Monday, 8 March 2010

Product Development (#2 in How to Market Your Brand Online)

  • Make Something you Love & Have a Strong Theme or Brand
Every seller goes through stages of ‘finding’ themselves and I think the best way to see this is through their products. I started off making general beaded jewellery and needed to find my niche in the market… then I did through Feathers and Origami! I also find I am attracted to sellers that make unique pieces that I couldn’t normally find in shops, or quirky ideas that make you think ‘Why didn’t I think of that!?!’

The hardest thing for me (and I’m sure a lot of fellow creators) is to know what areas you are going to specialise in. I have seen a lot of forums that dabble in ‘is my shop confused’, and to be honest most aren’t confusing as the seller’s style flows through the shop.  Just because you have a lot of different products (pillows and scarves) doesn’t mean your shop will be too confusing for buyers.  If you have a ‘theme’ or ‘sense’ about your creations it won’t make much difference what you sell so long as that remains the same throughout.

I have thought about product expansion a lot lately.  I like making earrings but also like making hair accessories and with different materials (paper, feather, chain). In essence I am still keeping within the same category (jewelry and accessories) but sometimes it’s hard to know what to focus on or what will sell the best! 

Here is an example of having a strong brand and being able to use this across various mediums - Prints, Dolls, Paper Goods & Accessories! 

  • If Possible, Incorporate Seasons & Events into your Pieces
Rather than following trends, why not follow seasons and events and work these into your pieces? I have found this works really well for sellers. For example having Halloween themed products in October or Green things for St. Patrick’s Day. Your chance of being picked for the front page of Etsy and on e-newsletters increases as well as searches for these products by customers.

  • Be a Specialist in Your Chosen Category
I also really like sellers that specialise in one particular item. If you are onto a good thing… just focus on that and don’t try to dabble too much into other areas.

Another area that seems to do well online is wedding products.  There is always a market for weddings so designing elegant jewelry, hair accessories and even wedding invitations usually work very well. 

Here is an example of being a specialist in a chosen area.

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