A big part of running any business is understanding who your target market will be. Many businesses fail if the owner doesn’t understand their target market. They will spend time trying to appeal to people who aren’t the primary users and often neglect the people who typically use their product. Sometimes this happens because the business owner doesn’t do the proper market research before launching his or her business. Luckily, for candle-makers preparing to light their business up, we’re here to help.
The main target market for candles in general are women with families. You can best reach them by:
- Going Where Consumers Gather
- Learning Why Women Buy Candles and Use It in Your Promotions
- Changing Candles with Seasons
Going Where Consumers Gather
The first step to reaching customers is to go where they are. Etsy is a highly popular site for people making any sort of arts and crafts to sell. It can certainly be helpful, but you can’t slap something on Etsy and expect it to sell. You’ll have to do some heavy self-promotion and find a way to differentiate yourself from the many other sellers on the platform.
Many local communities also have Facebook and Instagram groups dedicated to helping local crafters sell their wares. Even small business groups can be helpful, but you must be careful to follow the group’s rules about excessive advertising. Social media groups aren’t helpful for you if you’re banned.
There’s a reason to stay local. With major candle brands in the stores and lots of candle-makers on Etsy that blend together, your best-selling point is that you’re a member of their community. People are often more inclined to support local businesses.
That said, you can’t let social media do all your work. You have to go out and meet people. A good place to start is craft fairs, flea markets, state fairs, and local events that have stands for souvenirs that many women frequent. Getting these set up can be a bit of an investment, but it is necessary. People need to see your products and more importantly, you. When they see you selling good products, they’ll trust you and be more likely to buy your products. When you sell products be sure to give them a link to your site or address to your storefront
Learn Why Women Buy Candles and Use It in Your Promotions
Women with families are the biggest consumers of candles for various reasons. These reasons can be used in your advertisement. For some people, candles can be stress relievers. Raising a family can be stressful for anyone. Making food for often picky children, dealing with babies, helping with schoolwork, and doing all the other things that come with raising children can be overwhelming. Particularly for women who have to work outside the home and have to juggle that with family. For these women, stress relief is a priority. To reach these women consider presenting the scientific evidence that candles can help.
Promote the scientific effects of candles
There is a surprising amount of scientific evidence to back up the link between candles and stress relief, and you can share it.
A way to do this is to talk about the different kinds of light. Certain kinds of light will put your brain in certain states. High-intensity light (often called “blue light”) can cause the brain to enter a high-energy state. Frequent emitters of this light include computers, smartphones, and fluorescent lights. While blue light is necessary, spending a prolonged amount of time in this state is not good for your mental health and not good for sleep patterns. Low light, such as light from candles, helps you get into a more relaxed state of mind.
This can be explained by science. Bright light induces the brain into a reactive and alert state (beta brainwaves), Low-light slips the brain into a relaxed and creative state (alpha brainwaves). Spending extra time in the beta brainwave state, you can slip into the even more-relaxed theta brainwave state. This is one reason that people use candles for meditation. Whether or not you’re into meditation, what is true is that after spending some time in this relaxed state, you have more creativity, more focus, and better sleep. This scientific knowledge in your marketing will help you reach even the most skeptical of these women.
Some Women Buy Candles for Practical Reasons
Of course, people may not understand the science behind all this. What they do know is that there are practical effects and these reasons can also be used in advertising. Sometimes things can happen in a home that will make it smell bad. Cooking disasters, pets being pets, and kids being kids will all cause problems with the smell of the house.
While there are products that can help with this, many of them have strong chemicals that can be unappealing. Scented candles can help with this to some extent. What can be helpful for candle-makers is the fact that a lot of women like to have multiple candles. At least one for each room where they may be needed.
Many women also buy candles as a safety measure. Sometimes, power will fail and candles can help while they’re waiting for power to come back on. The scents can also help children who might be scared during the event. Many moms will like the notion of something that will help kids stay calm during storms or other events that will put them in distress.
Other women will use candles for the ambiance. Candles are commonly used by women for romantic dinners, family gatherings, or cold rainy days.
But for some women, it isn’t about practicality. Candles are one of life’s affordable little luxuries. Some women may not be able to afford rare jewelry or crystal chandeliers. But they can afford a candle. Unless you’re intentionally aiming for the high-end market, try to keep your candles as affordable as possible.
Changing Candles with Seasons
This is all certainly compelling science, but now the question is what kind of candles you should make. Sometimes, it depends on the season. Many women will prefer different scents at different times.
For spring, you’ll want to sell candles with floral scents. Things like lilacs and lavender for example. You can also cash in on Valentine’s Day with scents of red things like cherries and strawberries. Since everything else is pink and red on Valentine’s Day, you might as well cash in. Don’t forget to market to men who are looking for quick gifts.
For summer, women will like tropical scents like pineapple and coconut. Others who like the outdoors may want scents that remind them of the outdoors. They’ll want scents that remind them of rivers and woodlands. Since summer is a season where festivals and fairs are popular, scents of fair food like cotton candy and funnel cake can be a good seller.
When it becomes fall, your first instinct will probably be to have pumpkin spice (since everything else will have pumpkin spice). While that is a logical place to go, don’t forget other scents as you build your business. Things like pies and apple cider are other popular scents.
Wintertime can be especially lucrative for candle-makers. Around 30% of candles are bought as gifts. Shoppers tend to like scents that remind them of the holiday season. Things like peppermint, chocolate, and Christmas cookies are good scents to sell.
You can also micro-target. A lot of younger women are getting into meditation, yoga, and other Eastern practices. Certain scents can assist with meditation. Scents like sandalwood can help a person calm down and get closer to nature.
Older women may like scents that remind them of “the good old days.” They can be brought in with scents of apple pie or other things that remind them of their youth. If you can, get a good label that helps them bring back those memories. Since older women tend to be more religious, you may want to include a family-friendly Bible if you are seeking to get a piece of that particular market.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there anything I should be careful of in my marketing?
Yes. When talking about things like stress relief and anxiety in your marketing, you should never make any claims that go beyond “may help.” And you should never try to make medical-related claims. A lot of unscrupulous people have a habit of pushing things as alternatives to medicine and therapy to get more sales. This is not only wrong, unethical, and extremely dangerous, it can get you into legal trouble. It will also turn off customers. When people make grandiose claims, skepticism increases. You might get a few customers; you’ll drive away a lot more.
Should I only target women?
Not at all. It’s good to target men. The cliché way is to present candles as a gift to give their wives or girlfriends. A better way to target them is to add scents that both men and women will like. Men will like scents that remind them of outdoor locations like forests and rivers. But remember your target audience is women so don’t neglect them.
Looking to start your own candle making business, check out my startup documents here
Please note that the contents of this blog are for informational and entertainment purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Any action taken based on the information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk. Additionally, all images used in this blog are generated under the CC0 license of Creative Commons, which means they are free to use for any purpose without attribution.
Meet Shawn Chun: Entrepreneur and Candle Business Fan.
I’m a happy individual who happens to be an entrepreneur. I have owned several types of businesses in my life from a coffee shop to an import and export business to an online review business plus a few more and now I create online candle business resources for those interested in starting new ventures. It’s demanding work but I love it. I do it for those passionate about their business and their goals. That’s why when I meet a candle business owner at a craft fair, farmers market, retail location or anywhere else I see myself. I know how hard the struggle is to obtain and retain clients, finding good employees all while trying to stay competitive. That’s why I created Candle Business Boss: I want to help candle business owners like you build a thriving business that brings you endless joy and supports your ideal lifestyle.