In my last post, I raised the question of how do you determine the needs of your target market.
In the November 2007 issue of Business 2.0, they featured four “One Man Brands” — or entrepreneurs who have become business icons whose names have become huge brands. One of those featured is Rachel Ray, the only female cook in the Food Network that my husband loves to watch.
What striked me in the article was the description of how Rachel Ray started her cooking empire. From the Business 2.0 article :
As an eager young buyer for gourmet market Cowan & Lobel in Albany, N.Y., Rachael Ray spent hours spying on customers, looking for tipoffs to new trends. One odd pattern she noticed again and again: Many well-to-do shoppers would bypass the produce section and head straight for the prepared-foods counter. That gave her an idea: Why not run a cooking class for harried consumers, showing them how to make gourmet meals in 30 minutes flat?
And her observation proved to be a gold mine. There indeed is a huge market of people looking for quick recipes. Of course, Rachel Ray wouldn’t be a success without hard work, lots of perseverance and good lucks, but the key to all her success is stumbling upon this cooking niche on which she built her business.