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Creator to Consumer – Market Evaluation

Season Finale – Season 1 Episode 9 –

30 years and still learning - Having spent most of my career post leaving the Royal Navy working in consumer goods, primarily in the perishable food sector. I find it fascinating that I still learn every day, sometimes it’s a reminder of what I have forgot but for the most part, I learn something new every day… Today’s episode is about Market Evaluation

Why is important to know what space you are in?

Most product innovations and developments come from a crazy idea or someone wanting to make our or their lives easier, delivery a better option or product to the consumer, all driven by passion for the idea, hence the title of the series, ‘Creator to Consumer’

It is important to know if you are a true innovator, creating a new category or subcategory or if you are delivering a better option of an existing item. As this drives many factors in the delivery stage.

What if my idea is unique and brand new?

This is very rare these days, however, if you truly have something no one has ever had or does not exist, although there are less competitive pressures, you will have to spend a lot of time and money convincing the world they need what you have developed, versus competing for sales in an existing category.

Quote: As Mark Cuban once said “Yes, I was an overnight success, it only took 15 years.”

The good thing is you just need to work on what your costs are and how much you need to make margin wise and the start selling it… simple I know, however, everything has a value and don’t get carried away with your own importance when it comes to product value, listen to as many people as you can and see what comes back.

What if there is a category and products out there?

First of all, go look, go to as many grocery & retail stores, check online see what is out there, their features and benefits, buy the products, check their pricing, check promotional investment, taste, test, use the products, define the market and your competition.

Don’t fixate over the competition, just be very knowledgeable about what is out there and how it compares with your idea and how you differentiate in that space.

There are many ‘me too’ brands and products, if you are one of those your point of difference shouldn’t only be price, you should have a new packaging format, different flavor, additional usage options, maybe yours is microwavable when others are not… look for the differences, see the features and explain the benefits in what your finished product delivers.

What if I am new to the industry/product space?

There are many ways to learn about a new category or product arena, some of the harder ones are the best way to learn, because you won’t make that mistake again.

LinkedIn can be your friend here, you can search out advisors, consultants, industry experts who generally will give you the time of day initially to help you find out basic knowledge, or read my series, that will help too, hopefully!

What are the key basics needed to understand the market?

You need to know the regular market pricing, the promotional pricing from your competitors, how many products brands are in the space, are there any big players, where does the product sit, is it retail or foodservice, is it C store or Feeder focused. What are the standard packaging formats, would a different format work for your product and the category?

This should be carried out over a period, with repeat visits to the same and new locations, especially for the promotional pricing part, so you can learn the frequency and type of promotions featured in your chosen category. You need to visit as many outlets as possible, don’t get analysis paralysis, know your market and who is in it and what they do and how often.

Where do I go from here?

Once you have enough (never enough and always too much – take a balanced view) data, market intel and category understanding then you can start building a plan to enter the market.

What if my products focus is Foodservice use?

Then it’s a little different, get to know your local chef’s especially the ones who either own their operation or have menu development authority, if you product is food based, initially offer them free samples to test your product out, remember you don’t need to give them a whole production run of samples, as most ingredient use is relatively small per dish or test, but don’t look cheap either, discuss it with the Chef, see what they think is a fair and useful sample amount… if they love it and want to use it, you are off and running, customer #1, 2, 3 etc.

Now it’s all clear as mud, need more, please ask.

In our next episode, we will be talking about Margins & Why? Thanks for reading and continuing your journey from Creator to Consumer.

Interested in reading or finding out more about selling your passion or our Creator to Consumer series please visit our Chatter page at and click on Creator to Consumer or our general site at, for more direct interaction please e mail us at

Remember, whatever you know “good luck keeping up”

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