September 6, 2013

On Target

There's nothing quite like a long walk in the woods to push the reset button. At least for me, it nearly always does the trick.

Lately I've been struggling to define the target markets for Odd Bird Studio. Up to this point, I've envisioned my target market as people like me; the arty crafty sort who eschew wastefulness in favor of creative reuse. This is a mistake because it is shortsighted, narrow, and - to be completely honest - the result of nothing more than sheer laziness on my part. The only real reason I envision my target market as people just like me is because I haven't given any thought at all to whom my wares might and should appeal. 

Why is it important to define (and constantly refine) your target markets? Without knowing who you are trying to reach it is next to impossible to create an effective marketing and promotions plan. Why is effective marketing and promotions important? Well, the whole point here is to make a living from making stuff. The only way I can see to do that is to market said stuff to the folks identified as being interested in owning said stuff. And to place said stuff in venues likely to be visited by the identified target markets.

One challenge I've run into is I don't much like one of the markets I've loosely defined. I'm torn by a moral dilemma. It feels wrong, sleazy really, to pitch my wares for consumption to those whose consumer habits I despise. 

This is where the long walk in the woods comes in. After clearing my head I realized that the problem isn't with the target group's behavior or choices, but with my own attitude towards them. A hard pill to swallow, but true. Who am I to judge their reasons for purchasing green alternatives to wasteful mass production? More accurately, I don't know their reasons. The dilemma isn't with the buying behaviors of the target group, but with my own unfair and biased perceptions, judgments and censure.

Clearly I have more work to do than I imagined.

PS Can anyone identify the flowering, climbing plant in the last photo? It had completely engulfed a  tree with widespread, dead limbs.

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