In this quick blog post I’m going to show you the lightbulb moment and inspiration behind my new Brand Builder product lines and monthly freebies.
I’m looking forward to hearing your feedback and suggestions on how to make these products more useful for you.
MY EARLY 2018 FAILURE
I started 2018 with many plans on what to create for my Creative Market shop. However I soon realized that I made decisions in a vacuum without consulting with my real ideal customers.
All my plans involved heavy-duty illustration work that went very slow and had zero ROI at the end. Meanwhile in my other shop at Vintage to Vectors I had record sales with Instagram templates.
But I couldn’t justify the need for social media templates. I felt that they weren’t much useful, just pretty. And as a designer I’d like to aim for both functionality and aesthetics.
So I felt lost, with no clear product strategy
MY LIGHTBULB MOMENT
This summer a work lunch brought a big realization regarding my failed product line and what to do instead.
I was having fun with a fellow fempreneur at Toronto’s amazing Fresh on Front street, a vegan restaurant that has an amazing vibe. When we entered the place it immediately crossed my mind: I want to decorate my home like this!
Beautiful, natural wood, exposed brick walls in sun-kissed sand shades, powder pink chairs and luxurious looking, velvet cushions in stunning emerald. Every little corner had a cute but feminine and welcoming detail.
I thought: “Why can’t I do the same at home? Why do I struggle when it comes to decorate our place?”
Because truth be told: our home is far from stylish. It’s plain functional at this moment… Weirdly enough, the combination of furniture, textures and lights don’t come naturally to me. I can tell you if I like a pillow, a vase or a pattern on a bed linen but I’m lost if you ask me to set up a full living room. I’ve simply never practiced that.
And then it hit me. My ICA has the exact same problem with her brand visuals! She needs more guidance because she doesn’t have the practice yet.
REACH OUT FOR FEEDBACK
After this huge lightbulb moment, numerous phone calls with past clients and long discussions with my admiringly analytic hubby, I decided to pivot my product line.
And this is what you must do: reach out. Ask for feedback, even if you a severe critique-avoider like me.
BEST WAYS TO INVOLVE OTHERS IN YOUR PRODUCT PLANNING:
- Create a survey: You can start for free with Survey Monkey or other providers
- DM people on social media or email them and ask their opinion
- Meet with fellow entrepreneurs and talk about your struggle
- Look at the trends: who are the best sellers on your market and ask their feedback or opinion on your products.
- Talk to your past clients
At the end I talked to 3 different real-life ICAs and I started to see the pattern: they know what they like when they see it but they don’t know how to combine different graphic elements to get that look.
Before these discussions, I offered graphic products that buyers could combine themselves in any way as they wanted. But if you have no clue what looks good together, would you even start playing around? When you feel lost, confused, unsatisfied with your capabilities, are you going to buy a product that adds to your confusion? Hell no!
That’s why I failed.
But I want to help my customers. I want to empower them to get a professional look for their business without hiring a designer. So I finally got back to the drawing table to plan a brand new product line and brand new freebies.
THE BRAND BUILDER’S BOX
For each month, starting 2018 September, I define a signature style. Then I create multiple products in this style for the entire month. They all work well together so you don’t have to patchwork your visuals from a zillion of mishmash products.
These products are:
Social media design templates in Photoshop and Canva format
Website elements (headers, icons, button styles)
Cliparts, graphic elements and patterns
Presentation / slide deck templates in Powerpoint and Keynote format
But this is only the foundation. The Brand Builder’s Box products also contain a color palette, typography system and stock photo suggestions (free and paid) so that you can keep on posting consistent looking content on the long run.
Last but not least, I’m working on tutorials to add extra value and ease to newbies who’ve never used Photoshop or Canva and want to tackle design tasks themselves.
MONTHLY BRAND BUILDER MINI COLLECTIONS
At the beginning of each month, Andimaginary Creative Tribe members will get an exclusive freebie, showcasing the best elements of each Brand Builder’s Box.
THE FIRST BRAND BUILDER’S BOX STYLE
The first style for this new product line is called Set Sail, and was inspired by our yearly tradition to go on a sailing trip in September.
The free sample includes:
4 hand painted, high resolution watercolor elements
3 hand-drawn, vectorgraphic cliparts
5 Instagram Story templates in Photoshop and Canva format
Color palette with color codes
Stock photo and photographer suggestions
LOOKING FORWARD TO HEARING YOUR FEEDBACK
Do you also struggle when it comes to creating consistent visual content for your brand? I would like to hear from you. Post your feedback about this freebie and your design needs in the comment section or shoot me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org