As I work towards my goals of creating my own dolls, the question of branding comes to mind. How have others decided on their brand's name? What do you think has been a successful campaign for dolls? What do you think is a successful vs. unsuccessful doll company? What are your general thoughts on the subject?
Post by KittyBubbletea on Mar 7, 2016 19:17:03 GMT -8
A quick little opinion: For me, being able to be involved in an artist's work via blog or social media is really great because I like to get to know the artist and see their work habits and care they take when making their dolls. Quality to me is number one. If the work is well done then I think the buyers are very eager to share that with people and that in turn is great promotion. Honesty in selling and representation of their work is something I admire. Fancy photography and gimmicks only go so far. And, starting off by offering dolls at accessible prices and being accessible as an artist as well are really great for drawing in potential collectors and helping to educate them about their work.
I think it helps if you have a buseniss philosofy written down, something that describes what you want to make and why, that way if you have to make choices (for instance on packaging etc.) you can look at what would convey your philosofy the best.
What I also notice a lot as a wig maker, is that people like to know you, because knowing someone creates a a trust bond, especially if people know you through the internet it helps with selling. I started out with my face as my avatar ages ago and it was kind of a coïncidence but it does help people to trust me to know how I look. At conventions they come up to me because they recognise me even though they never met me and thats really nice.
Post by KittyBubbletea on Mar 8, 2016 17:03:34 GMT -8
Hasel, I love what you said about a "trust bond." That's part of what I was trying to convey when saying that I like being involved in the artist's work via social media and when they participate on the boards, they become part of the community.
Qualities I have observed make for a successful doll brand, in order of importance:
#1 is doll quality! Especially having a very high level of skill at china painting. If the skill isn't there yet (it takes years to develop, from my observations), the dolls have to be cheap. The artist operates at a loss until their skill improves. I would also include in this category things like quality of accessories/box/etc.
#2 High level of communication with customers. Frequent emails, make sure you have the requests just right. Frequent updates on progress. Finishing past deadline is acceptable as long as communication is consistently open. During production, I think updates every 2 weeks or so is best.
#3 excellent online presentation. Essential to have an excellent website and excellent photography. Bad photos will make any doll look bad. If the photography/web design skills aren't there yet (they also take years to develop!) a professional should be hired.
#4 The customer is always right approach to resolving disputes. You are better off making a new doll for free than leaving an unsatisfied customer reporting on you all over the internet. That includes problems that are definitely not your fault, like a doll lost of damaged in the mail. Also means the should be a lifetime guarantee/free repairs on the dolls. This also includes being friendly and humble online and not engaging in public confrontation or disputes.
#5 You can't control this one, but I would add having the right customers. I have noticed success from brands that have sold to customers with an active online presence, who post lots of high quality photos.
I find this topic very interesting. I think you are doing a lot of those already!
Post by EarthShine Doll on Mar 9, 2016 9:43:41 GMT -8
I agree, well said allurose!
I was thinking about your question on brand names, because it took me forever to come up with a name I liked. I feel like a brand name should encompass what feel or theme you are trying to achieve with your business. What Hasel said about a business philosophy is great...write it down, draw some themes out, make a list of what you like.
As far as success goes....Like others have said, I think honesty, quality, friendliness, and availability will take you far!