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Diversifying Your Product Line

Lesson 9 of 32

Building a Collection Pyramid


Diversifying Your Product Line

Lesson 9 of 32

Building a Collection Pyramid


Lesson Info

Building a Collection Pyramid

We're going to go straight into building a collection pyramid. Okay, so the shape of pyramid is such that it gives a base of very solid foundation. Okay, so remember this when when you're thinking about your product line, the most important thing is you you want something which is kind of like a like a like a we call it in europe where brent bread and butter because it, you know, have it with every male, it seems it's it's throughout it's something that the customer or recognized it's like, oh, you know, I'm going to go by a scarf from susan scars I know the quality, you know, I know the color, I just want something basic is easy for the customer automatically recognizes it is something that you could potentially sell all year round it's not a seasonal product, ok, um so then we have obviously with the pyramid, it kind of goes toe appointee and at the top and we're gonna talk about the different levels within a pyramid, but the foundation ofthe it is your basic product, which you sell ...

season in season out. Sometimes when I'm teaching, I use I use an example of socks, okay, when I'm trying to explain, because if you think there's something different types of socks on everyday sockets like an all black soccer and all white sock you know stores sell it all year round the middle layer of a pyramid you'd think ok kind of striped socks something a little bit fun that you would wear an occasional the top of the point a bit of the pyramid is your aspirational product which he was kind of think about like a kind kashmir a silk stockings like very special occasions so you could see by thinking about those three different elements of a pyramid you can imagine the three types of products something every day something kind of slightly season or something special occasion so when you're thinking about your product that's when we're thinking about pyramid situation that's the way you should kind of approach ok so really it kind of gives a guideline it gives a set of principles and a template that you can work within so here is my pyramid it's nothing terribly fancy I believe in fancy diagrams hearings like straight point literally point at the top there's a little bit of a pun there on a pointy pyramid on the bottom layer you have everyday essentials the middle layer you have I thought I call her everyday luxury and the top is the aspirational okay? And I've got some great examples of some products I found on etc which kind of demonstrate these kind of different levels as well okay, so three layers aspirational atop everyday luxury in the middle and basics basically everyday essentials ok so for my susie scarfs, I have broken down the top mid on the bottom into the areas that I feel are going to be right for my particular pyramid. Ok, the bottom is going to be a solid printed socks square with a tonal stitch when I say tonal, I mean it's matching, so if I have black fabric stitching is black. Ok? In my mid section, I have a solid printed silk square with contrast stitch so it's exactly the same size is exactly the same shape and construction is the bottom layer, but instead I'm adding a contrast ege so is something which the customer when you're tying a scarf around your neck, you're going to see a small little pop of color in the stitch something to identify, make it slightly more unique cost wise it's not going to be that much different to actually make but aesthetically it's like ok, two different contrast colors it could be quite kind of pleasing to the eye on the top is going to be I'm going to do like a double sided I'm gonna make it complicated and indeed double sided one plane and one printed or two different colors, so you have a kind of a two for one ah situation so that's the way very simply that I broken down my my pyramid for my my scarf company and to make it more visual because I'm a very visual person and I learned by kind of scribbling and laying things out here is what my collection plan looks like. It's again, this is done on a very simple kind of google doc there's no fancy software involved here, but it really replicates and you can see actually, that the pyramid is, like leaning slightly this way. I think if I was kind of properly due in a pyramid shape, I'd kind of scooch the middle sign one over a little bit, but you can see the bottom level. I have more scarfs, middle level it's, slightly different, slightly fewer options. I have four options, and the top is replicating like a double sided. Now, just to kind of give us information here when you see further on in the in the presentation, I've dropped colors in here, so you'll see that this actually replicates the contrast stitch that I'm referring to, okay, so it's not like a skinny little tie, which is going to be one next to it is actually to replicate I'm not very good with graphics, so this was a kind of a very simplistic method. Okay, but this basically gives the layout that I would work to and I would I would write this down I'd put it out there you could even use post it notes for this is another great way of doing it is just get kind of like, you know, a table and it literally posted no and then it's easy to move things around is you're starting I think well, I kind of like, you know, kind of like this card but it kind of fits more in this area so you could pick it up and move around building a collection is ihs ah it's like moving jigsaw pieces around constantly you guys you guys know that people who have businesses are already in the making a creative process, nothing ever stays in place things are moving constantly moving so by keeping the whole process the planning process president agile and able to move around it makes it I kind of, um or er relaxed experience I guess because it's just like, well, I put that there now I can't over you know but now it needs to move keep it as flexible as possible that's the key yeah interchange these ideas I love the pyramid idea and it makes it breaks it down so so much more visually easily and be able to, like organized the products you want offer would you be able to interchange the word skew for that as well, like your bottom would be one skew line your middle be a different skew line. Yes, if you're going to do that's askew is, uh, style color, you know. Ok, yeah. So it's I, um you can that start to get a little bit more complicated. Okay, um, I mean, essentially you I know it has a better way to fray this. Keep it simple, keep it focused on unique styles. Um, although this is one style in six different colors, right, which which you're referring to this is another one you can do that. I mean, you can also build a collection plan per section of your range. So you know, catherine, you've got, uh, the laser cut jewelry and you also have the ornaments, so it slipped my mind per sec s o I would build two separate collection plans for those because it's it's too broad to do it, you could do it in one or two ways. I would initially start out doing it with individual styles and then next to where you can a cz you're literally just planning it next to it put, you know, times three for three different colors or if you do a card, which is the same message, but you do it in four different colors put the card down and then next to it three colors and then when you're happy with how the plan is actually laid out then you can do you no card color one two, three and then build out so you have the full quota of exactly how many options you're working with but while you're in initial planning stages focus more on the unique design until you're sure where it sits and then you start building out right that would that would be my my approach okay um so with this kind of basic introduction to kind of a pyramid in a collection plan, we're going to go into the first question quote first question which is or the command really it's kind of draw a quick pyramid shape and divided into three parts what would you put in the bottom section that's just focusing on the kind of guy base entry level section right now okay, what do we have going on in the chat room right now? We have people sharing different products that they're making their collection so sandra clever clark says I created a meditation are journal on adult coloring book in a journal currently selling them on amazon dot com but they're thinking about expanding into calendars a cz a natural extension there are secret tree houses that they make buttons, magnets, notebooks, cards, t shirts, stickers, pendants all with their creative characters that they design and still trying to think of some more options. So people are are brainstorming some different ideas of their collections. I love it.

