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Brand Your Creative Business

Lesson 5 of 22

Does Your Product Generate Emotion?

Megan Auman

Brand Your Creative Business

Megan Auman

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Lesson Info

5. Does Your Product Generate Emotion?

Lesson Info

Does Your Product Generate Emotion?

What are they saying online? They were saying how their products make themselves feel a little bit yeah absolutely I mean I'm a studio saying I make cards but I'm not sure how they make me feel I know that I want others to see my cards and feel like they want to connect with someone they know and love but I'm not sure what the specific emotion is for themselves s so then the challenge there is so if you're making the cards sit down and take the time to actually use them in the same way that your customers would so you know, send them out to people because that's really I think the thing you're so busy making them that you forget now it is the act of sitting down and writing you know, even just signing your name on a card and then putting it in the mail that's not something that a lot of people do anymore now I know we have a huge online audience that's banking that there's a pretty good portion of the population that still wants to do that cleaning we have a lot of great stationary peo...

ple watching online but you know, sitting down and getting in that mindset of what if you know I would challenge her to do something like I'm going to send out one card every day for the next hundred days I'm going to think of someone to send a card too and if you did that, that would totally change the way that you felt about your own products and how you talked about your own products because you used them so consistently and that's what I mean by becoming your own biggest fan. So it's not enough to sit down and write one card, send one every day for a hundred days. How does that make you feel? The flip side is that you could realize, you know what I'm going to send out? Ah hundred christmas cards right now in one day, and how does that make you feel? Because that might make you feel completely differently. It's kind of stressful, right? So that might give you a completely different insight into the emotions that your customers air feeling on that's. Another way to play with that emotional trigger is if your customers use your product in a stressful situation and you could make that situation less stressful and that's exactly what you do, monica, they use your property in a time when they're feeling stressed and you take some of that stress away. That is a huge emotional connection, right? You just like who? So much relief. So if you know that there's a stress point for your customers and you know that your product provides that release that's really huge. Anything else we're seeing online yeah going they michaelis saying I never thought of using my own products outside of making my own holly they cut so I love this I love what you're sharing here megan chris with cases my worksheets make me feel organized and purposeful but it's also fun too because she makes them very childish in cute doesn't mean that makes her feel engaged onda meredith was saying she she's a designer she designed clothes and she says people say to her often they buy her products because they want to look cool mmm I feel good yeah, I like that that's a that's a good emotion people you know think everyone it's like that part of you from high school that wishes you were cooler than you were so that's definitely a huge emotion that scavenger hannity is that he's acting exactly what you're saying megan she's saying right, I've just asked my customers immediately on facebook so she's now standing back to see what happened excellent yeah that's perfect. So now as you're doing these exercises and again, some of these are going to take a little time to come up you're gonna wait for your customers get back to you on facebook you're going to write those hundred cards over the next hundred days and or even you know I think even in two weeks you probably learned an awful lot you're going to start to get those and then you're going to start to generate those emotions, and so now a lot of people actually just interrupting megan are you know, we talked a lot about products acceptable lot of people online out of service eyes, so I mean, I know we're going to be covering that later on, but maybe we'll give some other examples for for an artist rather than a service provider or the other way around. I'm sorry. Service provider rob assed faras finding your emotions that's the one we're talking to your customers becomes really, really, really essential, but also observing them, so if you're a photographer and you're in your shooting a session, you're clearly you've focused, you've got work to do. It might be hard to kind of pay attention. Bring an observant friend along on your next job and ask them to pay attention, teo, how the customers responding or even sit down and kind of have a dialogue with customers. So say you're teaching a yoga class at the end of class, sit down and ask your students you know how it makes them feel this. When I was teaching at a university, I used to do this all the time we finish a product, a project of my students would have the crit I'd be like, okay, guys, what'd you think people actually want to be heard they want their opinions to be heard so definitely for those service people asking someone and don't send him a survey no one wants to fill out a survey right? And it's never going to give you the right answers dialogue is always the way to go. It takes a little more effort on your part, but here's, the other thing that also builds the stronger brand we're gonna feel affection for someone who asked you to fill out a survey every three weeks. No, but are you gonna feel affection for someone who says, you know, is everything going okay in the photo shoot? Are you guys feeling comfortable? Are things going okay? That's really important? So that kind of dialogue creates that personal connection with the branch for sure. So then once you're starting to understand what these emotions