I want to talk to you guys about what's holding you back from designing new products because I feel I saw a lot of, like, a little bit ashamed there's some shame faces having a and our in studio audience. So I went to take stock of your relationship to new product development. And remember, if you guys download that workbook, all of these questions air in here is well, so I want you to take a minute to be truthful with yourself and think about this. So when was the last time that you launched a new product? It was the last time anyone? Sarah, I launched a new product in person for the holidays, and now it will be coming to my online shop. Um, probably in the next few weeks perfect. Some of you guys has it been a little longer? I do the trickle thing where I'll make something on the one off and I'll put it in my shop, so yeah, it's yeah, yeah, I'm making new jewelry all the time, it's just never actually making it into a collection on my site, right? So that part right is one of the las...
t time you launch an entirely new collection at yeah, you guys even thinking that way e I know I need to be doing launches, and I wanted to do like quarterly launches like on solstices and so like yeah yeah like I love that concept it's in my brain it's been in my brain for like a year I just like paralysis around it a magic word and that's what we are doing hear today is we're getting over that kind of decision paralysis and really thinking about this in a much more strategic cohesive way so then I want to ask you how much time do you to vote to new product development and do you actually include it in your business planning process? So when you think about planning your year do you include a new product development as part of your strategic business plan who does that I do that yeah that's why I'm here you're ok? So when I look at how I structure my business for the year I sit down and I think about what am I launching and when I now I'm gonna be honest with you guys I'm a creative just like you and things change I change my mind I go off on a tangent I have this new idea but I at least start with kind of a rough blueprint of when I want to release things and actually right now I have the whole first half of my year loosely scheduled out for product launches because I know that that is the biggest driver of my sales so I'm scheduling it out throughout the year you spend a lot of time now developing new products or is it mostly filling orders where you guys out on that one kind of mixed knew but you're dripping him out, right? How easy is it for you to come up with a new product ideas and how likely are you to bring those ideas to market? So it sounds like a lot of you guys were getting in there you're designing things but you're drifting them into the market right? I'm more like eighty you were all start something and then I make what about that? I want to read this and it's hard and so that's why it's not cohesive because I want to try and new and different things right? So you're not sitting down and kind of focusing on one thing long enough to really launch ago he's a collection of other I feel out of head nodding there I see that's happening a lot so I also just want to kind of think to you guys how does designing new products make you feel so that extent exciting, right? How does launching new products make you feel exciting, exciting, excited, nervous to even feel nervous? Yeah, not excited and you feel like right now, do you feel like when you're launching it's like that you launch and nothing happens because you're dripping right like I put this new thing out there and nothing it happens and I actually I believe having worked with a lot of makers now that one of the reasons that people kind of do this drip thing is because it feels safer it's less scary to launch a product and not tell anyone about it and then you're like, oh, he doesn't sell find no one really knew right, whereas but that is where you're missing the opportunity because you're not creating that energy for your business so let's just talk about some of the challenges that come up when you're designing new products because I feel like there are some even though you guys excited and you're thinking about new things, you're trying new things there still some challenges that happen and I think the first one is finding a balance between creating art and feeling like you're finding a need in the marketplace who feels like that like I'm supposed to be following a need but I really want to make my art and how do I know what I'm doing? Yeah, so what's really interesting is I feel like yes, people need to want you to buy your products but you can make them want to buy your products you can actually generate the need because at the end of the day you are creating art and so instead of feeling like oh I have to release the thing because there seems like a market need for it I like to think of it is I'm gonna make my art I'm going to make a collection that feels cohesive and special and says what I wanted to say and then I'm going tio launch and make it an event and create the thing and build energy and create the need that's what apple does right they weren't like ah people really need an ipod right speech I was like I want to make this cool thing and we're going to through our language to the way we talk about it we're going to convince people that they all need it and if you look at what truly visionary designers dio that's what they dio you know there's the henry ford quote if I ask my customers what they wanted they would have told me a faster horse so you get to be the visionary and then through creating this event really launching collections of collections that's where you create that need how do people have this fear of failure fear every day I see so many smile that yeah yeah that's fine so there's a fear that if you put a product out there no one's going to like them no one's going to buy them and that is definitely challenging but the on ly way to kind of get over that is to keep consistently developing new collections not every collection is going to be one hundred percent hit I have collections that I designed way back when I started my business that I probably had in my production line for seven or eight years now and then in the interim I've had some that have designed them and then I've sent them away and then now I have a collection of working on that I feel like it's back to that super super energy so not everything hits but the point is that they keep trying new things and then the ones that really resonate with my audience those stick around a long time but you don't know until you try and you put it out there so I also want to talk about a couple of mistakes that I see people making when it comes to new product development so we actually already have been talking about one that I didn't even put a slide for which is that dripping products into the market place you design one thing here and one thing there and one thing here and then on a random tuesday you stick it in your etc shop right that is so the opposite of strategic product launching that's the first mistake I also find that people spend too much time looking at their competitors who does that when they're stuck for product idea simmons like me guilty yeah so this is a huge mistake I see people making and I think it falls back to that feeling like you have to hit a market need right the system that I might teach you guys today, we will actually spend no time looking at your competitors through the entire idea generation process. We're going to look a little bit at the marketplace to the very end when we're looking to kind of see if our ideas are valid, but we're not going to look at your competitors into that because you know what happens when you look at your competitors all the time you make stuff that looks like your competitors, and then it becomes impossible to stand out. So what? I want to show you guys today, as I want you to develop your own kind of well of inspiration, that is completely different from what the other people in your market are looking at and that's what creates really distinctive and cohesive collection's you also imposed too many constraints, so I can't do this because x I can't do this because why? I don't know this thing, I don't have this tool. I don't know this material like I had the school idea, but I know I don't think it's gonna work. Anyone definitely would do that. Yeah, so that's when I see and along with that you kill your ideas before they have a chance to fully develop or you get bored with your ideas and move on. So the guy did one thing. That's. Cool. I'm gonna move over here when really, you could mind that one thing for a huge, cohesive collection. And then there is you released. I did. I did have a slide for that. You released individual products. Instead of cohesive collection's, you drip into the marketplace.
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.
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.
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!
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!