April '21

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A W A R D S & C U S T O M I Z AT I O N 2 6 G R A P H I C S P R O A P R I L 2 0 2 1 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M Y O U R L A S E R A T W O R K | B O B H A G E L SELLING ARTISTIC AND THEMED PRODUCTS Y ou're excited—you have come up with a great product idea. But will others share your enthusiasm? It's time to do some research. How big is your market? How specialized is it? How do you reach those that will be enthused with your product design choices? What are people willing to pay for your product? If your product is theme-based or based on a graphic, does the theme or graphic have wide appeal, even if it is among a group that shares the same in- terests? For instance, let's say you want to sell a wall hanging decor item to those that share an interest in trains. at's a specialized group of people. Does the graphic you choose have wide appeal among this group? Test out your ideas with a group of enthusiasts. Be as specif- ic as possible in testing out ideas, graph- ics, fonts, and even topics. Before you spend time working on marketing, pricing, and creating more of your business plan, nd at least one group of enthusiasts to get feedback from—I even suggest more than one group. Perhaps you will nd groups that represent dierent parts of the country, dierent specic interests, male and fe- male, older and younger, etc. Seek out local or national clubs, on- line and print magazines, forums, and chat groups. Find ways to reach out to the members. Perhaps oer a discount or a giveaway for those that help you by providing feedback. Be open and hon- est about your intent and respectful of opinions and feedback. People that share a common interest are often anxious to participate and provide feedback. HOW CUSTOMIZED? Are you oering a truly custom design or one of several designs? Truly unique designs cannot be priced ahead of time. You may oer a pricing formula, but you will need to be paid for your creative de- sign work. If you decide to oer several pre-designed choices, you may nd they each have their own price point that customers are willing to pay. e price point may have little to do with the time involved in the design or product eort. A trendy look may demand a higher price, or a rarer design might be worth more. Feedback on pricing is just as im- portant as on design. Make sure the number of choic- es is manageable. You can add more choices as sales increase and produc- tion becomes more efficient. Too much choice can be overwhelming to many customers and end up re- ducing sales because people cannot make a choice. Having a selection of three to six designs is likely man- ageable and not too overwhelming. HOW PRESONALIZED? Personalization might include a name and date or even a saying or quote. But it also might include col- ors and font choices. Sayings, font, and color choices should be man- aged—a choice of ve to 10 for each is usually plenty. Left: This mermaid product is made from wood in multiple layers and is hand painted. Profitability would rely on a structured production and assembly method produced in good quantity. Right: The finished product serves as a nauti- cal decorative piece that could be made in several sizes. It has a wide appeal and does not require personalization. (All images courtesy Bob Hagel)

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