I’ve been saying this for decades…..You need to know your market.
Where are they? How many are in it? What do they like? How do they live their lives?
How can you talk to them as cheaply and efficiently as possible?
And more importantly, do they want and are willing to buy what you have to offer?
No hungry market, no business.
I have three examples from my observations as examples.
Let’s go, three real life examples:
1-The “let’s go Beverly Hills” high end wedding gown boutique. I’ve worked with and known the owner of one of the biggest wedding gown stores in our city for many years. Dresses flew off the racks and business was brisk. We even had an amazing print display which she generously allowed. All was going great…. until the owner got it in her head that expensive high end designer gowns would be all the rage. She was wrong. Dead wrong, Within a year the store was gone. shuttered. Poof! Too much inventory, little demand and most likely a serious debt load to finance this crazy idea…..sad.
2- Dragonfly restaurant in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. one of our fave places to dine out at when there. It was started by a lady from San Fransisco, who oddly enough, had little experience running a restaurant, but always wanted to. And she did it right. The DragonFly was a huge success. She eventually sold it, and the new owners ran it into the ground. How and why? First off, they had bad ideas including way, way too much focus of being a super high end place. And, as a result, the service and food suffered. And they lost it. New owners have since taken it over and returned it to it’s former glory.
3-AppleGrove Bistro- I knew this place was doomed from the get go. It was back in the 90’s when they opened, lasted about one year. I hated this place. Dined out once and I knew they were doomed. The service sucked, and the food was way, way too “bougie” for our blue collar hard rock mining community. We like meat and potatoes, poutine and burgers.
The common thread in these three stories is the delusional thinking that high end works in a market where there are very few who are interested in high end products and services.
Know your market. Don’t fool yourself. I admire those who run studios in markets where they sell high end photographic products. in my city, t’ain’t so. I’ve been super successful selling a mid range service and products based on memberships, promotions and offers that made sense.
This is not a new idea folks. I’ve been haring no this core idea since the marketing bug hit me decades ago.
And I’m always willing to share, help other photographers grow, and mostly, stay grounded, focused and profitable.
Yours in success in photography,