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Niche products, swish marketing?

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Chris152

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I've had these two tabs open on my desktop for a while and keep returning to them.
https://www.talesbytrees.com/ (the wooden seed)
https://foreverspin.com/
Chatting recently with a friend who runs his own business, he said marketing is everything. Well, obviously you need a product, but that seems to be increasingly true, especially in relation to 'luxury' items like these.
No idea whether or not these things are selling, but i think it raises questions for those of us who make stuff to sell (on whatever scale - small in my case).
Any thoughts?
C
 

Droogs

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Ok, I get the the 2nd lot make toys for kids with ADHD but haven't got a clue what the first lot are up to except their own buttocks.

there is slick and then there is pretentious. Being savvy about the various mediums available to be used and using them to you advantage is one thing but losing the message of what you actually make as the first lot have while trying to do so is the biggest danger
 

Sideways

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"Marketing" is so much more than this.
It's very much about understanding customers: who they are, what they want / need / value ...
Understanding your own business: what you are good at / what advantages (if any) do you have / what can you offer that satisfies a group of customers in a way that makes you some profit.
And also understanding your competitors so you don't try to compete head on with someone who's better than you in every way that matters to your customer.
Marketing in this sense is crucial to building a profitable, sustainable business.

The two websites you've linked are very slick, but they are basically "branding". A small subset of marketing that is important (companies spend a lot of money on it because it can help them sell more product at higher prices) but no more than a small subset. Branding is all about intangibles, the colours, logo's, style, and stories around a product designed to make the buyer feel good and in the process make them think the product is worth more than it really is. It can work (Apple, Swiss Watches, B&O hifi ...Powermatic machinery).
Branding together with advertising and promotion is also responsible for a lot of absolute cr*p and wastes a huge amount of money.
Beware of getting suckered.
 

Chris152

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Sideways":1eigrs3k said:
Branding together with advertising and promotion is also responsible for a lot of absolute cr*p and wastes a huge amount of money.
Agree completely, it seems an awful lot of what we chase after and spend our hard-earned money on are 'needs' created by advertising/ fashion/ lifestyle imagery that bear little or no relation to our real needs.
And yep, you're right Droogs that the seed thingy is buried under a load of apparently pointless information - tho from what I can tell it's all about planting and saving trees. No idea what the books are about.
For all that, i still find myself wanting one of each of those products, and also wonder to what extent limiting yourself to making one thing as well as you can and marketing it (/branding yourself) very strategically can work when making things from wood.
 

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There is a chain of shops in Greece called "Jumbo", which is huge, has lots of outlets, and sells vast numbers of products, none of which have any practical use whatsoever. Women LOVE it!
An example of pointless tat:


I have come to the conclusion that people buy whatever you tell them to buy, and if they haven't been told to buy it, it doesn't matter how good your product or service is. Women particularly are keen on conspicuous consumption (everything they wear, makeup etc is all signalling their status to other women). With the hand-crafted wood products, it has to have a story with bragging rights, otherwise why not buy from IKEA? If I were in the business of selling wooden items, I would market to women, and probably make kitchen stuff.

Going back to your previous thread about craft fayre items, I made a bookmark the other day - I happened to have a sliver of olive wood in the scrap bin that was just too pretty to throw out, so I sanded it and gave it to the offspring - it may be the easiest gift I have ever made. 1mm thick, 20mm by 150mm (ish), and very pretty, figured wood (as an American on YouTube might say). Print some names on them, and they might just sell.
 

Chris152

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It's just that kind of thing (the bookmark/ bookmark with writing)that's got me thinking, Tn. First fair i just foregrounded the work I liked and hid the little extras (reindeer) away, more or less. second fair I put them out front. It plays to different audiences but I can't pretend to understand/ predict how a specific location will react (spend money). There's something attractive about refining your making as far as you can and targeting a very particular audience (says the bloke with a house still full of bread boards).
 

