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[Podcast] Wine & Spirits Niche Pays Off

Posted by Ilise Benun on

Is designing wine labels one of your dream projects?

It is for a lot of designers, some of whom are willing to do it for nothing!

But not Cynthia Sterling.

She wanted to work with the top marketers who value design. And now she is!

When Cynthia came to Marketing Mentor in 2011, she worked from home with 1 employee, was dissolving a long partnership and reinventing her firm. Looking at her body of work and her Napa Valley location, it became clear that the strongest positioning would be a focus on wine & spirits, two related markets.Cynthia Beringer-1FIN-Retouched

We devised a 3-step strategy for the newly renamed Sterling Creativeworks:

  1. Let go of specialty food and beverage (which doesn’t mean they took those samples off the web site)
  2. Focus first on their strongest niche (wine)
  3. Then grow into a broader spirits portfolio

Four years later, Cynthia and I caught up about how the positioning is working out. Here’s what she said:

Specialization has paid off for me. The niche is working out really well, and yes things are busy. I’ve been focused on growing my team and serving some really big newer clients. I’ve hired an office manager, and I finally feel able to do the things I need to do to build my business to the next level. 

So of course I had to invite her to do a podcast/interview, in which I learned that Cynthia’s not-so-new-anymore positioning has not only been a huge relief. It has also enabled her to be much more consistent in her outreach and more relevant to her prospects through the firm’s content marketing, including the newsletter, Elixir.

Listen to the latest podcast/interview to find out:

  • How the positioning has evolved over in the 4 years since it was established
  • How the tagline, “smart design for indulgence brands” supports the name and enhances the positioning, allowing a broader market to feel included
  • How and when Cynthia knew she’d chosen the right niche and how long it took her to get comfortable with her niche (longer than you might imagine)
  • Which marketing tools are most effective when pursuing the large companies in the wine and spirits space
  • That she was surprised to discover the amount of work available in the category.
  • How she deals with the fact that this is a very competitive niche
  • How she detects the prospects who don’t value design (i.e. who’s a good fit and who isn’t)

If you have the Pick a Niche Kit, you might recognize Sterling Creativeworks as one of the 10 niche examples. If you don’t have it yet, now’s the time to get it! It will walk you step by step through the process of picking your own niche, so you too can relax and focus! More info here…PANK_thumb_med

And if you haven’t subscribed to the podcast on iTunes, you can do that here.

  • More in: best niches for graphic designers, niche marketing, Pick A Niche, Podcast, Posts by Ilise

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