Posts Tagged ‘product’
I think for creatives, for anyone really, the hardest part is coming up with that truly “original” idea. But, sometimes it doesn’t take a truly “original” idea, it’s just looking at something that has been done before and finding a way to make it better and make it your own. How can you take a tea towel and customize it to your design aesthetic? Are there products that you love, but that you wish came in a certain pattern or function? Our entire Kitchen Line was started with a need for a modern Mixer Cover Design. When I couldn’t find the style of prints I wanted I decided to make and sell my own. I can’t tell you how many handmade stories I have read where entire businesses were started from an absence of a specific product someone was looking for.
To help define if your idea is original you have to be able to look at your product and/or service and answer the following questions (be honest now!):
- How can we make our products/service more original and uniquely our own?
- How can we make our products better and different than our competition?
- How can we make our products/service harder for people to copy just from seeing a photo or sharing a bit of our process?
For us the process of answering the above questions developed as we walked through the following phases in our product development: Phase 1: Materials, Phase 2: Production, and Phase 3: Value.
PHASE 1: Materials: While it’s ok to start with what you have it’s also important to think about the type of materials you are using, what do they say about your brand, the over quality they add to your products, and their availability? Stores want to sell and customers want to buy a product because of it’s unique materials and style. If you have to change your product depending on the materials available it can be harder to establish brand recognition and in turn see a consistent profit.
Originally we started creating our concrete jewelry out of materials we had found like: rope from the old pull windows we took out of our house, recycled wire, carved bones, found buckles in an old shed, and metal casings we purchased at a local craft store. All these materials worked great until we sold out of that particular style of necklace and people wanted more! It was at that point we felt stuck because we didn’t know if we could re-create a similar design without those exact materials. We decided to think of our first initial jewelry set as a sort of “test” round. Taking a step back we did lots of research and established new relationships with vendors that were reliable and could provide an unlimited quantity should we need to order large batches in the future. By slowing down our production and taking time to find quality materials that were available at our disposal we were ready to meet the need we had created within our own market, felt confident about the materials we were using, and also opened up the doors for both consignment and wholesale retailers.
We are excited to announce that we are officially working on a Look Book featuring our Green Couch Design Kitchen Line and Concrete Jewelry! The conceptual process is just getting started but we are already asking ourselves tons of questions as we figure out what are the key messages that we want to say about our products, our brand as a “lifestyle”, and/or both? If a picture is worth a 1,000 words then we had better make sure we have a clear vision about who we are and the type of visual messages we are sending our customers.
As we’ve been researching ideas for our Look Book we’ve noticed two different approaches toward selling a product:
1: Lifestyle Based Marketing: Imagery that forces customers to desire a product because of the way they feel when they are wearing that object or have that product a part of their life. When you aim your marketing toward a lifestyle approach you want potential customers to first fall in love with who you are and as a result purchase your products. With this type of imagery you are not just selling a piece of jewelry, you are selling a feeling based on the type of lifestyle your customers long to have.
Example: In this commercial you see the target audience is young adults and young families that are adventurous and want to “go” and “do”. They are not ok with sitting by and letting life pass by, instead they want to live life to the fullest. Ford focused it’s marketing efforts on the “feeling” their target market wants to have towards life (the problem) and how the Ford Explorer can help their customers accomplish that (the solution).
2: Product Based Marketing: Imagery that sells you a product by focusing on it’s features and services. Typically, this is for a product that is very specialized and more focused on the individual. Marketing efforts are narrowed into making one type of product and making it better than anyone else in your market. Customers purchase this type of product because it’s the best in the industry and it offers them something that your competition does not.
STASH is the place you go to get the good “stuff”. It’s your stash. It’s the stuff you cherish longer than a moment, it’s the stuff you love for years. From handmade, vintage and fair trade items STASH offers well designed, unique gifts that are truly timeless.