The market can be segmented into two different groups, residential customers and corporate clients, which are further described in the following sub-topics.
4.1 Market Segmentation
The market can be segmented into two different groups:
Residential customers. This group would require The Art Sentry for packaging a piece of art that they are selling and must ship, or if they are moving the art work. The residential customers will also use the Sentry to have works hung in their home. The residential customers are often the preferred customer to work for because they are choosing The Art Sentry because they are concerned about protecting their art as much as possible. These customers are usually art collectors or investors who see the value in paying for extra care to protect their art work.
Corporate customers. This group will utilize The Art Sentry for hanging services as well as packaging art work. The corporate customer may have less of a personal connection to the art pieces, but recognizes the importance of protecting the investment.
4.2 Target Market Segment Strategy
The Art Sentry will not need to do much in terms of strategies for the two different target markets. Both segments will look for service providers in the same places, so there is no need to develop independent segmenting strategies.
4.3 Service Business Analysis
This market is a focused niche with few people that solely concentrate on this specialty. This industry is serviced by a few specialists, but most of the business activity is provided by generalist packagers that do not concentrate on art work. Analyzed from an industry perspective, the generalist is often not sufficiently qualified to be providing adequate art packaging services. If the prospective customer were to ask an independent gallery or an art museum for advice on how best to package and transport their art work, they will likely be told to avoid the generalists and look instead for a specialist to provide safety of their art work while it is being handled.
4.3.1 Competition and Buying Patterns
The competition can be broken down into several categories:
Handymen: This group of competitors are often called to provide hanging services for art work. The type of people that use this service provider may not recognize the inherent insuperiority of this service provider. This might be explained by the fact that the value of the art is for appearance, instead of as a monetary investment, and so the desire to keep the costs down is an important factor in their decision.
Shippers (such as Mail Boxes, etc.): These competitors do handle a fair amount of the packaging business. Their popularity is based on the perception that, because they are competent for packaging other objects, they are also qualified to handle art work. Art pieces are a very distinct type of cargo, with each type of art, whether a water color, painting, sculpture, or mobile requiring special attention and knowledge in the protection against harm during transport. This knowledge is gained through very specific work with art packaging, not general packaging techniques.
Commercial shippers that also offer packaging services: This competitor services the niche of packaging art to a much smaller degree than the Mail Boxes, etc.-type companies and also possesses the same general perception and lack of proper knowledge needed to ensure safe transport.
Galleries: Most galleries offer packaging and hanging as a value-added service to their customers. It is unusual for a gallery to provide these service for non-customers.
People, for a multitude of reasons, will choose these less-qualified packagers without understanding that the wrong service provider can do significant damage to a piece of art work.