Publish date: 3.2.2020
A quick search on Etsy, Amazon Handmade, or Pinterest can result in countless images of seemingly identical products. Oftentimes, sellers see a product selling well and, instead of putting their own spin on it, they just duplicate a carbon copy. This is one of my major pet peeves within the handmade community. It can also be incredibly frustrating if you are the designer of the original said popular product and everyone else jumps on the bandwagon to copy it. I can say this from experience, unfortunately.
With this unavoidable trend in the handmade community, customers search for a product and also see the same thing over and over again. How boring and frustrating for our customers. If a customer gets a search page full of nearly identical products, they are then left to make their purchase based on price – which usually means they will be looking for the cheapest.
I don’t know about you, but I didn’t start my business so that I could stand out for my dirt cheap prices. If you are competing on being the cheapest, you may win the sale, but are you really winning if you don’t make a reasonable profit? No thanks.
I want my shop to be known for great designs and I suspect that you feel the same way.
This is where we need to consider the value of a good design versus a great design.
A good design will follow trends, be in demand, and look like other products in your market. But you aren’t mediocre. You aren’t making products just to look like everything else. You are building a brand to stand out brand.
This is where making a great design becomes the winning strategy. A great design is one that incorporates trends and popular elements while also adding your personal style. A great design stands out in the sea of photos that look identical to one another.
It’s easy to just make what everyone else is making and not design something new.
I do want to take a moment to address the concept of copying. Taking a good product and making it great is different than copying. Copying is what happens when the whole first page of results looks identical to one another. That is what happens when sellers fail to be creative and just want to jump on a bandwagon without thought.
There’s a quote from Mark Twain that says, “There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations.”
This is what needs to happen in order to create great designs in your shop. Take those great designs, those trends that you see within your target audience, and give them a turn through your mental kaleidoscope. Think to yourself, “How can I make this better?” and “If I were making this for my audience, what would they want it to look like?”.
Once you take your designs to the next level and you move from good to great, you create your own market within your niche because your products can’t be found anywhere else. When you use your creative talents to create something that is trendy while adding your own twist, you provide a product that can only be purchased in your shop. This gives you the ability to set the product price without worrying about competitors who are fine with paying themselves $2 an hour. That means you are winning the sale and winning a nice profit.
I encourage you to look at the latest trends, keep an eye on what’s popular, and take the time to add your own twist in a way that is congruent with your shop’s brand. This will help your shop to stand out in a sea of search results that all look the same and allow you to charge a price that you deserve.
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