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Brand name marketing


#1

Hi all. I think I may have finally found a little sweet spot, a
unique exploitable niche of my own. I’m at a point where I could sure
use a little advice from the collective genius out there.

I’m working on a variation of a common type of earring, to be made
from Argentium. I’ve created a cool little oak display rack to hold a
dozen pairs. The concept could work in a variety of outlets, from
boutiques to galleries. I would like to wholesale these on a limited
basis. I do not want to get big with this- frankly I don’t want to
work that hard, especially at one thing. I’m pretty sure that there
could be more demand than I care to supply. I DO NOT want to hire
anyone! And I need to leave time to play. Balance, you know.

Here’s my dilemma: I came up with a pretty catchy name for the
concept that would make a memorable brand name. I don’t mean to be
coy, but I can’t tell ya yet.

One side of me is bothered that a commercial-sounding brand name
would work against the desired perception that these are artisan-made
and strictly small-production.

But then the MARKETING side of says Yea! I could finally call
someone and say “Hi, this is Allan from (blank blank)”. For better or
worse it would be a marketing identity that’s a step back (or ahead?)
of me personally, although I do plan to identify myself on the back
of the unique earring card I came up with. I will also emphasize the
hand-made variable nature of the earrings. The whole package is
looking pretty slick, if I do say so. But is that a good thing?

Since I don’t want to go big with this, maybe I should just use my
name on the card, or perhaps something like “(Blank) by Silvermason”-
keep it more low-key than the slicker approach I’m considering now.

And would offering a branded, commercial-looking rack to hold the
cards, as I’m contemplating, somehow reduce the customer’s perception
of them as a special limited production item? Even if it says
"Hand-made in the USA" on the front? On the other hand, I would think
a retailer might be favorably disposed to a whole “package” that
solves his display problem and creates an identity.

I have registered the domain name, though it won’t be on the card.
But I will be findable if someone happened to type in
"blankblank.com". I don’t want to set up more than a one-page website
in any case- my regular one is now officially FOUR years out-of-date
and I don’t need another headache!

I know some of you have created “brands” within your overall
identities. If you use a catchy name, do you think it has helped or
hurt? How have you handled the kinds of issues I’m looking at?

If any of you have a thought about any aspect of this, I’d sure
appreciate hearing from you. Thanks!

Allan Mason
www.silvermason.com


#2

If you are going to create a brand Register IT right away…period.
If its catchy and your target market is to mainstream retailers -use
the catchy easy to identify and recall brand name.

If you set up a site for it,i recommend more than a one page site
for resons too long to go into here ( write me off orchid because i
don’t want everyone to think i consult for free !) Except to say you
need to have a super easy order/reorder page that merchants can, with
a click or two get product into a cart and sent out within the time
frame they elect ( by the shipping methods and payment methods you
offer). Why would you not put it on a business card, seperate from
your,for ex. silvermason, bus. cards? I personally have three
different cards etc., that i use for different aspects of what i do
for good reasons…i.e.-If someone wants Marketing Design and Display
Consultation they probably don’t care about gemstone
appraisals-seperate cards for seperate services and/or products There
are basics to consider too- price tiers and target markets, how you
plan to market the display and earrrings packages, safety features (
important to retailers ), non-competiton forms because you should
consider what guarantees are in place to stop the person or company
you approach from copying the style of display and then putting
their own earrings on it??

From what you have written, you have good ideas but lack follow
through ( website outdated??how much business is that generating for
you? and how many of the products onit still exist or are in style?
and how much do fork over annually for the site and domain?and have
you updated the cost of the materials in the items you have for sale
on the site to reflect market changes? to identify a few reasons
that i’m basing that observation on…) So what would keep you from
going with your slick idea over the slack idea? Seems like you came
up with the slick idea and it turned into your considering it too
much work- so you have to ask yourself" is the initial investment of
time going to give me an adequate return on the slick markjeting idea
vs. the return on a one page site with nothing more htan a name and a
picture…" there are also managed sites available at about 19 bucks
a month…so all you do is upload design options, and pricing
structure and choices of finish for the wood displays they do the
rest, the money shows up in your account and you check your email
daily for orders…not hard, but initially could take a couple of
days -realistically- to get it right- or get it to appear as you
would like it to to sell itself…

anyway, feel free to contact me if you want more advice, or need
forms, etc…

R.E.Rourke


#3

Hello, first off I have to ask, why don’t you ‘want to go big’? Do
you have independant means? Are serious about your work? If you
aren’t going to take your product seriously why should anyone else?

If you aren’t really prepared to go big with this great idea then
you should drop the idea of creating a brand and wholesaleing this
product now…

Branding is marketing and everything that implies. You make a
product, you get people excited to buy it, then you deliver. Your
client base will expect certain things from you and you will have to
dfulfill those expectations and promises. That means you won’t
necessarily get to play when you want.

If you don’t want to hire anyone then don’t try and push a product
that you won’t be able to deliver on. Don’t create a brand if you
aren’t going to stand behind it. That will hurt your reputation more
than creating a catchy name for a product.

I know it sounds like I am ragging on you and I don’t mean to be
mean. It is just that you really need to think about what it is you
are wishing to accomplish.

If you feel you have a great product that could have a presence in
the market then you should research several things. Who makes things
similiar? Where do they sell them? Who buys them, etc? If you want
retail locations to take you seriously and buy a wholesale product
from you should know those things.

Also, look at just how your competition markets their work. Do they
offer racks and cards or do the retailers that handle that work blend
the pieces into their existing inventory? Some stores don’t like the
products they sell to be “branded”. they want their stores to be the
brand. Other stores handle "branded " goods almost exclusively and
use those ‘brands’ as a draw for clients.

The long and the short of it is that you have to figure out just how
hard you want to work. I know that hiring folks to work is taking
things to a different level, but if you have a really marketable
product how will you meet demand otherwise? If you promise to deliver
and then fall through you are toast.

It sounds to me that you think you have a great idea. If it is
really a great idea that could make a lot of money you should think
about being a little more structured, perhaps taking in partners to
help might be a good way to do it.

Good luckl, Dennis


#4

A couple of questions for you, Allan: What do the items cost? What
type of store do you plan to target, gift store, jewelry store, fine
craft store, tourist craft store, or what?

M’lou