Monday, 9 August 2010

image via weheartit

Last week I asked for reader comments and votes on whether or not the Letterpress Loot Bag would be something they'd enjoy subscribing to. One of the comments received seemed a little mean-spirited. I decided to publish it anyway because I did, afterall, ask for feedback.

Here's the advice the anonymous person gave to me:
"Lots of other printers are already doing this. Maybe you should try coming up with something original instead."
I responded and thanked the person for their time. In addition to my response I'd like to share this timely post about competition on Seth Godin's blog.
"There are lots of good reasons to abandon a project. Having a little competition is not one of them. "
booya! 

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10 comments:

for design's sake {sandi} said...

I saw that comment the other day and got really angry. Why are people so bitter? I'm glad you confronted it head on. Inspiring Tanya!

xo

Chantel I. said...

Hi Tanya!

I'm sorry that the anonymous person didn't give their feedback in a more constructive fashion. That being said, I agree with the first part of their suggestion. I didn't say so in your earlier post because negative comments are often ridiculed or ignored in the paper goods blog world. But as a possible consumer of the goods you're thinking of selling, I think my feedback, and that of anonymous, should at least be heard.

I have bought a card from you in the past, but would I sign up for a loot bag? Probably not. Why? For a few reasons:

1. Like anonymous said, other letterpress operators are doing this. I've signed up for similar subscriptions, but felt like what I received was odds and ends that the printer couldn't sell through other means.

2. I like to know what I'm getting before I pay for it. I get that some people are really keen on surprises, but since my disposable money is very limited, I want to know that what I'm going to receive is useful to me. What if I subscribe and find out that I don't like the designs on something you've sent? Or I don't have any use for plain notecards? I would feel like it's money wasted.

Please don't see this as criticism on your work as an artist. I loved the card I bought and think you make some really beautiful stuff. But as a marketer myself, I think that the information I'm passing along to you, and what anonymous is saying, could be very useful to you to make a loot bag that is unique and desirable. I'm sure Seth would agree with that too.

Cheers,

Chantel

Moose said...

I read that link .... as a letterpress printer myself, just starting out, I have already done a wedding invitation suite to jump right in!! I look to your site to fashion my long range "letterpress class" ideas on... I don't mean to copy you, just use the inspiration I get from other letterpress sites that I really, really admire!
Enjoy your relaxation at the lake!
Tail Wags to all,
~moose

merium said...

I guess it's easy to be snarky when you're anonymous. Good for you for taking the high road.

cmnb said...

Kudos to you for taking it in all in stride! I'll say this... It's not just about competition but also taste. Not sure who the others are or what their style is but I know this... I like YOUR creations and I enjoy reading YOUR blog so it makes no difference to me whether 10 or 10,000 other people are doing the same thing. And I'm sure you have a large following who feel the same way! Have a great day!!

Amanda said...

LOL! Good come back. :) You tell em! Plus your loot bags are super original and super cute! You've totally got a snap & tumble style to your work and that keeps everything you do original.

alexandria said...

I think your idea is brilliant and I love the article you found for a response!

sjm said...

That quote sums it up perfectly!

t a n y a said...

sandi: It wouldn've been easy for me to be upset about it as well, but it just wasn't worth it.

Chantel I: Thank you for your insightful comment. Your feedback, in part, is something that I've already considered and am glad that you shed light on it for everyone else to read.

Moose: I hope that what you find from my work inspires you to develop your own unique style. I think everyone needs a starting point to discover what their individual style is and isn't.

merium: I agree, and thanks!

cmnb: You raise a great point. There are millions of photographers, for example, who offer similar products. Yet, I've got a favorite and subscribe to their work because I like their style.

Amanda: thank you!

alexandria: thank you! I have yet to read a Seth Godin post that isn't great.

sjm: doesn't it? :)

Anonymous said...

I'm anonymous that posted the comment - and I did so because I work for a well-known magazine, and am obligated by my contract to not make comments that might be mistaken for those of the magazine's, since people assume I represent them.

I don't think you shouldn't do it because other people are - what I mean is that the letterpress field is becoming inundated with printers doing the same thing all the time - like monthly mailers and yearly calendars that are tending to all look the same. It would just be nice if someone could come up with something new that hasn't been done yet - that's all. It's not an issue about your competition, it's an issue of being creative and doing something different. Instead of doing something that already exists, try something new.

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