are and again, this is a process it's not going to come up, maybe immediately and some of you it might some of your like, yeah, I get it, you know, lucky and blessed. We got it. But are the emotions you're generating the emotions you want to be creating, so you might be surprised till this is all sudden done? You might think that you want people to feel one way, and what you're hearing is that they feel another way you also might start to hear I think daddy is here a lot of different things right? It's this it's that it's whatever and so then part of your job becomes toe actually drill down and decide what is going to be the most important part and that's gonna be you as guiding the brand. So if there's not one really strong one that's jumping out you might have to sit down and say, okay, this is the number one this is the one that we're really going to focus on um, so we had him already did that's where people were talking about it, but is anyone else kind of seeing you know, if we're talking about specific emotions, so for you guys in the studio audience top three emotions wes has got lucky blessed fortune, fortune it okay, I did this before I've got passionate but transformation it's not in adjective but it's okay, we're we're going to use the word emotion kind of fast and loose in this it's okay, so you want to feel transformed? I want them to feel first of all, follow their passions. Okay um so that they can eat, go through their transformations mohr and also feel their purpose in life find their purpose so that's interesting because when you originally said passion, when I think of like, someone feeling passion I don't think of it and that like follow your passion I think that's a different sort of feeling so when I think of like you want them to feel feel able to follow their passion that means you want them to feel I think inspired I would say is probably the better and I'm getting some nods from the couch which is a good sign so that I think passion might be a slightly misplaced a word in this case you want them to feel inspired to go through a change right so that might be a better way of looking at that cathy I wrote creative inspired and collected cacti what about happy and happy as I was trying to kind of incorporate that and like being inspired kind of but I think you inspired and happy are two different things so if you think of were going to say like the mad genius artist that's a person who was driven by inspiration they're probably not real happy when I think of like tortured genius so if you really are kind of giving them that happiness inspired might not be quite the right word and I think that something like inspired you know are you like so there's very clearness with sarah that it's you know you want to kind of inspire them to go through a transformation so you trying to inspire them to do something to achieve something what's the kind of idea behind his inspiration so some of my pieces they like have a special message you know like uh there's like shine bright like a diamond love and light and things like that like beautiful kind of inspires you to kind of just be yourself that kind of shine like that I mean it's like inspired me to shine but yes to be happy the colors I want to write happy so it's because there's a range it's kind of hard to write yes that's yeah I think there's something to about like maybe in some of those words I'm hearing like you almost want people to feel like they're supported yeah like case yeah right right so like that it's okay and that to be who they are so sometimes when I think of like inspiration I think of inspiration is you like driving a change versus I'm gonna it's okay to be who you are so kind to keep that in mind and again this is all very nuanced but it's also important but good to like talk to people about it because then I'm getting feedback from you and you and reitman tio here what you guys I feel an evaluation of what I'm trying to express it helpful to share yeah yeah that's it's so so important on you know when you guys is you're kind of well come demonic and second is you're in the chat you and your fine people find groups of people and sort of have these conversations with later so you know here's the people that I was in the chat that we know they were watching this so let's all get together could be virtually and talk about our products and talk about those emotions and figure out are they the ones you know is what I'm thinking really what's happening here so monica okay, so I'm having a hard time coming up with the three most important because I feel like there are a bunch of things I'm trying to convey esso I want them to feel confident prepared in control present so that like they can get through this daunting task and get back to having fun with their family um and put together so a lot yeah there is and there is a saying there's a really great book I'm just gonna keep throwing books that you guys but actually they're all in that resource lists you get if you purchase the class so you know if you didn't catch him the first time you can grab later there's a really great book that I love called made to stick and it's about how to make your ideas memorable and I believe the example is from a speech writer for the clinton campaign and he says if you say three things you say nothing at all so three things people don't remember any of them you say one thing they remember so tell me those three things again or five things that you're there they were they were confident prepared in control present and put together so is there one that you think is most important um probably the prepared I'm not sure that I think it to your audience prepared it might not be as important a trigger I think it's like even put together uh and it might be part of this challenge might be that there is not a good actual emotion to sum up that feeling of like I got this like, I don't know what the emotion is when you feel like I got this yeah, but I think that's the emotion right? Andi think all of them are sort of related with the exception of that of the like the present one e think that feels a little bit distracting and I think a little bit off