Friday, April 10, 2009

Packaging & Branding on Etsy

One of the things we learned in our marketing classes in college was to create a brand relevant to our product and then consistently use that brand. They called this “integrated marketing” – where you have a consistent image with all forms of advertising. While this is more important when you are selling soft drinks and food products, it is also important when you are selling your art/craft related items.

Here are some images of the packaging materials I use in my jewelry sales. The starting point for me was my business card. I collect fleur de lis items and wanted to use that as an art element. I felt the purple and green colors were complementary. I communicated the design that I had in mind and the cards were laid out by a friend. The fleur de lis does not tie me to any particular design or style. It could suggest a European or French style or it could just give the appearance of style in general.

I use the same logo from my business card as my avatar when using online social marketing services such as twitter, blogger, etsy, etc. When I set up at craft shows, I also have a sign with the same logo and color scheme. To prove that this “integrated marketing” works, I had someone recognize my logo first, then look up to greet me! She commented that she recognized my logo from our online communications and made the connection.

Using similar styled packaging materials helps to convey my “brand” even more. I use green and purple tissue with simple kraft tote bags. I stamped a fleur de lis image on the bags in sepia colored ink and used the same design on my kraft boxes. I tie the ribbon with green or purple ribbon, attach a business card, and it’s complete! I printed out small stickers that match my business card in case I wrap something in tissue and want to put a sticker on it. I also use inexpensive organza bags in the same color scheme.

While I won’t go so far to say that it’s “all in the packaging” I do believe that first impressions are very important. As an example, when I first considered online art/craft sales, I made a couple purchases myself to see how the process worked. One item was a one of a kind polymer clay bracelet. I was very excited to get this piece in the mail. I opened the envelope to find it was inside a clear plastic bag that seemed “used” and the packaging materials were a little dirty. Surely this handcrafted piece deserved more than to be tossed in a bag and shipped! I liked the bracelet but was disappointed in the presentation. My expectations did not match my first impression.

From this, and similar experiences, I have learned that packaging and customer service are so important! Make the buyer feel like they made the right decision to buy from you. Thank them, confirm their order, let them know when you have shipped, etc. Then thank them again. All of this is part of the big picture and is so important. It could be the difference in a one-time sale, versus a repeat customer or a customer that provides referrals.

If you have similar experiences in packaging and conveying your brand, and would like to share, I would love to hear from you. The best way to learn is from each other and from experience!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

What a Deal

How cute are these shorts? They say "Art Dept" and even have paint spots on them around the logo. And the tie is made of grosgrain ribbon.

When I saw these shorts (or PJ bottoms?) at Victoria's Secret, I just had to have them. They are not really my size, but I do a good job of shrinking clothes. Just ask my family.

They were $32.50 originally, marked down to $15.50 and I had a VS coupon for $10 off.

Score!! Cute art shorts for only $5.50. I am so easy to please!