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Brand Your Creative Business

Lesson 6 of 22

Finding the Core of Your Product

Megan Auman

Brand Your Creative Business

Megan Auman

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Lesson Info

6. Finding the Core of Your Product

Lesson Info

Finding the Core of Your Product

Wanna have you guys work on finding the core of your product line so if you haven't pulled out that work look you don't wanna pull out that workbook cause we're gonna work through some of these questions and this is something where you're really going to sit down and think about this and then this will help you kind of establish that corn I'ma pick on our studio audience as we go. So what is it that really defines your products and again if your products are all all over the place, pick the thing that you think you could be most excited about for the longest okay, so that's a place to start what could you be most excited about for the longest and the other thing with this kind of idea of like what can you be most excited out for the longest is sometimes you have tio remind yourself that you're excited about it all right? If you're a business owner and you're making the same thing it's really easy to get burned out every couple of years I have to remind myself that I actually really lov...

ed jewelry like I love to make it I love to wear it but you kind of forget because it's your job right you get burned out so if you feel like there's nothing there's nothing that I could dio there's something you just have to remember that you know we'll go back to that relationship idea it's like dating sometimes you have to remember the spark right? You get so used to the person you know even married for eight years whatever can't find that spark like go on the date so lange sometimes about core product line you have to go on the date I have to go on the jewelry tate to get re excited so what what defines your products of that thing that you think you can focus on what defines it and what makes your product's different from what is already out there and you guys in the studio audience have a thought it's anything pop to mind on either of those what makes your product's different sara pearson is that what we're talking? No so like in your case so you're talking about like, this process of piercing, right? Yeah, but there's a lot of jewelers who are using that so what? You know what else could define it japanese aesthetic so or maybe just like your specific aesthetic in general so that's something to kind of think about their um and then what could you focus on that still gives you room for variation? We're gonna come back to you, sir, because I know you're confused but then and actually and here's the thing which is this is gonna really I didn't come back to you what could become your red sole right so we talked about lou batons and the red soul what becomes your red soul so you are actually playing with this color combination right now of the red and the silver so maybe that becomes a defining characteristic of your brand and the other thing is you know, again you have to think about these defining characteristics in a way that your customers relate to so your customers like they know it's cut out but that doesn't really mean anything to them but like red and silver all that sarah that maybe something that people can latch onto so um I want you guys to kind of think about what could become the core of your product line so just to kind of again give you like, uh, description so for me the core is like really one shape that I'm playing with over and over again to create statement jewelry right? So those air sort of the essential elements of my brand I'm using a shape I'm repeating it I'm playing the variation but it's always statement jewelry like I'm not going to suddenly take this shape and go like this big and make a little dainty I don't even know how to make dainty it doesn't work for me but so right that's the core of my brand so that's what I want you guys to think about so wes is this really easy right? Your core is that you've got before the clever right and it's it's not it's not produced it's found so there's an element of surprise and natural you know actual lucky thing right? And also the making process of it because I stress the fact that each one each one of these are him may and it's it's may with love and cares and everything else so so it's everything that that that the implications on the means or the fully covers all building with right the thing the right itself and I think for years that core is really that it has to be found like it's not you're not goingto I don't know how you mass produce a four leaf clover, but you're not going you're going to go out and find them and that really is like the core of your product line and I think monica years kind of lends itself pretty well you have a singular product right? And then you're starting to expand, right? And how has that been working for you? Are you starting to feel like you're being pulled in multiple directions having to yeah, yeah, it makes it feel a little hazy as to what my lead a messaging is right? So what was your motivation for bringing in that second product? Well, the wet bag felt like a natural next product because you were elected three hour yeah yeah and then I I was at a trade show and I saw some other items on the market and I was like, why are these people doing this like this? It is lame and I also felt the same frustration from nursing, so I was like, I'm going to create my own nursing skirt that actually solves all of the problems and it can actually be worn so I think in your case what it sounds like is