well cause they off brand for you I think the yes you want to be in the moment and I get that, but I think the rest of your messaging and the rest of your language is really about the sense of, like, put together and I got this and I'm you know, moved quickly so I think I don't know the word efficiency is so like next year, so that's probably not the right word, but I think that's more important because you actually don't want to be here in the moment of changing the diaper, you want that to be over as quickly as prices of anything so you can go back to the thing you could get back to disneyland for people that create their own product whatever but isn't the emotion also the emotion that that you put into inject into this creation that you're creating it's other process that create this the emotion that you feel is what ultimately will convey to well, we would like to convey that to yeah, I think so I think that you know, I mean I think if kathy isn't feeling this sort of, like, happy in spite if you're not feeling that it's probably going to come through in the work, right? I mean, I can tell you from personal experience that times in my life where I I haven't felt like my super confident itself it's a lot harder to design new jewelry, right? So I think there is that there is an emotion that comes into their but at the end of the day your customer cares about how it makes them feel not how you felt when you were making it what we see in our line lot of reactions fantasy yes maria efforts saying unique, quirky and off beat sunshine life went with healthy, adventurous and confident way had fun happy and playful from honey brown and generous k say eas found beautiful fun seems to be coming up a lot I like yeah landlocked sailor is nostalgic, comforted and relaxed you don't want to know your product I like super curious because that's really, really interesting analogy I wonder that some sort of vintage product yeah ninja dog design inspired chic, playful again that was come up she can playful is an interesting pairing and sank sinclair's saying unique, powerful and purposeful yeah, and I think I want to go back to that like she can playful thing I think it's great if you can blend these emotions so some of them are definitely all related to the same theme and that's great, but there is something about that juxtaposition, which is different than like, say, three things you're saying nothing if you're saying like you can feel, she can playful at the same time that's a really interesting kind of paradigm that your customers can really grab onto, so that still feels like one message because you're like, ooh, chic and playful with what is that product? I'm so curious now so awesome. Great what coming up with three emotions if we if we want to say only one thing well, because again because we're drilling down here, so we're trying to kind of a brainstorm right now and again in some of these things we're getting like two distinct emotions that come together to make something so if she wouldn't have listed all three of those we wouldn't have gotten sheikhoun playful together and a sheik brand is gonna look different than a sheik in playful brand and a playful borden is gonna look different than she can playful together so there's something about things coming together like that that can still be useful but it feels like one message it's like what were yours again carol I've got inspired transformative um I had said purposeful descent so it feels to me a little bit like you're kind of reaching like you are trying to put a lot of meaning into your products which is good but I think you have to kind of just step back as I can see like how people actually feel when they're wearing them like you're thinking kind of like those high level reflective emotions what are like the visceral gut kind of reactions I haven't had a whole lot of direct contact with customers actually know what they feel we are when they're wearing my so that's something that you definitely have to think about for sure but so when you're wearing your jewelry but you're wearing a necklace right now how does that make you feel you were in a couple of necklaces actually you are which is fine so pretty I e s o and I think this is really important is we're so afraid toe own things like happy and pretty but those really basic emotions are what people are looking for in that donald norman book where he's talking about the visceral the behavioral in the reflective you know he talks about there's an entire movement I mean, the entire basically twentieth century was about this reaction against visceral right? We were taught that like things just can't be pretty that's bad but that's the reflective part of your brain this is what donald norman says it's the reflective part of your brain trying to override that visceral part but it's okay, if the emotion is visceral in fact that's what people? Bye on first we can maybe add those kind of reflective emotions to it but it's okay, if your product is pretty and it's okay, if your product makes you feel pretty or beautiful or whatever it is because people are really searching for those basic emotions now and I think if you look at even your super inspired by japanese design it's like what's what's the root of that it's this really clean, beautiful, minimal what's it supposed to make you feel peaceful, serene, it's supposed to be beautiful, right? Basic it's just just beautiful and and we're gonna drop the word just it's beautiful and wouldn't someone wears it, it makes her feel beautiful there's an entire industry built around that, right? So it's okay, if that's the emotion, so and then and then you can start to add on those reflective layers like, if you feel more beautiful, then you might feel more inspired to go through that transformation, right? But at the end of the day, it's ok, if that feel, if the emotion is beautiful, because if we know that if we know that you've got beauty has this really key emotion and you want people to feel beautiful, we can take that and build that into your website. This idea beauty can, and I think it's like this, really? I think in your case, like a kind of a classic