🇺🇸 Know yourself (and your customers)

Kadry Diallo
Nov 10, 2018 · 4 min read

It’s truly sad to see designers invest huge amounts of time and money in their marketing strategy when trying to reach their customers. It’s such a wild area that it is difficult to know where to start, as well as to measure tangible results. We support a much simpler and inexpensive approach, which enables you to truly understand your customers. We believe in making products that resemble you and building a customer base which is close to you.

By following these simple steps, you will be able to operate in a cost effective manner

Products that look like you

Become your first and best client.

In the field of new technology, this idea is called “Eat Your Own Dog Food”. Of course, it is important to follow the trends, and to draw inspiration from them to improve your activity . However, you should always keep in mind to create new products that you like and would also use. Having this state of mind is the best way to stand out and be authentic.

Take for example, Joyce, the designer of the brand Caurine, which is available on Afrikrea. Although Joyce doesn’t usually wear jewelry, she has imagined beautiful products that even she could wear. That is to say, jewelry that is fine, discreet and would go with all of her outfits. Being a very demanding customer herself, she’s also made sure to provide an impeccable shopping experience. This goes from packaging to extra gifts that customers receive with great joy. And that joy translates in huge sales: 40 days after the launch of her brand, she generated more than 7000 € of sales, and is regularly one of the 10 best sellers of Afrikrea. On top of that, she has received more than 300 positive reviews in just 6 months.

Build a customer base close to you

Those closest to you should be your first target.

Honestly, if your loved ones do not like your creations, convincing strangers will be very complicated.

Your family and friends will be more open and supportive throughout the testing of your first products” This way, you will already have an initial customer base which appreciates you and recognizes your authenticity.

By building an excellent customer experience and spreading positive word of mouth, you will turn your first customers into loyal and committed ambassadors.

The most successful ready-to-wear brands have also adopted this strategy. Typically, the founders of MAAJ , SEZANE or NET-A-PORTER, are also customers of their own products. They therefore have an intimate knowledge of the distribution channels they choose.

Betting on your close customer base

When launching a new product, creating advertising campaigns and acquiring new customers is very expensive and with no real guarantee.

The biggest marketing mistake is to target a fantasized clientele like “bobo”, “rich connoisseur” or “authentic fans of handmade goods”.

It is very difficult to reach people which are not of the same tribe as you, as they have different habits, tastes and reflexes..

The first customers are the ones we should invest time on. Not only are they your best ambassadors, they will also attract new customers through positive word of mouth.

There is a double interest in terms of marketing First, you will have better information on the appropriate distribution channels (which media, influencer, Instagram accounts, Events etc …). Second, your communication towards this audience will be more intimate and relevant.

It is therefore more interesting in terms of cost and time, to focus on a target that resembles you, to better understand and innovate.

On Afrikrea.com, Half of the designers know neither their 10 best customers, nor the part they represent in their turnover.

This is the main reason why we are investing so much time, in improving Afrikrea’s internal messaging.

Thanks to our website’s statistics, designers can identify their best customers, and pamper them with kind messages or discount coupons. And this is just a start ;-).

No more wasting time and money. These steps to follow are simple, and you will see yourself and your brand improve every step of the way. You’ll have the pleasure of starting with an audience that loves you and supports your activity. As a designer, it’s important to dedicate your time to creations that please and pamper your loyal customers. Positive word of mouth will do the rest, and thus expanding your business will be child’s play.

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Kadry Diallo

Written by

Cofounder @Afrikrea and history’s strongest disciple

Afrikrea’s Blog

Le Blog Afrikrea.com : opinions, analyses et conseils sur la mode africaine l’entrepreneuriat créatif et les startups