In my last blog post I shared with you my thoughts and excitement in finding inspiration to create a new product for my Draw That Pig shop. As I set my scene and prepared for the muses to shower me with creativity, I found myself thinking about my Pajama Eaters. Specifically, I was concentrating on what my customers SAY about my Pajama Eaters. And I realized that it is high time I offer them something more! Something new! Some unique, exciting monster cuteness!
This, my friends, is product development 101. Firstly, LISTEN to what your customers are saying. Find out what they are saying they need — and, then, fill that need for them!
I try hard to really LISTEN to what my customers are saying. The two main ways I have gleaned information from my customers is via reviews and feedback from my online sales, and through face-to-face interaction at craft shows. The latter is definitely a more informative interaction. A bigger bang for your buck, if you will. 😉
For instance, at a craft show a customer might approach my booth and pick up a Pajama Eater. Her face brightens as she runs her hand over the Minky softness, squeezes the plump cuteness, and unzips the pocket mouth. “Ooooh, this is a great idea!” (pause) “Too bad my kids (my grandkids, my nieces or nephews) are older. I think they are past the age where they would enjoy this guy.” (regretfully replaces PJ Eater back on the table). Sigh.
Although I may not have made a sale right then, I DID gain valuable insight from this interaction. It’s not just about pitching your product for the immediate sale (although this would be great, too!); it’s about developing a rapport and building a relationship with your customer so that you can better serve her.
So, what was my take-away from that customer interaction? Well, I am confident that the customer likes the quality of my craftsmanship and the materials I used. She also likes the monster idea. What I heard her say, however, is that the Pajama Eater is too young a product to serve her needs. She needs something for older kids.
Think. Think. Think.
I need to come up with a product that offers monster cuteness, high-quality materials, and the craftsmanship and packaging my customers have come to expect from their handmade, “buy local” purchase.
How about a DIY sewing kit for older kids? The kit could include hand-cut monster forms and features, cut from high quality wool-blend felt. Some fluffy stuffing, tools necessary to complete the job, and well-written instructions. All packaged up and ready for gifting. Hmmmm ….. I may be on to something here. I am taking an existing product that is a best seller in my shop, and tweaking it a bit in order to fill my customers’ needs.
We shall see. Of course, part of product development is the testing phase. Any takers? If you are interested in testing one of my DIY Monster Kits please comment below or email me at email@example.com, and we can discuss the particulars. ❤