AJB Temple

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Trainee neophyte":11od6hmc said:
There is a chain of shops in Greece called "Jumbo", which is huge, has lots of outlets, and sells vast numbers of products, none of which have any practical use whatsoever. Women LOVE it!

I have come to the conclusion that people buy whatever you tell them to buy, and if they haven't been told to buy it, it doesn't matter how good your product or service is. Women particularly are keen on conspicuous consumption (everything they wear, makeup etc is all signalling their status to other women). With the hand-crafted wood products, it has to have a story with bragging rights, otherwise why not buy from IKEA?
I'm not sure that being offensive to women gets us far. Women like decorating homes nicely for our families and there is nothing wrong with that. Men have never been immune from this: in days gone by it may have been ornate carving, or heavily designed wallpaper (one W Morris) or wearing wigs and tights and codpieces (check out the male catwalk shows this year and you will see at least two designers bringing them back). I see nothing wrong with people liking woven hearts (or woven rugs for that matter). There is more to life than pure functionality.
 

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AJB Temple":3o04pvax said:
Trainee neophyte":3o04pvax said:
There is a chain of shops in Greece called "Jumbo", which is huge, has lots of outlets, and sells vast numbers of products, none of which have any practical use whatsoever. Women LOVE it!

I have come to the conclusion that people buy whatever you tell them to buy, and if they haven't been told to buy it, it doesn't matter how good your product or service is. Women particularly are keen on conspicuous consumption (everything they wear, makeup etc is all signalling their status to other women). With the hand-crafted wood products, it has to have a story with bragging rights, otherwise why not buy from IKEA?
I'm not sure that being offensive to women gets us far. Women like decorating homes nicely for our families and there is nothing wrong with that. Men have never been immune from this: in days gone by it may have been ornate carving, or heavily designed wallpaper (one W Morris) or wearing wigs and tights and codpieces (check out the male catwalk shows this year and you will see at least two designers bringing them back). I see nothing wrong with people liking woven hearts (or woven rugs for that matter). There is more to life than pure functionality.
I have a tendency to exaggerate for effect, to make a point, but fundamentally men and women have very different needs, and very different desires. This translate into different ways of approaching the world. Men are from Mars, women are from Venus. Complete tosh, obviously, and yet...

Current society empowers women, so they get to make lots of choices and conspicuously consume lots of stuff. Men tend to have different needs, and different priorities. Huge sweeping statements, and I apologise if I haven't reflected the nuances of individual differences.

In the average household, I expect the man and the woman (let's ignore the 2% blt+gq "other" for the sake of argument) spend roughly equal amounts of money on "discretionary" purchases. Any man reading this post will be buying tools, sharpening supplies or timber, not sisal rugs and raffia hearts with questionable tartan ribands. See the difference?
 

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Chris152":1esxs269 said:
It's just that kind of thing (the bookmark/ bookmark with writing)that's got me thinking, Tn. First fair i just foregrounded the work I liked and hid the little extras (reindeer) away, more or less. second fair I put them out front. It plays to different audiences but I can't pretend to understand/ predict how a specific location will react (spend money). There's something attractive about refining your making as far as you can and targeting a very particular audience (says the bloke with a house still full of bread boards).
I expect the things you love to make don't sell, and the things you churn out with no pride or skill fly off the shelves. "Isn't it ironic"

People are weird. I'm still trying to work them out.
 

Jacob

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Chris152":2dfert2u said:
...marketing is everything. ....
Any thoughts?
C
Marketing is everything if you are selling garbage. The product sells itself if it's any good.
Have to strike a happy mean!
 

Chris152

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Jacob":2bpe5lnl said:
The product sells itself if it's any good.
I think that's the bit that's unclear - I'd imagine there are lots of very good products around that don't sell, and there's certainly a lot of garbage around that does sell.
 

SammyQ

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"Marketing is everything if you are selling garbage. The product sells itself if it's any good."

No. That is an uninformed, massively ignorant and extremely misleading statement.

