Wednesday, 26 February 2014

What's Your Awesome? Discovering Your Signature Product & Creating Your Niche

Monet has one. 
Picasso has one.
Van Gogh has one.

Gazing on the walls of the humble art gallery you would be able to instantly recognise the artists of paintings not by the signature or label but by the style, look and feel of it.

Their signature "product" developed over time, but it is one that is synonymous with them.

When I think about the handmade businesses I have encountered over the last few years some have had a signature, one that when I see the image I know who made it. For some it is an actual product, others are more like the artists above and it's the style and look of their work. It got me wondering, why is this not so for all makers?

So I watched, I watched new businesses on the scene and I saw them start with one product (that I would think would be developed into their signature product) and then they add, and add, and add more and more products to their line. Sometimes they are related and you can see the connection and sometimes I am scratching my head with confusion and wondering just where they are headed as a business. 

Are they following what they think is in demand and trying to get a piece of the pie?

Are they really wanting to be more like a retail shop with everything available to buy?

Or, are they just going on the winding path and creating whatever with very little thought and direction?

When you first start, minimising your product offering sounds scary and doesn't make sense. Why would you reduce what people can buy? But if you really develop your own signature product, the one you have a passion for, the one all your heart goes into .... it will sell itself and you will then become known for that product. When your product is seen, we will know you created it; and when you do a variation, we will fight each other to get it.

So, how do you develop your very own signature product?

First, you need to revisit your passion. What got you into your handmade business? What was the product that transitioned you from making gifts for others to making to sell?

Think hard about it and recapture the passion you had for it. Can you further develop it? Can you play around with it and have some fun with your creation and really make it something awesome?

It might not be an actual product for you, it might be the style of how you create, how you finish and how you present your creations.

Is it unique in the market or can you develop it further to be unique?

Take a moment and give it some thought. Maybe ask your tribe, what do they think your signature product is?

So, let me know, do you have a signature product or do you have a signature style?

What is it?

Is it something you can develop and build on?

When you have decided on what your signature is you can then work out who the very specific customer is for it and there is your niche. Your own little segment of the handmade market to call yours.

It's important to remember that the master painters continued to grow and develop their style and so should you. This exercise should not be a one time only affair. You will change as your skills improve and your niche will change. My point is to try and have that "thing" that is yours and make it awesome!

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