Subscription Box Basics with Julie Ball

Competitive Research

January 06, 2020 Julie Ball Episode 7
Subscription Box Basics with Julie Ball
Competitive Research
Chapters
Subscription Box Basics with Julie Ball
Competitive Research
Jan 06, 2020 Episode 7
Julie Ball

#007 - In this episode, Julie walks you through step-by-step her process of conducting competitive research. This will be a fun and impactful exercise to help make your box idea unique and even better.

If you are ready to keep moving forward with your subscription box idea, you can get FREE access to Julie's basic training course. Just go to SubscriptionBoxBootcamp.com/basics and register for free!

Links:

Sparkle Hustle Grow
Cratejoy

Show Notes Transcript

#007 - In this episode, Julie walks you through step-by-step her process of conducting competitive research. This will be a fun and impactful exercise to help make your box idea unique and even better.

If you are ready to keep moving forward with your subscription box idea, you can get FREE access to Julie's basic training course. Just go to SubscriptionBoxBootcamp.com/basics and register for free!

Links:

Sparkle Hustle Grow
Cratejoy

Speaker 1:

So you want to launch a subscription box, don't know where to start? Girl, you are in the right place! I'm Julie Ball, a subscription box coach and your host here at subscription box basics, a podcast for new and aspiring subscription box entrepreneurs that want to avoid overwhelm. So grab a coffee, some pen and paper and let's have some fun.

Speaker 2:

Hey Julie Ball here, your host for subscription box basics. If we haven't met before, I'm the founder and chief sparkler at Sparkle Hustle Grow a multi six figure subscription box for female entrepreneurs and in this podcast I help you get clarity on launching your own subscription box. Thank you to everyone who's been listening who subscribed to this podcast and especially for those leaving me all the fun reviews I am sending out so much gratitude. Thank you. I'm pumped. It's the new year. We are coming off a successful holiday season, which historically is the best time of the year for our industry with gift box sales, gift card sales, all on top of the regular subscriptions. Whew! It's a lot. If you're thinking about launching your own subscription box, imagine what the 2020 holiday season may hold for you. Hopefully lots of new subscribers. Okay, so welcome to episode seven. It's going to be a short one because I'm giving you a fun exercise to do homework, if you will, and I don't want to waste any time getting to it.

Speaker 2:

It's eye-opening, it's impactful, and I think you'll actually have a lot of fun doing it. Today we're going to look at the landscape of your box, the competition that's already out there, and this is where a lot of aspiring subscription box business owners pump the brakes because you get so excited about your idea and then come to find out that somebody else already beat you to it. But don't let that bother you. Don't give up. Just use it to motivate you to be innovative, to be unique. So for example, I have competition and 100% believe that there's enough business to go around for all of us as long as we all offer a unique experience. So think about the soda companies. There are so many different companies, but each brings unique flavors and experiences to the market. So I really encourage you to have this abundance mindset and it may take some working on and it's so worth it.

Speaker 2:

Some books that helped me with my abundance mindset are the You Are a Badass book series by Jen Sincero. Game changers for me, I love them. Today's lesson on competitive research is really an opportunity to dive in to see who's already out there, what they're doing well, where they're under delivering, and then use that information to make your own box unique and even better. So as mentioned in an earlier episode, I really believe it's important to find your niche. I've said it a million times, find your niche, niche down again and niche down again. Many people think that the larger the audience that you can sell to, the better, but I really, really, really believe that subscription box businesses and most other business in in general should narrow it down to their exact target audience. So it's an easier sell. So instead of trying to sell to the hundreds of thousands of people that might have this one similar interest.

Speaker 2:

Instead you could be marketing to a smaller audience that has very specific common grounds, more of them. It'll be easier sell because when they come across your box for the first time, they're going to know that that box was made just for them. And a quick example of this is let's just look at book and tea subscription. So when you get the box, it's got a sampling of tea and it's got a book for you to read. If you go to cratejoy.com which is an online marketplace for subscription boxes and look up book boxes or tea subscriptions, there's just so many. But if you niche down and say your box includes a book and tea just for the new mom, then you would differentiate yourself from the rest and it's going to be an easier sell to your exact target audience and for customers that are seeking out gifts for the new mom and it will be easier to choose your box products that will delight this exact audience.

