Product Line Strategy: Expand Your Offerings


Product Line Strategy: Expand Your Offerings


Lesson Info

Exercise: Carry Over the Common Threads from Previous Designs

So now we're starting to look in your inspiration on our next step is that we want to carry over common threads and this is really what creates consistency and your product line over time and this is something that people say to me a lot is that I have this very kalisz of collection of something that I really pride myself on an overtime you can really tell that something is a piece of mega nam and jewelry and the reason that you can tell that is because I employ this carry over principle so I you reuse peace is every time I develop something new there's something about it that calls back to what I have done previously and I can actually track this back over well over a decade and I want to show you guys what this looks like so you can see it really clearly so this is actually my graduate thesis project it is a full size nonfunctional welded wire living room on and you can see it is very obviously influenced by floral pattern textiles and in this piece of the lamp shade here used this k...

ind of little leaf shape guys see where we're going here this I did thirteen years ago so I pulled a couple other pieces use the shape and then I pulled it into my very first jewellery production line so I used this shape and I use these components to make necklaces and bracelets and earrings and then I decided I want to simplify, but I don't want to lose that shape, so I started to simplify the forms, continuing to carry over the shape and in this case also the material which was steel and then I simplified a little bit more and then I evolved to another step where I start to play with scale, right, same shape, bigger figure, different materials, and in fact I actually use this to carry over into there was a year I wanted to be home to your product designer on you can see that even though I use a different process where I was laser cutting, there is very much a consistency that's happening in the line, and in fact, in that year I wanted to be a painter and a textile designer. I very frequently found myself coming back to this shape that I've been carrying over for a long time even I have a ton of inspiration I've strategically chosen to really own an illiterate, this one shape and that's how carry over works and has worked in my work and I'm a show you specifically how that works with my design intention for the contra collection so your exercise here is to determine what you will carry over to your new collection, so I am very consistent that I sort of carry over the same thing all the time but you don't necessarily have to do that, but you should carry over something every time and that's what builds that consistency? So if you remember when I was launching my contra collection, my intention was to create a collection of necklaces and rings using the stones that I brought back from india. And so when I went to india I want to be clear that I didn't know I was going to make this collection when I went there I just thought I've enjoyed poor it's the gemstone capital of the world I should go buy some stones and in the first store that I walked into I happened to see these dendritic baguettes and I thought there's a stone in my signature shape in my color palette I have to buy these so I bought that and I came home and now the challenge for me is he's so in sat there and I thought about my collection is that the type of stone that they are the very common way to set them is with a bevel setting you take a piece of sheet, you take this flat why're you wrap it around and I kept thinking I can't do that because I need to have a carry over right? So how can I solve my design intention? How can I create this collection of rings and necklaces using these stones and how can I carry over my signature welded steel wire and what that forced me to d'oh was designed and setting that's very different from how anyone else's setting these stones, and it was simply by giving myself that design parameter of having to carry over my use of steel wire and that's the power of carry overs when you do it well, it creates something very distinctive for you. So does everyone else feel like they are ok with the carry over? Do you feel there's something that you can bring forward? Caron yeah, so I figured I'm known for is hammered jewelry. Um, and as I start moving over, like now, I'm interested in designing a line of mindfulness based jury, which is going to be things that move more than anything, the mindfulness and I like your customer consort of play it interact with it, right? Exactly. So like spinner rings, for instance, I had designed to spin a ring, and I call it a zen spent right, so already had yeah, that whole thing. Um, but I'm not sure about what the carry over would be with the carry over b the hammering, which I like because I like the texture yeah, we also are talking about movement and maybe even some etching of words that seems like a lot do you know that means side on, so it does seem like a lot of you, do you want to make smart design decisions? But I think that that there's a way to carry over a little bit about hammered element, that necessarily feeling that has to be all over everything, but I think it's still, because you're right, it is a texture element, and I think that still actually matches what your customer needs without tactile, with that movement, with that play, that bringing in that texture, I think, makes sense, and I actually sort of wonder if that makes more sense than actually words, because the words to me, I feel like that may be an element that's not actually doing what you wanted to dio, right? You it's really about the kind of movement in the things that you could do with your hands or or whatever you're kind of working with. So I wonder if, by trying to add the words, you're losing the opportune for the carry over, and if you are going do words, is there a way to kind of do it in a way, that's a little bit more subtle and fits with the hammer texture? So can you use, like symbols, or something that feels like braille, so, like maybe it's of using letters, you're using a braille that fits with that hammered texture and hits that kind of tactile, and then your customers might respond that better because it feels a little more secret private because they can feel the word and they know what it means, but it's not necessarily broadcasting it to everybody that make sense. That was very cool e don't think about yeah, good. Um, we get any questions about carry over, didn't daniel celeste had a question about deadline? Yeah, when setting an intention for launching, how important is it to think about other variables like pitching blog's and magazine editorial calendars, which usually required for three to six months? Yeah, so I would not worry about that in setting your initial deadline, because I think the reason that we're developing new products is that it creates energy within our existing audience. So you want to set a deadline for launching to your new audience and then knowing that we're not talking about, you know, we're not in fashion here, let's be really most of us in that the fact that, like we're sending a product to a store in two months later, it's going to be gone, right? We're keeping our collections a law around a little longer so you can lunch, and then you can still pitch to magazines and bloggers, and that stuff might get covered later on. But I wouldn't use that to set your date because that's another one of those things that like makes your launch feel like, oh, I'll do this eventually and then it never happened, so I like shorter deadlines because it forces action has any other ones we have one more that people is getting popular in the ask board shava shava m says I'm having trouble deciding if I should keep both my delicate and minimal jewelry as well as my more gallery designed bold pieces being new pieces I'm not sure if these air speaking to the same cuts stires or is it ok? You know it's hard to answer questions like that without actually looking at your line and that's just kind of one of the things that we do want to remind people that we've got our private say spoke group to make a living selling what you make facebook group you could access that for free when you are a ct for this class that's a great question asking there because it's a little bit easier to see what is going on, but a lot of times what I tell people is if they have two collections that sort of feel not related what you actually need is a bridge collection something that kind of bridges the gap so maybe has a little bit delicate, minimal but then brings in a bold piece here and there and also, I found that when you have two things, that looks really destroying it. When you have three, it looks like you're a designer with multiple collection. So usually they're the solution is, actually, if both are selling, don't drop one. Add another. It's, actually, the for those of you who tuned into our raise, your perceived that you class it's, sort of another form of anchoring, in a way, because three kind of usually sells better than two.

Class Description

"...This class has practical steps to help you identify gaps in your product line. Through her own experience of developing product lines she helps you to understand how to stay consistent and cohesive. This is a great class..."
-I Must Draw (CreativeLive Student)

You need a healthy range of product offerings to sustain a handmade business, but developing a coherent and profitable product line strategy isn’t always easy. Learn the smart way to grow your business in Product Line Strategy: Expand Your Offerings with Megan Auman.

The right blend of products will stabilize your revenue and excite your customers. In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Come up with new product ideas that sell 
  • Fit new products into your existing brand 
  • Narrow your focus and plot a course for success
  • Strategically launch your new products into the market
  • Megan will teach you a simple system for expanding and evolving your product line. She’ll help you evaluate the viability of new product ideas and she’ll show you how to develop processes for launching new products and designs.

Product Line Strategy: Expand Your Offerings with Megan Auman will help you develop the right mix of products so your customers are satisfied and your venue is stable.