I just had some really good questions thrown at me by Andi from BrandResistant.com
I thought it might be helpful to you if I shared the conversation (with Andi's permission of course!). So here it is below:
"Hey Heath, I checked out your blog and I'm looking forward to more posts on innovative ways of selling. I was wondering if you sell internationally and if you have any particular advice for Aussies on how to compete?"
"I had a look at your site and love your stuff. What I would recommend to you is to be more blatant with your message. Particularly with your site design. I had to surf around a bit before I got the idea, but it should really be obvious from the first page and really have an impact.
The stronger your message, the more people will be drawn to it. Keep in mind that you know your brand back to front but for a new visitor, you need to almost shock them with the stand you are taking.
Be consistently blatant with ALL your marketing messages and people will begin to take notice of you in a big way."
"Thanks for your message and for checking out my site...and for the advice, I really appreciate. I started this business on my own and sometimes feel like I am flailing around in the dark if you know what I mean I will update my homepage to be more blatant.
I have priced my items with the minimum profit margin I need to survive. As my t's are sweatshop free, eco-friendly and the business is carbon neutral, I have ethical costs to consider. My concern is that I am unable to compete with the under $20/T market in the US. Do you see this as a problem or is this what you mean by being more blatant about my message?
Thanks again. I truly appreciate you taking the time."
"Andi, I really believe that if what you stand for is coming across as strong as possible, than the $20 tees in the US wont even be competition. [Because you will be positioning brand in a different market]. I recommend pricing your tees closer to the 30-40 dollar mark and really hit hard your message on the site. Perhaps even a page that explains why you cost more, but list the benefits. If you can effectively reach your target market - I'm sure that they will have no problem paying a little extra for ethical, environmentally friendly products.
I've actually had sales lift after raising my prices. It's all about the way the customer perceives the product (and it's your job to create the perception). In my case, my customers saw my tees as a more premium, high-end t-shirt when I almost doubled the prices.
Another button to press in your marketing messages is Rarity. People always pay more for something that is in limited supply. Perhaps even consider limiting each run and give each t-shirt within each collection a number. eg. 1 of 15, 2 of 15, etc.
Why not list some auctions on eBay using all of this information I'm giving you in the listing and gauge how much people are willing to pay for your stuff. Don't be discouraged though if you don't get any bids - eBay can be very fickle, but you might be suprised.
All the best!"