that maybe, you know, you have you had a core product and you got stuck a little bit on the messaging for that core product when maybe you're messaging is actually a little bit off so maybe it's something to do with this idea of like really great solutions for mom's so you become, you know, like it's sol, it solves that major problems. So maybe it's it's a slight shift in your messaging to make those products work? But I still think this is the case with you where yes, you saw a problem, but I also I worry that's a little bit of like you got excited about something else before you really had time for the market adoption of that first product totally so it might be one of so so there are two ways that you could play it is you could you could actually decide that maybe the newer product is going to get you more traction and then that becomes this thing that you push a little bit more or you decide the new product is going to be there it's gonna hang out, but I want to go back and push that first product more so the reason why we ended up moving forward with it is because that this is a lower price point, so I felt like, um, for a new buyer, I don't I don't have an established trust with them, and so they'd be more apt to spend something at a lower price point um, than but then, you know, spending a little higher price point with the diaper clutch, so so yeah, so that's something that I think could be your little stuck, so we have to put the o is there? What are they saying online? Anything about their kind? Of course, I know it's a hard thing to look at without talking about it seen product is but they have very specific questions and it is interesting the way it's weird now josh is I'm getting is a photographer sewing now he's, how does being known for one item work in the photography world? Should I only focus for example, on weddings or families or is just focusing on photography enough, a narrow enough focus? No, so it should absolutely be picking an area so you are the wedding photographer you're the family photographer but I think it's something like photography if you kenbrell down even more it's better so maybe you're not just the wedding photographer maybe your wedding photographer who specializes in photographing those indoor weddings in the kind of church is that don't look that pretty on the inside but you somehow managed to make them look amazing, right? So that's a really specific thing but then it becomes something that you're known for so if I'm getting married in this church and it's you know it's my family church but it was navy was built in the seventies so the interior's a little dated right? But I want those beautiful pictures of the ceremony I'm gonna call this person because I know that he is going to make those images look fantastic so you know if you can focus even more that's great, but definitely I would say, you know, weddings or family, whatever it is kind of really pick that area and specialized and I think mega millions who haven't specifically specified deck same question I think they're essentially meaning the same thing because they're actually the event planning business, so I think they need to focus on what type of event same thing pig pick the kind of event that you really want teo be known for and that's going to help you spread so much more than it's like I do everything right, that's, that's a really hard thing to brandt and carly's struggling with that as well, because she said, well, it's a real shocker to her because she wants to do multiple different things, and she says she knows it's crazy. Yeah, but she says everything is based off sort of lever she's doing a medieval game of thrones type thing. So is that enough of a core to sort of say, I do leather products, or does it really need to go down to things like I do journals? I do ham back so it wouldn't necessarily have tio go down into something as faras, like journals or handbags, but there needs to be a little bit more than just a leather goods, so if it's, like I'm doing the thing where she's like a leather goods that sort of have that game of thrones think that could actually work? So if it's, you know, leather goods that are sort of indulging this sort of interest, that could work. But I but I wouldn't just be like leather goods it had. Your core has to be a little bit tighter than that, for sure. Yeah, that is right it's kind of comebacks idea venetia for sure now tiffany has got a slightly different product. Problem, she's saying, I have a product in my line that I feel no longer fits my aesthetic it's no, I no longer wanted to be my goal, but it was the first product, and it has a really strong presence now should she ditch it? Uh, that is a really good question, tiffany. Um oh, my god. Yes. To be perfectly honest, I think if it's holding back the development of your brand it's okay to let it go, but I would make it kind of a big event to let it go. So I think a really good example of someone who did that well is soo from giant dwarf she's, a brand based in philly. And she became known for these, like sparkly literally glitter headpieces that were, like heart the stars. And they took off like gangbusters. She was really, really well known for them. And then she decided, you know what? I'm ready to move on from this product. So she said, I'm topping sales of these on valentine's day. This is your last chance. I will take orders for every single person who wants them and I will make a cz many is you guys want but after this they're gone forever so you could absolutely drop things out of your line but make it an event yes I mean it was brilliant brilliant way to do that so you absolutely if you feel like it's not