beauty is what you're thinking. Because of that japanese influence, we confuse that in every element of the design of your website, so that when they go to your website, they feel beauty that could be the whole foundation of your ran right there. It doesn't have to be any more complicated than that. Yeah, I'm not tied to it being japanese, either that's just how I started. Yeah, right? And I don't think it has to necessarily be that way. I just think that's a it's, a good example of a culture that actually just values beauty for beauty's sake. And it's not the only culture that does that and certainly doesn't have to be the most potent thing of your brand for sure but I think this idea of beauty can be really powerful for you thing is like provoking it creates a curiosity that khun draw somebody in tow want to know more about what you create yeah so it might be that that kind of japanese element comes through and we talk about your story but at the end of the day the emotion is that you want people to feel beautiful and that's okay that's why I make it exactly but yeah I wouldn't make it if I didn't think it was pretty right yeah I think that's totally fair it's not it's absolutely valid way to feel and to make people feel hear from mega million's the same just wanted clarifying I think in branding do you appeal to all of three elements of emotion residence or do you just choose one you can just focus on one absolutely so um like I showed in that example with the three shoes so crocks love them or hate them that's a really strong brand and they're clearly built just on that behavioral peace there is no there's no visceral reaction there at least no positive visceral reaction sorry to be mean to cracks but I'm not a fan but that's okay that's the whole point of branding right love him or hate him there are plenty of design brands who are just built on that visceral reaction right? So if that's all you were interested in absolutely go for that if you know if you just want to kind of focus on that reflective piece that's okay too so don't feel like you have to incorporate all three now that said any time you could hit more than one it is really great because it gives people I think more motivation to buy but one is totally fine any are they sharing any more emotions they've shared so many I mean chic is one that really resonated so after that we read that now lots of people said oh yes I really like that one that they want they want to incorporate that one from cells because they also feel it sounds slightly playful as well so so that was it kris with a k a saint capable empowered and supported capable that's a word I like for you to monica capable of thinking empowered yeah interesting awesome on dresses saying they want the customers to feel mystery curiosity and to be a puzzle I'd love to use their product is what I think is to share that with the sandra's on dh pattaya is creative proud and inspired despite that yeah just like we did just as you guys were kind of thinking about that just like we did it kind of in the conversations with kathy and sarah you know really think about what you mean by the word inspired I think it's a word that gets tossed around a lot so really drill down in that one and make sure that that's actually the emotion that you want you know is it actually inspired or is it motivated or is it um I already forgot what we're doing is using you kathy earlier um where we said supported I think that you know, so think about what it really is that that they want all right? So now we're gonna turn to that second piece, which is the aesthetic recognition and this is how you create that kind of really cohesive, memorable products that people see it and they're like yeah that's um, economic necklace that's where this aesthetic recognition comes in and this is I think for a lot of you, especially those of you watching online where you really are probably feeling challenged because you're going to say my products all look different because I'm creative and I have a lot of ideas right kathy's mounting her head you feel like that? So and actually in your case I know you're making a lot of wall art do you feel like you even want to expand beyond that or you even just feeling within the art itself that it's like I have so many ideas and it feels so different because I initially started with making earing oh, and then it was like artwork and then I mean, I've always I mean just I think the mind of anybody creative is just like I would do this don't do that so right? So you know, you feel like you could go a million ways yeah, yeah, but yeah, eventually I would love to go back into the jewellery aspect so you're you have that one thing and you want to go back to something else now after now you want to come back okay, great. So, uh how do you then if you have all these ideas make your products more recognizable? So one of the first things that I want to say before we even dive into kind of this concept that I'm gonna share with you is that just because you make something doesn't mean it should become part of the line that you sell. I know that's kind of a bummer because I think if you're a creative person and you have a lot of ideas and you make a lot of things and you're in the process of selling the next step is like one of my going to sell it right, but I think it's important to acknowledge that you might have a lot of ideas and you might indulge all of those ideas, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they should all come into your brand and sell your line if you think about you know, a designer like a fashion house or any kind of major look, you know, brand like that the design process starts with creating a lot of ideas, right? We're designing the spring collection, I'm going to make four hundred, five hundred sketches have all these mood boards gonna have all of these ideas and then maybe, you know, depending on the brand twenty to one hundred pieces make it into the line, so you start with all these ideas and you can indulge that, but they might not all make it into your final line, you have to make decisions like, is it profitable to produce? You know, I'm going to