Class Description

Once you’ve established your business with a single, successful product, imagining what else to sell can be daunting. You don’t want to end up with a disjointed collection of products, but you do want it to be fresh and exciting for existing customers. In Diversifying Your Product Line, you’ll learn the art and science of expanding your offerings and growing your business.

Susie Breuer is the author of Blue is the New Black: The 10 Step Guide to Developing and Producing a Fashion Collection and in this class she’ll help you generate ideas and make smart decisions about expanding your apparel and/or accessories business. You’ll learn how to:

  • Research the market to understand both price and your customers.
  • Build a concept and action plan for starting out
  • Manage multiple product lines
  • Source raw materials and manufacturers

You’ll learn how to accurately assess a product's viability before you waste time and money developing it. Susie will also teach you how to develop a consistent, logical pricing strategy you can use again and again.

Susie makes the complex process of developing a financially solvent product and production plan easy. You’ll get expert-level insights into all aspects of developing a new product and walk away confident that you know everything you need to know to expand your business.



Thank you for an excellent class on a key pivot point no matter what industry you are in. One stellar quality of this course is how collaborative, friend focused peer culture and (rather than hostile competition or dysfunction competition environment and psychological atmosphere). The structure suggestions enable creativity and acknowledges different mindsets required in different phases. Susie honors the joy that comes from making and creating. She celebrates the interdependence between all stakeholders and the fun and flow as well as learnings and choices from being a 'business'. She is pragmatic but high on the inclusiveness of fun and satisfaction. She is interested and interesting: safe, enjoys being a customer as much as teacher and expressions of creative generation for herself. You can be caught up in the delight of her view of the world if you have become jaded or burnout. This brings perspective and empowerment to your desire and goals.


Susie has this most amazing experience in business - she is fashion royalty - but has an amazing ability to put all her knowledge across in a way that you can learn so easily. I was so pleased that she could show you how to learn from her experience and it would make sense for your business. Pretty much whatever you are doing. I came away from these sessions with so many ideas. But of course ideas are cheap. She has made me understand how once you have an idea, how to make it real. So many great learnings about avoiding pitfalls, practical check lists and honest to goodness 'know how'. I am already putting her advice into practice and can see I am going to transform my business just because of these classes. I am going to come back to those videos again and again. Thank you so much for making this great resource available.


I LOVED THIS COURSE. After being a small business owner for 10 years it is easy to focus on what's right on your desk at that very moment instead of evaluating the bigger picture, to forget how to look at what is working as well as what isn't and how to improve upon your process. Courses like this make me want to jump up out of my seat and get back to work. Susie kept me engaged and focused. It can be a long day but time seemed to fly by. I am really glad I got the opportunity to take the course, not only would I take it again but would highly recommend future Creative Live courses and Susie's latest book. Thank you again for the opportunity and now I gotta get back to work!