fitting drop it out but because it was such an important part of your business make it an event before you get rid of it awesome so we're going teo uh do a little bit of product line evaluation and I think that it's probably going to be easier if we start teo bring some people up from our studio audience and talk about that so actually started kathy I don't know why I just looked at you when we decided um and so there are a couple of things like how things coming up here that we're going to talk about and these questions are all in your workbook to sew and they're actually some of the questions that we started diving into so I'm gonna have you go in and said those there and stand on the other side of that table so the thinking about things like what changes do you need to make to make your product line stronger and what could you eliminate from your product line and then so I was gonna run through these and then what kind of work with him in the group so what's confusing about your product line? What doesn't support the emotions you want to generate and then also some things like what would make your product's great you do you need to learn some new skills I don't want to get too focused on the scale thing, but it might be that you realize that something is a little lacking, you know, maybe for our photographers you're like, I really want to be known as the wedding photographer, but I don't quite have that skill set. What do you need to you to go out and get that? Probably watch a couple of their creative live classes. I'm sure there are some good ones. Uh, you know, what do you need to do to get there? So all right, so let's, look at some product line. So, cathy, tell us what you've got here, okay? I just have pieces. I mean, I was doing a lot of floral, like, colorful and then I was adding sparkle and one of my core elements with sparkle. Okay, so I know it. I try to incorporate that a lot, and this is what I was talking about there little okay, you know, incorporating that with flow and and it kind of is I initially that word cheek that everybody's, using its kind of that's, the main thing that popped in my head back for started creating so, um I wanted it to be visually pretty in a space also and then and then here goes like the burbage like the words that right have so I have like three different so right? So you have three really distinct areas right now so when you're thinking about what should kind of be the core, there are a couple things that you can think about and you know, one is like, is there one of these kind of three areas that supports the emotions that you want to create more than the others right? So you know, if you really want to know, is it something like I really want people to kind of feel this like happiness and maybe I really want to focus on like this idea of like, bringing in the florals in, you know, or maybe it is I want them to feel this kind of empowerment and I'm gonna kind of focus on this not to do that you can't have these other things, but there should probably be one of these kind of areas that feels really dominant for your brand. So is there one that your kind of thinking should be more important or is there one that people are really kind of gravitating towards more than the others? Yeah, I think it's more for big but yeah, I had this other one that was beautiful with you as the beautiful so and I think it sparks that kind of beauty that they see right side and it goes well with their space so it's like I want to do a lot more of these because I've got an email saying like you're going to do morpher bitch and write things like that okay, so yeah right one recently so so this is a perfect example of now how you could take this core idea and then expand off of it so you might decide okay, you know what? I'm going tio you really do this idea of like, these couple of key phrases and this is the beauty of this idea of like core is that you don't have to come up with ah hundred phrases and you in fact you don't want teo yeah, what you actually want to come up with are like three or four really key phrases and then apply them in a lot of different ways. So you talked about this, you have this beautiful and I saw that on your web site is not definitely popped out, so you've got this phrase now you can take it and you can certainly make like this one of a kind pieces, but you shall see making prints, right? So you can take this phrase and you make a print from it and then you do two versions of the prince who you're doing this original version you're doing the print that is just a really basic print and then there's a middle in there which is the print that you then hand apply some glitter to go now you've got three different price points all hitting that same kind of you know, one phrase then you can take that phrase and you can say all right you know what? I'm going to also do that as an ipod case your iphone I said ipods where no one has an iphone case you know, maybe I'm gonna have it reproduced on a tote bag you start to think about other products so then you become known as the person who owns this phrase and you could expand the product line out and then the beauty is that because most of those products could be produced by someone else that still gives you time to come in and make this and make this and make some of those other things that then people who found you because of the verb ege and that kind of really strong brand element they've bought into the brand because of that phrase now they want the other stuff too yeah that makes permit okay thank you so great so take it back you're going to go back in time to pull up sarah we're gonna do one more so I know you think you were