Is Your Product Line Cohesive?
Once you’ve developed some amazing items that you want to sell, step back and take a look at what you’ve created. Do you have a line of products that are interrelated and form a unified look? I don’t mean that everything has to be the same color or look alike, just that the products should seem related in some fashion. The easiest way to do that is to concentrate on using a consistent material or technique. You could also combine various methods in to one type of “mixed media” but you don’t want to present disjointed products that have little in common. It should be easy for the customer to take a look at your items and understand what it is you’re selling. Don’t be the hobbyist who can’t decide what to sell.
If you are like me, you have lots of interests in arts and crafts and it is very easy to start branching out in all directions and trying new products or new techniques. To form a cohesive product line, you will need to concentrate on one ‘craft’ and improve your skills in that area. Look at old ideas and create new lines from those ideas. Try to produce items that can be made more easily in larger volumes with a streamlined process.
Your product line should include a variety of price points from something under $20 retail to higher end, one of a kind items. Concentrate on the mid range price points and have more of these types of items available for sale than the lower or higher price points. Do offer one or two products that are a premium version of your mid price product line for that segment of customers who want to buy the ‘platinum’ variety item. Don’t try to control costs with this product, add real value such as using more valuable materials and create an incredible result.
Once you’ve got a line of products that are cohesive and include a range of price points, think about how to make your products easier to buy. One way to enhance the value is to name your product lines. Perhaps your lines are coordinated by color; consider using the color names to develop a memorable name for the line. Look for ways to include the benefits or functionality of the product into the name. Emphasize how the product will make the customer feel and add a story to your product. Telling a story about you or about how the product was made will add value and enhance the ability to sell the item.
Next time, I’ll talk about diversifying your product line (if you’ve already been selling your work for a while) and how to deal with change.