Exercise: Identify the Gaps in Your Product Offering
So even on the first part, which is to identify what's working now, we want to identify the gaps in your product offering. Where are you leaving money on the table? So our next exercises to brainstorm all of those potential gaps in your product line and gaps in your product line can occur in a number of different ways. It could be certain product types that you're not offering. It could be related product categories, so maybe there's things that are not within what you're doing. So, you know, desert is doing stationary, but maybe there's some really obvious natural leaps from other categories. It might be priced point. How many of you are kind of all in a really simple your parks in a really similar price point feel like everybody in our students is like, yeah, guilty, this provides a huge opportunity for product line expansion. It might be something as simple as branching into a new material new colors, new sizes and, of course, customer requests tell you about potential gaps as well.
So your customers are asking for things or looking for things. Those might be places as well, and this is not an exhaustive list, so we're going to talk about kind of how to find those on I always like to tell the story. When I first started my line so I just mention that what I'm known for is my statement necklaces when I first started my line and I was doing a lot of retail craft shows I had almost zero necklaces and my line for some reason I was making a lot of hearings I was making some bracelets is making some rings but didn't have any necklaces and people would come up to me a craft shows and my hair was long at the time so I was wearing hearings but they couldn't see them they'd walk up and they'd be like why aren't you wearing any jewellery? And I was like no, I am I swear but what happened was they were actually like they were looking right here to spite my jewelry and I wasn't wearing any because I don't have any necklaces in my line so I started designing necklaces and very quickly they became my best seller that's one really clear example of how I identified a gap based on now you know what customers were requesting but what they were confused about. So to give you another example this's my sales data from middle of twenty fourteen in middle of twenty fifteen I sold exactly four rings in that entire time I was like, oh well, people just don't know me for rings it's not it's not a thing that my customer wants well at the time these were all of the rings in my offerings all three of them e I don't want you put it like that you're like well of course I sold four rings all year so when I released my newest collection the contra collection I started doing a lot more rings so that sales data that I showed you was from mohr than entire calendar year that's from six months that's all of my ring sales though it turns out that my customers actually really wanted to buy rings I wasn't giving them any so that's a huge opportunity for looking at gap just in terms of your product category the other gaffe that I always think it's good to look at is that price point gap so this is one of my favorite quotes for my business I think about it all the time when I'm designing new product eighty twenty says that twenty percent of people will spend four times the money so whatever you're currently selling at twenty percent of your customers will be willing to spend four times more than that with you it also says that four percent of the people will spend sixteen times the money memorize this it's one of the most powerful fax you could ever know about business so if you are on ly within certain price points you are leaving money on the table for those of you guys who tuned into our raise your prices raise your perceived value class, you noticed there was a moment where I was showing you guys my necklace, that was three hundred eighty dollars, and they brain just stopped because all I could think about was, what can you add an extra zero to that price that really gets you thinking, what can I do to do four times or sixteen times? Or add that extra zero? How can I be more expensive? So I actually have a pretty big range in my product line right now. My necklace has run from about fifty dollars, all the way up to five, ninety, but my next gaps that I've identified is how do I go beyond this I want to be and that five hundred to three thousand range now I won't add a zero to three, eighty necklace and make it thirty, eight hundred, so I want to go a little bit higher than that even I want to see how high I can stretch that I don't expect those higher price pieces to turn into my best sellers. I don't actually know yet they could, who knows? That would be awesome, right? But the point is that I feel like I'm missing an opportunity by not having those higher price points, and so I'm really thinking strategically about how him launch a collection that gets me in an entirely different price bracket. It may get my existing customers it made require new customers but I see that as a really good potential gap in my product line. All right, so how do you find the gaps in your product line? First of all, you can go shopping some of your life pause I gotta go. Megan told me go shopping right um online or off this is another one where looking at your competitors is not what I mean here look at places where people aggregate products together so it might be anthropology you could even honestly you could go to target look at places where there's lots of different product categories because that's going to help you think a little bit more expansively because chances are your competitors have some pretty big gaps in their collections to so we're going to ignore them right about think about people who merchandise really broad category he's not because you're going to go into all of those but because it's going to get your brain turning talk to your friends particularly the ones that actually like to shop. This is where like you want to find that even if you hate shopping find the shoppers in your life your friend, your sister, your aunt, whoever it is find people that shop a lot and asked them to spend a few minutes looking at your line hey, what do you think I'm missing what's not here, that needs to be here, because chances are if they spend a lot of time in stores, they're gonna be like, oh, you could be doing that. You would not be doing this, you could be doing that, and then pay attention to your customers and your fans see what it is that they're telling you. Are they staring at your neck looking for a thing? That's? Not there? Are there things that you aren't selling a lot of? And when you start looking at your own line, you realize it's, because I'm only offering three rings in one particular kind of metal, right? What does that look like for you? So pay attention there, and you're going to start to see gaps before we move on. I wanted to come or hot seats where we get any questions about the the gaps, part or anything holdovers from the last one, you know, we have some question perfect let's, do it. What if one of your best sellers is one of those things that you are so tired of making and want to move away from, since it doesn't speak to what you are excited about anymore? Perfect, so that's a great question, and there is really two parts to that answer, and the first one is that's why I'm telling you, when you're looking at what's working doesn't have to be your best seller could be what's generating the most profit it could be what people know you for there's a lot of other ways that you could look at what's working because if you hate making it it's not working right? So we want to kind of ditch all of those so maybe what's your second best seller or what's the thing that sort of selling a little bit, but if it had more of a collection around, it would sell even more so thinking about those kind of other things that you can add and then the second piece is, of course, that when we get that excitement part if what your best seller leads you to doesn't excite you it's not going to make it all the way to the middle of our circles, so put it on your list for now, but by the end it's something that you're gonna be able to ignore awesome any others? Yes, sonja be asked, do you suggest to ask your customers on social media to choose between a beer see, in terms of so in certain scenarios? Yes, and we talked about it was sarah where I think she kind of has a very easy product she's got photography, she only wants to bring so many to market I think it's a good thing to ask. But I wouldn't do it on social media. I would bring them back to your site and give them choices now for other kinds of people, maybe someone who is making a more physical product. I think it's better to just release a few extra things and then let customers vote with their dollars.
Megan Auman is a designer, metalsmith, educator, and entrepreneur who has built a multi-faceted business around her passion for great design and sustainable business. Her eponymous jewelry line is sold in stores across the US and online. Her designs have been featured in Design Sponge, Better Homes and Gardens, Cooking Light, and more. In 2009, Megan founded Designing an MBA to help designers and makers develop their business skills. Since then, she has created a number of successful e-courses, including Marketing for Makers, Wholesale Academy, and Do/Teach. She is a frequent speaker on pricing, wholesale, and business thinking for creatives.
This class was absolutely fantastic. Even though I've had my etsy shop for a while, it has always been something on the side for me while I was attending school full-time. Now that I have the time to really focus and commit to my business I can finally take the steps I need to build up my business and make some real revenue. Because of this class I now know those exact steps to push my shop with full speed ahead. Megan is fully engaging as well, which made the class easy and fun to follow along. Great class, Megan!
I Must Draw
Megan is a brilliant instructor and each of her classes is packed with information to take your business forward. 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, highly recommend.
Megan Auman is such an amazing artist, craftsman, strategist, and communicator. Everyone trying to make a living selling what they make needs to see this. I think this was my favorite class in the series. Getting such incredibly thoughtful, thought-provoking and concise information from an academically-trained fine artist and teacher was UH-MAZE MAZE!