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Product Line Strategy: Expand Your Offerings

Lesson 18 of 22

Exercise: Identify the Unknowns in Creating New Products

Megan Auman

Product Line Strategy: Expand Your Offerings

Megan Auman

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Lesson Info

18. Exercise: Identify the Unknowns in Creating New Products

Lesson Info

Exercise: Identify the Unknowns in Creating New Products

So our first exercise is to identify the unknowns because if you remember, in the previous staff were designing without any kind of rules or boundaries, and that means that you might have come up with an idea that you don't actually know how to make not knowing how to make something is not a reason to kill the idea. In fact, this is what pushes you forward as a designer, as an artist, as a product maker by saying, you know what? I don't know how to make this, but I'm going to figure it out that's pretty much how I live tonight, all of my products, I don't know how to make this, but I'm going to figure it out. It's how I teach it's something I really believe in. So sit down and ask yourself, is your thinking about your new collection? Can I execute this tomorrow with my current skill set with the tools that I have with the materials that I have on hand? And if you can, what do you need to get or learn or dio? In order to launch that collection? Do you need to learn something new? You ne...

ed to learn a new technique, or do you need to figure something out or develop a new process or new system to execute the idea? So when I did my contra collection and I had my carry over, I didn't actually know how this is, how it was going to put these things together. I wasn't sure, so I just went into my studio and I played around, I figured it out so it's okay, if you don't know, you might need to acquire something. Do I need to get a new tool or a new material? And the one thing that you do want to ask yourself is, can I consistently source the tools or materials needed to put this idea in the production? And if you can, how long do you want to actually make this collection last? Four it's okay, if you can't consistently source wth, um, if you could be up front about that so broad one you have cannot always source things consistently, I'm assuming, but then that becomes part of the collection so it's not a reason to kill it. But it is something you want to be aware of as you're building your launch, and then you might decide, well, I need to hire an outside manufacturer or a subcontractor to execute this idea, so I showed you guys that example of the laser cut home decor line that I did in the year, I wanted to be a product desire and for that that was something where I set my intention of I wanted to design ah line of reproducible pieces inspired by my graduate collection that I didn't have to make by hand, right? I couldn't took me like an entire month to build that chair, I will know that that was not a feasible business model, so I wanted to do something else, and so I knew that the kind of most logical way to employ pattern and scale was laser cutting. So part of my checklist was that I had to go out and find an outside manufacturer for mainly, is they're cutting, and, uh, you know, for my powder coating for that piece, don't worry yet if you don't know where to find this, you can if you have one great make note of that, if not that's, ok, you're simply that on your to do list, I need to find a manufacturer to source. This is another place where our private facebook group is really great because you can ask these questions and that's really, how you find a lot of that nurses you ask around, so it actually turned out that my laser cutter went to high school with my dad, I haven't a living a very industrial area, and then when I needed a new powder coder, I literally googled powder coder eleven in county I found one in the next county over where works just fine. The's problems, which may seem daunting, are actually very solvable. We want to acknowledge that we have to find them. So your exercise here is to create a list off all of the unknowns that you will need to resolve before bringing your idea to market, and then for each item on your list when you identify action steps to resolve it or identify if the design idea needs to be tabled or shelved so you might find something that's not feasible for you right now, maybe it would take you a year to develop a technique and you want to launch a new collection in a month. That's, not thing that you kill it. It just goes back on the list for later. Maybe it were pyres. More skill set, maybe requires you to take a class or it's a longer lead project. So not all of it has to be killed, but some of us might be shelved for now, so you wouldn't do that with all of the unknowns on your list.

Class Description

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. 


Francesca Balagtas

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.

Danielle Celeste

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!