The Extra-mile Exercise: Selling scented candles

The Extra-mile Exercise: Selling scented candles

By Rajesh Setty on Sun 14 Oct 2007, 7:08 PM – 5 Comments

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!


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Posted in the Business Models category.

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5 Comments so far, Add Yours

Balaji Sowmyanarayan  on October 21st, 2007

The biggest service I can render to her is not extending the Scope of her biz in the name of going the extra mile.

What Lisa needs is differentiator. It need not be physical or actual. An authentic story around the offering will be a good place to start. Surely, she has chosen scented candles over million other things, that is a good place to start on the story idea. Make the story authentic and compelling. Make the transactions frictionless as possible( within her scope), give follow up course on techniques(online and offline) as she progresses in nuggets. Then she will start sharing (working!)success tips with me. That is ROI for the extra mile.

-Balaji S.


priya  on October 26th, 2007

good one

Sriram  on November 12th, 2007

I have a small suggestion where Lisa can try to market her products. It is called This website was eye catching when I saw that the stuff available in this website are mostly unique. I am sure, Lisa would have some special designs and special fragrance that would be a good opportunity for her business, can be advertised in this website. She can come up with seasonal candles for special occasions and update them on this website too. I would say, this is a right time to start off as it is the time for gifts. I hope I added value in the way i could. lol



Don Stevens  on February 7th, 2008

If you have the right product, you can sell like crazy. However, I have found that while we make all our scented soy candles and all our soaps the marketing is harder and more laborious. Just like creating the label is tougher than making the product.

We’ve just started an ebay store with one person who already has it. We are just focused on making product and marketing our website.

I heard you also mention about candle holders, these do not sell well at all for me.

pang  on December 8th, 2008

We are constantly endeavoring to improve our natural products and processes. In fact our new manufacturing plant will be 100% solar powered in Thailand. It will be 100% self-sustainable and will give us the ability continually improve and grow. Check out our progress at our self-sufficient facility page.

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