One of my children earns a very good wage in digital marketing from what I've learnt thereby, I can assure you Jacob, your inflammatory generalism is (at best) fallacious and (more probably) simply provocation for its own sake.

Pabulum, Mark II.

Sam
 

Jacob

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SammyQ":1u3q3ir8 said:
"Marketing is everything if you are selling garbage. The product sells itself if it's any good."

No. That is an uninformed, massively ignorant and extremely misleading statement.

One of my children earns a very good wage in digital marketing from what I've learnt thereby, I can assure you Jacob, your inflammatory generalism is (at best) fallacious and (more probably) simply provocation for its own sake.

Pabulum, Mark II.

Sam
Edited my reaction to Mr Pabulum's fit of rage. :roll:
It was a bit of a shock over a morning cup of tea to be accused in one post of, or of being; inflammatory generalism, (at best) fallacious, (more probably) simply provocative, uninformed, massively ignorance and being extremely misleading. :lol: :lol:
Mine was just a passing remark of no consequence, not sure why it inflamed the passions of our Pabulum master. Maybe he'd had difficult night? Hope he's feeling better.
 

SammyQ

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Wot Nev said covers it for me; I'm off to a productive thread.


"Idiots, know-it-alls and trolls require a response.

You respond in any way - they win!
you jumping in and telling them they're stupid and dangerous - they win!
you jumping in to support the 'correct' one - the troll wins!
You jumping in with a sarcastic or jokey response - they win!
Me jumping in and locking/ deleting/ editing the thread - they win!

There is no way of defeating of troll or a know-it-all or an Silly person, apart from completely ignoring them.

They will say something inflammatory just to get a response or reinforce their feelings of superiority. If they genuinely believe that they are correct and everyone else is wrong, then you're not going to change their mind, they'll feel as strongly about their point of view as you do about yours, and you'll just fill the pages with more and more angry responses which will then degenerate into personal insults and more bad feeling.

Nev"
Sam
 

Jacob

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Turned out weird this thread. Just a casual comment about advertising! :roll:
To expand upon it (cautiously) - we all know heavily promoted products/services which may be not very good and massively over priced (think double glazing companies). We all know people producing excellent products/services who get work by reputation, word of mouth, with no promotion at all. That's all I had in mind.
Our OPs examples are selling the 'idea' as it were, rather than the products. I thought the wooden items were interesting and might sell themselves if they got enough exposure i.e. just seen without having to be explained or justified. I like the bowls. Their ideas are interesting too - I've actually been stirred into looking at the site. "Net Positive" makes very good sense, unless they are just cynically exploiting an otherwise worthwhile concept.

PS had a closer look
Chris152":2g7vcmol said:
.......No idea whether or not these things are selling, but i think it raises questions for those of us who make stuff to sell (on whatever scale - small in my case).
Any thoughts?
C
The question they raise is about selling sustainable goods. Slightly lost it amongst the long-winded promotion. Highly relevant to woodworkers - using wood is carbon neutral in principle - we are at the forefront!
Also some wooden items seem to last forever, we've got salad bowls, breadboards, bits of furniture, made by my dad about 60 years ago and still in regular use. Have grandparents furniture (trad, fairly ordinary) - about 100 times the life span of an IKEA equivalent and still going strong.
PPS Had an even closer look trying to find out what they do (not obvious!). Basically crowdfunding for a sustainable energy project https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sust ... WOi966sk#/
So far, so neutral?
 

Droogs

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we are only carbon nuetral as woodworkers IF we take active steps to replace the trees felled to give us our wood. Otherwise only difference between us and Brazillian cattlemen is scale
 

Jacob

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Droogs":1g6vilxl said:
we are only carbon nuetral as woodworkers IF we take active steps to replace the trees felled to give us our wood. Otherwise only difference between us and Brazillian cattlemen is scale
Yes and no. Take active steps by all means but even merely buying wood encourages people to supply, grow and sustain it, because we give it cash value. Farmers don't value it so they slash and burn.
 
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