The Extra-mile Exercise: Selling scented candles

Disclaimer: I am not involved in selling scented candles nor do I know anyone that is involved in that business. I picked this example so that we can brainstorm the concept of “walking the extra-mile”

Scenario: Lisa is an entrepreneur who has just set-up a business of manufacturing and selling scented candles. She approaches you for some help with strategy. Specifically, she wanted to get a website for her business as many of her friends told her that she needed a website.

Your project: Walk the extra mile and provide value WAY greater than what Lisa is expecting

How can you participate:  First, while contributions are welcome on the blog, you don’t HAVE to contribute to participate in this project. You can work on this exercise all by yourself or team up with a few friends or colleagues.

Second, if you are kind enough to contribute, please do so by including your ideas in the comments section. Please include your website or some contact information.

Third, assume that offering to design a REALLY good website is a commodity offering and does not constitute walking the extra mile.

Opening Thoughts or Points to Ponder

Here are some initial ideas for you to consider

1. Extending the Value Chain

One reason why people buy scented candles is to give them as gifts. Knowing this, you can do one or more of the following:

1.1 Sell custom-designed greeting cards that will go along with the candles

1.2 Sell wooden candle stands

1.3 Sell beautifully designed glass candle holders

1.4 How about providing a service where Lisa could gift-wrap and ship candles along with a greeting card as a package?

2. Expand Distribution Outlets

2.1 Could Lisa sell these candles on eBay?

2.2 How about other outlets – Yahoo! Store, Amazon etc.?

2.3 What other retail outlets can Lisa target (May beTarget, Macys, Michaels, Ross)?

3. Co-marketing arrangements

Who else can sell these candles along with their products? Here are some of them:

3.1 Gift shops

3.2 Stores selling aromatherapy products

4. Explore marketing options

4.1 Newsletter?

4.2 Blog?

4.3 Participate in newsgroups or start one?

4.4 Use Ning to create social networking for candle lovers

4.5 Create a candle-lover group in Facebook?

Rest is up to you. Have a great week ahead!