trying to build a brand on a budget—and if your candle business is struggling right now because you haven’t found an effective marketing strategy yet (or any kind of marketing strategy), then it’s time to try something new!
in 2015 I started making candles, but there wasn’t anything really special about what I was creating. I first learned about the blue ocean strategy in 2018 while listening to this podcast.
I realized it was time to change everything about my business. So I started doing some market research so I could figure out how to find my candle business niche. That’s when I stumbled across dessert candles. In 2018 it was virtually an untapped market. Not many shops on Etsy were selling these decorative candles.
I had no idea how to make these candles, and there weren’t any instructional videos online. After many months of trial and error, I finally came up with my first design.
Picking a niche takes time. You want to do some market research to see what your ideal audience would be interested in. Of course, it helps to relate to your target audience. Do you love anime? Well, look around to see if there are already anime candle brands. See what these brands are doing, and try to make something unique to you.
Also, you can use tools like Etsy Hunt to see if people are searching for the product you are trying to create. If they are then BINGO! You may have found your niche.
↑↑ Anime candles is searched 3.1 MILLION times a month ↑↑
This is not really talked about often when you hear about the blue ocean strategy, but I have noticed that unique ideas WILL be copied. It is just a matter of time.
I have seen this time and time again, and I have even had this happen to me many times. If you create something amazing others will copy.
I am a big fan of Scrub Daddy sponges. I have only bought those sponges for the past couple of years. Not only do I love the product, but the company itself has done some amazing things.
One day, I went looking for the Scrub Daddy, and they were all sold out. So I grabbed a copycat sponge that was very similar.
The sponge ended up crumbling within the first week, and I will probably never use it again. So even though there is competition Scrub Daddy will always be the top-tier sponge!
Don’t worry about copycats. Just keep creating and your audience will know you are the OG in the sea of lookalikes!
Once you find your niche, you want to think of ways to tie your branding into your product. In my opinion, this is the fun part of creating a brand. Seeing the labels, colors, website, and packaging can be super exciting.
One mistake I see with new product-based businesses is overspending on branding. If you are like me and want to DIY your branding instead of paying thousands for someone to do it for you here are some resources you may want to check out.
Did you know you can find commercial art on Etsy? I am not that talented at drawing so when I want a specific image for my labels I like to find commercial art on Etsy. Just make sure to read the listing to see if the artist will allow you to use the art on your products.
Don’t use Uline if you don’t have to. I beg of you! I see so many people buying simple boxes and packaging material from Uline when you could find the same items for WAY cheaper on other sites. Browse around on Etsy and Amazon for packaging material.
If you are looking to DIY your labels and marketing material it may be wise to invest in a good printer. I love using the Epson Eco Tank 2720. The print quality is fabulous, and I only have to refill it a couple of times a year. I also buy generic ink for my printer on https://www.compandsave.com/.
It is definitely possible to create fun and unique branding without breaking the bank.
The blue ocean strategy is a great way to find a candle business niche. It helps you focus on what makes your business special so that you can use that strength to find new customers who will love what you offer. If you are interested in reading how to start a candle business I have a detailed blog post here.