make money off of it, so it's okay to say I'm going to make a bunch of stuff, but I'm only going to sell something within this part of my brand christian's very much on this thing and nine people have voted on this saying it's a question they'd like to know the so she's just getting started. So what is the best way to keep things minimal and simple yet effective, so not going overboard? Eso so the first thing is that and this is probably not what those nine ten people are gonna want to hear, but if you're just getting started, you might wanna wait a tiny little bit longer to bring stuff to market so one of the like blessings and curses of the internet age is that you could have a product idea you could make something and tomorrow you can sell it online right? But if you're just learning how to make stuff you might not actually be ready yet so that's why I need to be like debbie downer there on that one but that's just something to think about is that you know brand building is not like a it's gonna happen tomorrow brand building is a really long process and by waiting a little bit longer to develop you might actually have a much stronger brand going forward in the future. I know we're like instant gratification society but that's something to think about the other thing is to use something that I call core than explore and so the idea behind this is that you have to find ah core product line you have to find something that becomes the core and you have to establish that very strongly and that core needs to have a strong aesthetic recognition the core has to look like it all comes from the same person with the same vision right? You have to have that vision and then once you've established that core then you can go ahead and explore and expand from time to time but you have to be committed to that core first and I can tell you this is easier said than done but it's definitely what works so this is what I d'oh in my own business my core is the jewelry line and you can see that there's a very tight aesthetic happening here right? I use one shape now use a lot of variation in that one shape but I use one shape and I really figure out how I'm going to evolve this now just so we're clear I have an m f a in metal smith ing I can make any piece of jewelry that I want to anything in the world nothing in the world there's some things I'm bad at but I know how to do it right but just because you know how to make something doesn't mean you should put it in your line so the core is about finding that focus and then within that focus expanding the range in a way that makes sense and we're going to talk about that with you guys in the product hot seats because some of you I think have the start of a core that could actually be more expanded upon so in this case instead of doing you know, like four, five pieces around this theme I felt most of my business around this really tight theme and people recognize me for that but then once you've established this core and this is something that might take you a couple of years so you really have this sort of core happening then it's okay to start to explore and branch out as long as it fits it's under your kind of key emotions that you want your customer to feel right so I have a stool re line and that's my core and then last year I wanted to go ahead and bring in some tax tiles and I can do these products and when it's everything about textiles I immediately went to accessories I did a lot of scarves and things like that and you know, I know that I want my customers to feel confident I want them to feel bold I want them to feel like kind of independent you know strong women, right? So as long as these other products fit under that umbrella they still work with the line and truthfully, if you start to look at some of those patterns actually you start to see some of my same shapes coming and a few of them anyway so there's also a little bit of that aesthetic recognition but this on lee can work if I had done, you know, like three necklaces that look like this and then for textiles that looks like this and then I decided I was going to design like leather shoes for five minutes and then I was gonna be that that's never gonna build a strong brand so you have to figure out what is the thing that you could focus on for a foreseeable amount of time right for at least a couple years something you're not going to get bored off the other thing that you could do with the idea of core than explore is you can really drill down freshly picked she is known for those baby mocks it is one design and then she just did a lot of different color weighs one design she focused on getting that product really write I know she went through a couple it orations of that design to really get that there but she really got known for her baby mocks now she has a few more products she's got this leather toad she's got these kind of carry alls they also fit under this idea of like you know, dealing with her moms she talks about wanting to fit into the narrative of a mom's life that it's kind of what her brand is about so it works. But if she had tried to launch all of these things at once, she wouldn't have that strong brand that she has now by really being known for one item that can really that really helps solidify that brand now I know what some people are saying I'm going to get bored right there like me meeting aboard so the strategy is that at some point you're building up this brand and you're repeating these products and you're probably not the one making them anymore susan's not making these mocks, I'm not making all my jewellery. I have a production assistant who helps me so that's. Part of this process is that in order to kind of keep being able to design, you're probably gonna have to hand off some of that production. But if you retire everything from your line, the second you're bored with it, you'll never build that consistent. Brandt. You're going to get bored with it, way before your customers dio you're probably gonna get border that before your customers even know it exists, right? So that's kind of the essence is you have to build that strong foundation and then go from there.

