I was reading Seth Godin this morning and he made the following statement:
“We’ve been culturally brainwashed to believe that the factory approach (average products for average people, compliance, focus on speed and cost) is the one and only way. It’s not.”
And that phrase, average products for average people, stopped me in my tracks. After all, don’t we all sometimes fall into the trap of designing average products for average people? Sure, we don’t say that’s what we’re trying to do. We talk about mass appeal, or wanting to make something for everyone. But what do those words really mean? Average.
This is a terrible way to run your business. First of all, you aren’t average! You’re a creative genius! And, you’re a craftsperson or designer who’s making products in a special way. So why would you want to design products that appeal to “everyone”? Why would you try to market your products just like everything else in the world? Why not design extraordinary products for incredible people? Why not dive deep into a niche, and design special products for even more special people?
Secondly, when you design average products for average people, you are forced to compete with all the other average products on the only variable that’s left – price. And as I’ve said before, craft cannot on price. That’s a game you won’t win.
So today, instead of trying to make nice products that appeal to everyone, why not design a unique, different, special product for unique, different, special people? Instead of trying to fit in, why not try to stand out?