Speaker 2:

Okay, I digress. If you want more on this topic, listen to my last episode called Carve Out Your Concept. So let's dive in to the competitive research and see where your idea stands. First, just do a quick Google search, go on YouTube and then spend some time on cratejoy.com to see who the major players are when you research with your keywords. So for example, if I was researching my audience for Sparkle Hustle Grow, I would look up words like female entrepreneur, business owner, boss babe. So maybe I would type in the actual keywords subscription box for business owners or subscription box for female entrepreneurs. So go ahead and do some research on Google, on YouTube and Cratejoy and then answered these questions. Are there boxes in your specific niche already? If so, how many? And does it feel oversaturated? Like there's, there's no room for more.

Speaker 2:

Remember though, come at it from an abundance mindset. Who are the major players that you would consider your competition? So do this research, take notes on what you find before you move on to the next step. Just write down the names of these boxes and we're going to dive a little deeper with your findings. And this is going to be fun, shouldn't be stressful. So we're going to do some detective work and then use this information to make your box even better. So let's take a look at that list that you just created of your top competition. Maybe just look at say two on that list. The two top. Go ahead and look at their Facebook page. Look at their Instagram, go look at their Cratejoy marketplace listing. They have one. Then this is the secret sauce. Write down common themes in their customer reviews and in their comments on their social media.

Speaker 2:

So a light bulb should have just turned off in your head. Visualize it with me. Ting! So you're combing through your competitor's reviews. This is awesome. So much good info. First, write down the things that the subscribers loved, things they just raved about. You can learn a lot about what your target audience wants and what makes them coming back for more based off of what they're saying that they loved. Then take note about the things that subscribers complained about in their reviews. Look at the one star, the two star reviews. Do you see any common complaints or common themes? Now these are the things that you want to avoid with your box. Sometimes they're going to be about products, sometimes they're going to be about the experience or maybe even customer service. Take note of all of it. Write down these things that the subscribers loved and the things that the subscribers complained about on your top competitor's Facebook reviews and Cratejoy reviews. This exercise gives you so much insight into what to do and what not to do, and you get to learn from your competition. It's like they're spoon-feeding you the things they probably wish they knew before they launched. So now take a look at their website. How do they present themselves on social media? What are some things you like about their branding and what are some things you don't like about their branding? Look at picture quality, engagement, content, colors, even the messages that they're giving. You can use this as you're building your brand. And I will say though, never, ever, ever steal someone else's idea, never copy someone's brand or their exact mission statement, never copy. You need to come up with your own unique brand, your own box mission, and while there might be some similarities across the board, you still need to be uniquely you, but that doesn't mean you cannot learn from the competition and what they're doing.

Speaker 2:

Next, take a look at some of their unboxing videos. You can check YouTube and you can check Facebook for these, especially those posted by their customers. Simply search in Google box name reviews and insert your competitor's name where I said box name or maybe you could search box name unboxings and then take notes of common good and bad reviews. Watch a bunch of them. On their social media, maybe they have some pictures of pass boxes. What do you like or dislike about their products? Write it down and you might get some great ideas of potential brands to put in your box. Or maybe you'll find brands or product types that you definitely don't want to put in your box. Make a note of that right now. Write it down, obviously then you can cross those brands or product types off your list. Take some time to think about how your competition is presenting themselves and what you personally would do differently to be unique and to bring even more value than the competition does.

Speaker 2:

Write down some of these concrete ideas, these actionable items that you are going to do differently. I can't wait to hear how this exercise helped you. We do it from time to time here at Sparkle Hustle Grow just to get our finger on the pulse of the industry and to keep us on our toes. You know, always innovating. Thank you so much for listening to this episode. If you found it helpful, please subscribe and leave a review. I would be so grateful as it helps others find us in the podcast of sphere, if that's even a word. In any case, thank you so much. Leave us a review so I can do my happy dance and I'll see you in the next episode.

Speaker 3:

[inaudible].