Class Description

Every small business owner shares two common goals: increasing sales and marketing more effectively. One of the most powerful ways to achieve these goals is to define and tell the story of who you are as a creator. That story is your brand, and a strong understanding of how to tell that story to your customers will take your business to new heights.

In Brand Your Creative Business, you’ll explore what makes your business a unique brand and find ways to share it. You’ll learn about implementing a brand strategy and growing and protecting it. Megan Auman will teach:

  • Why branding matters
  • How to define your brand
  • Storytelling to promote your business
  • How to develop a strategy to implement your plans

You’ll leave this course equipped and energized to create a strong, consistent presence in every aspect of your company – from packaging to customer interaction and beyond. You’ll also develop the confidence use colors, logos, and fonts to reflect your style - even if you’re not a designer

Whether you’re an Etsy seller looking to grow or an occasional crafter trying to build a full-time business, this course will give you the tools you need to connect with customers and sell more products.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Megan Auman - Brand Your Creative Business Resources.pdf

Megan Auman - Branding Bibliography.pdf

Megan Auman - DIY Photography Resources.pdf

bonus material with enrollment

Megan Auman - Brand Your Creative Business Syllabus.pdf

Megan Auman - Brand Your Creative Business Workbook.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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a Creativelive Student

I was drawn in immediately. Megan's ability to tender precise, goal-oriented, and REAL life experience-infused information is what captivated me the most...AND...I logged in 30 minutes late on the first day of her class. I am excited to know that her course is STILL available, and on sale a couple of days after it aired live. TY CreativeLive for this opportunity; it is truly a gift to myself which will keep on giving...I have often used storytelling to build my brand, but Megan's guidance has given me a structured approach, which I really needed. Paying it forward, and sharing her amazing course with others will be a joy, as I feel an obligation to others I know, and those I have yet to know, all who will benefit from her plethora of carefully cultivated information. Her use of emotional connections to build a brand, and to reach a solid audience based on one's authentic voice is clear, clean, and easy to follow. Thank You Megan Aumen!


This is such a great class! Great content, great advice, great examples...great, great, great!! I'm so happy that I have a clear path to create a great brand for my business. Very empowering! I especially love the bonus information, especially the video on how to make your own logo in Illustrator. Exactly the information I've been looking for. Great job, Megan!

Laura Captain Photography

I'm in the process of launching a creative business and this class was what I was looking for. With procrastination and indecision cast aside, I will now confidently plan and carry out a productive and well organized branding strategy of my own. Before this class I felt somewhat confused and overwhelmed by all the miscellaneous branding information I had been trying to piece together. Even though I already knew some of the information she covered in the class, she put her own spin on it, gave some great examples and put it in an easy to follow plan. I particularly liked the segments related to naming your business and social media branding because I had a lot of questions on those topics. I'm very excited to get started with branding my business and I'm so glad I took the time to go through Megan's class, it will be so worth it in the long run. A big shout out to Megan, I love your business branding, your jewelry and your teaching style, great work!