feeling a little bit stalkers we're sitting there in terms of like what we're doing so what where'd we land on those emotions for you but it means let where'd we land so what? You're thinking about the emotions that you want to create with these where we at we're sticking with the kind of the idea of the beauty or oh, I have to decide that no well, you know, but but if we're safe your stuff we can still talk about that a little bit well, I mean originally it was it was just I make pretty thing okay, you know? So we'll just say that don't want your first time here like I make everything I make really beautiful products right it's okay too teo own that I've had a problem with that yeah, I remember that feeling like it's it's not enough it's frivolous waste it's a luxury it's you know it doesn't have meaning yeah, you know, I think that's something that a lot of jewelers in particular I think a lot of people struggle with is that it's just a beautiful thing but one of the the ways that I look at it is if you look it cultures around the world people who live in very different circumstances from us jewelry and adornment is present in all of them. So there's something about making jewelry that's really important are wearing jewelry, not even making wearing jewelry that's really important to the human condition it's not frivolous because if it was frivolous it wouldn't have a five thousand year history right? It can't be frivolous because people in every culture keep coming back to it so that's something that we would definitely work on with me it was getting this feeling like it's okay to make something beautiful and it's okay to make something that makes someone feel beautiful but what's shift gears a little bit and talk about that sort of second piece the aesthetic recognition so you've got kind of one technique that you're working with right? This idea of the piercing and that's something in the room I kind of got to think so what do you think is the most important in terms of the aesthetic recognition could I see here you got this other piece that's pierce that doesn't have the red no you know I also have some with gold leaf okay, I've got it yeah so it might not be the one particular color palette but what I see here that's really captivating and that's happening in these pieces is that the colors on the interior right? Not always. Okay, so right, so you've got that one. So is there something that, um I think you really is there something you want to focus on in terms of that is always the patterning or is it always the color or what do you kind of see happening e I really loved the red ok? It's um uh technically and being able to make it at a good price is I'm I'm working on getting it down it's a it's a touchy okay process but I'm getting there but I love the red I am so the reading but I but I want it I do like color showing through I hadn't settled on one particular you know, yellow red I mean golden silver and red and silver you know? So so maybe for you the core that is not the color combination but it's this idea of the layers right? So you're always going going tohave you know, two layers and everything whether the colors on top of the colors on the bottom that maybe it's sort of the thing that kind of holds it together for you and then I think you know, in terms of them taking the core and sort of expanding on this what can happen is you know, you're playing with this kind of idea of of piercing and layering and I think you're you do have a fairly consistent I think design vocabulary happening here but what helps to breathe that consistency more is if people see multiple things of the same design so right now you've got your this pattern this pattern this matter in that pattern that pattern and they all you know occur on one object so what can actually make that aesthetic recognition stronger is if you have no this design happens on this size and a bigger size and then earrings and then a ring and then, you know, maybe repeated in a bracelet, right? Eso now they're not just seeing each of these things once they're seeing them multiple times so it's five patterns that sort of really fit that japanese aesthetic that you have but now expanded out to a much broader range but it's still going to feel consistent because you're repeating those images over and over again that makes sense yes, so I think for you that's probably the way that I would go in terms of kind of taking the core of your brand and then and then making it a little bit expanded so keeping with that layering idea but then not being afraid to use a couple of key design elements over and over and over again. Okay, okay, great that's good. Alright, you go ahead and sit down you guys go back to your seat. How long have you bean in this particular line? Um, I really I started about, um in two thousand ten, but I wasn't focusing on it really seriously until about six months ago. All right, so I want to give everyone homework because I really want to make sure that we are drilled down with this before we move on, and this is that I really want you to make sure that you're identifying and I'm saying the top three emotions but doesn't necessarily have to be three if they feel conflicting. So, really, just the key emotions that you want associated with your brand. You know, while we're on the right, take the time to actually have conversations, whether it's with your customers, your friends, yourself. Talk to yourself. If you want it's, fine. But sit down and come up with those really key emotions, because we're going to use those as we move forward to kind of establish the other parts of your brand.

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!