Thursday, May 26, 2011

Branding and Socialism

Our community's entrepreneurship committee is working on a project to help local artist's sell their wares. We have been working on a way to help them market their products by combining efforts. Here are some relevant issues:

 - Artist co-ops rarely work. Asking predominantly right-brained people
   to agree on marketing could be difficult.
 - Artists can't imagine that their products are unwanted by consumers.
   Who will tell them and hurt their feelings? The other artists?
 - How can you keep the brand consistent? Various types of art may not
   be compatible within the same brand. Example: will you sell children's
   lullaby collection books alongside pornographic works?

The Animal Farm model is difficult and usually breaks down. The way to succeed is not to sell things that artists want to sell, but to sell things that people want to buy.

The best method is for an independent team to establish a firm, create a brand, then source products from the artists, and sell them. This is the Henry and David model. Pottery Barn would never tell everyone that they can sell anything they want through their store channels. Pottery Barn has buyers, who are expert at understanding consumer wants and buying behaviors, procure what they know will sell.

We plan also to form a "farm club," a group of students and artist hopefuls who can sell their wares through a separate brand as they learn how to respond to customer tastes. That way we respond to the need to help people become self-employed artists without diluting the exclusive brand.

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