Cosplay, or "costume play," is one of the most popular multimedia arts among makers today. Generally focused around conventions or other large events, cosplay makers create hyper-detailed and realistic costumes to transform themselves and others into their favorite pop culture characters from all sorts of media. For all kinds of maker brands, cosplay is a market segment too valuable to ignore.
Cosplay is one of the fastest growing and most innovative maker communities today. If you've never heard of it, we're willing to bet you've seen it in some form or another without realizing it. Even then, it can be hard to put into words what cosplay is all about from an outside perspective. What we can say for sure is that it's a lot more than just "dressing up."
Cosplay makers invest a lot to make their costumes: time, money, and creativity, just to name a few. But another important piece of the puzzle is the repertoire of crafting skills they have to back them up. Cosplay is an interesting maker segment because it can combine so many disciplines to come to a finished product. One of the most important creative skills today's cosplayers rely on is a grasp of sewing techniques, both basic and advanced.
Being a cosplayer is seriously fun and rewarding most of the time. Getting to let your creative side run rampant and see a costume idea come to fruition is an amazing thing. (Read about how Elyse lets her imagination run wild when she's making costumes for Spacecat Senpai Cosplay or learn how Cody and Ryan make families smile with their Rubber City Cosplay costumes and photo booth.) However, there are certain challenges and problems that arise with every cosplayer, no matter the level of difficulty.
Topics: Cosplay Makers
Once you finally get a grasp on what cosplay is all about — people who love to dress up as their favorite pop-culture characters and build powerful fan communities around doing so — your next task is to figure out how your company or product fits in. But how do you go about reaching those communities and making your products part of their conversations?
The first step to entering the cosplay market segment is to really understand what cosplay makers need, as well as the trends and culture surrounding those communities. Getting your facts straight ahead of time will help you enter the industry in a natural, valuable way that cosplay makers are willing to trust and, hopefully, buy into.
Keep reading for our list of the most important things to know about the cosplay market segment and a case study from a company that made a successful entrance into the industry.