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Cass

Perceived Value and Proper Presentation

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In French there is an excellent phrase that has no exact English counterpart, "Mise en valeur"...to put in value. When a product is presented in it's proper surroundings, or better yet, a touch above it's proper surroundings, the impression is given that it is more valuable, and people want it, and gladly pay a premium price.

 

For those doing shows, my best (extreme) example would be a potter sets up with a card table and puts out a scattering of pieces....even if the work is very good this puts the work in a poor context, and therefore won't command a good price, or be 'wanted'...but if someone has a primo booth, the opposite is true, you can UP the perceived value, and the prices on work that is justly presented. And amazingly, by putting higher prices the implication is made that the work is better, well crafted, and that the price is justified...this is not off the top of my head, market researchers have proven this again and again for clients wanting to find the maximum price that the market will bear.

 

this took a few years for me to accept, and believe, and try...there was a point in '98 or so when the numbers weren't quite adding up, i don't mean the costs and all, i mean my rent! and bills and on and on, for the hours we were putting in, so...

 

we doubled or prices, and sales volume went up...and we got new accounts. and about the same time we invested in our booth, trying to 'mise en valuer' we copied the type of booth that the jewelers used, clean black Propanels, glass shelves, good halogen lighting, and blowup, high res images of us working, firing, and pot detail shots....sales boomed, thats why i think of this as Investment.

 

all this not to blow my own horn, but for those getting going now to think about.

 

BoothShot1.jpg

 

 

BoothShot2.jpg

LilyT likes this

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Top picture looks elegant while the bottom picture not so much.....do not notice the pottery through the trees....more inclined to stop for more than a minute at the top display with black back drop, bottom display back ground is a distraction.

 

Edie

 

 

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thanks for 'elegant' duckie..as for the bottom pic, that was the venue, obviously we did not bring those plants...we wondered the same thing when setting up, as it turned out though, we sold out, literally sold everything even in our backup stock, except that funky spikey bowl on the left pedestal. did not have time to paint the light rack either, but it was black by the next show....this was all in '07 by the way

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Great display are the boxes open in the back so that they can store inside each other, I can see designing a display system like this that could be stored in a small space and easily moved. Denice

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Great display are the boxes open in the back so that they can store inside each other, I can see designing a display system like this that could be stored in a small space and easily moved. Denice

 

 

the three pedestals at right (top pic) fit inside eachother...the ones under the glass display had to be the same size, but the back is open (still painted in case they have to show), these store extra stock, packaging materials, and such

 

the glass, imo, is the ultimate display, it breaks down fast and is very compact, i made wood storage boxes for each size of glass where they just slide down into a groove and are protected

 

Flexibility is key! you dont want to be locke dinto a 10x10 format...we have done 10x15, 4x12, 4x8, any various goofy shapes...we even set up some glass if we have a studio visit, or to present to a wholesale prospect

 

we use a 5'x8' trailer to do shows, this holds the whole display, stock, and usually all our personal gear too

 

 

 

........

 

 

Cheers John

 

 

 

 

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Now I see what I have been doing wrong with my display. I have only done 4 shows and they have been good to awful and in between. I have a simple caravan canopy that I purchased from Costco and then I bought Ikea GORM shelves and cut them to the sizes I liked. Outdoors it works good, but have never been happy with it, but for the cost I figured it would work for my first shows. Once seeing your glass shelves it all makes sense and I would have not come to it on my own so for that I thank you.

 

 

Did you build the bases yourself? Did you buy a shelving system or did you find the brackets and just purchase the tempered glass yourself? Perhaps the bases could have been flipped over and sections could have been made with foam pads to store the glass shelves. What is the brand name of the glass brackets you used? I have a bunch of work to do before the summer shows start next year.

 

DO you think that those simple curved pop up black backdrops (they are all over eBay) would work instead of the Pro Panels that you have there?

 

 

 

Thanks!

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yes, i built all the bases...a carpenter in one of my former incarnations....if i have a chance i re-paint them every 3-4 shows, you want to look sharp!

 

the glass, its out of LA...FixturePronto.com

 

http://www.fixturepronto.com/glass.htm

 

all you see of mine was about $450 plus shipping

 

...as for flipping the bases for the glass...the one thing about the glass, its Heavy (kinda) if you filled that base you would need a crane...i'll take a pic of the boxes i made...

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Nice display Cass

As far as pro panels vs the curved cheap ones go pro panels-I have had them for years and they are what one needs. Get color that sets your work off.If you have a small car get the 1/2 panels that snap together.Yes they cost but they add a pro quality to display

Mark

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thanks Mark

 

not familiar with the curved type, but...Propanels are better, LOL

 

...and save the box they come in! tape em all around, then cut one end open so you can slip 3 in there and dolly, keeps em looking brand new...

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If pro panels are used a lot one can make a box to carry them-the box on my van with the fish prints is custom made by me just for carrying my 30 inch wide pro panels. Its made from 1/4 inch mahogany plywood painted with auto paint. I have had it for 12 years-but only 2 years on this newer van.It holds 6-8 units and my table and side covers. The space case hold two canopies and a few other goodies.I have a covered trailer but use it now only to keep booth racks in and no longer take it to shows-The van does it all and I keep it full of pots never unpacking it all the way-only use it for shows.Its a lot easier on back to have another vehicle to drive around in and to leave my stuff in van.

Mark

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Thank you, Cass.

 

That is very eye opening. And your display is absolutely gorgeous. Pots, too, of course.

 

Also thank you for the details about what else you need to consider, and how to find the parts.

 

Actually, your idea can be generalized to everything else in life, too.

 

Warmly,

LilyT

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nice rig mark c! slick setup

 

that is the one thing about the Propanel, you definitely want to protect them in transport, which is not hard...they are very durable otherwise

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nice rig mark c! slick setup

 

that is the one thing about the Propanel, you definitely want to protect them in transport, which is not hard...they are very durable otherwise

 

 

Your display is immaculate, and the added value sines through. This combined with the aesthetic of your pottery is a stunning combination-good job.

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Thank you Pres!

 

like i said, i hope only that some new to selling/shows and such migh tget something from my blather

 

speaking of which, on re-read i see i have kinda muddled the 2 (related) subjects together, so...

 

 

Perceived Value-- by this i mean that price can subconsciously influence value (and desire ) in the mind of the viewer...this has many times been proven. not to go overboard though! but to push the limit of what the market, and your work, will bear... testing slightly higher prices can be a good way to verify, if sales stay the same, push a lil more....

 

one extreme example: before our extreme price makeover, a 'high end' customer came in our booth and turned her nose up, 'not expensive enough!, she told her friend as they walked out....another example, another' high end' customer wanted a deal, for no particular reason, just cus she though we must be desperate (which we were, lol)... and when i said, 'no, sorry, that is what it is worth to us', she grumbled out of the booth....and came back 5 mins later and paid full price. This was for that bowl that is the welcome page of out site, i loved that thing

 

Mise en Valeur - proper context - this i think of as making sure that your booth, or presentation, website included (!) matches, or exceeds the work...example i have is of the glass shelves, this will not be appropriate for lots of types of work, but it is for many...i think of it as trying, maybe, to replicate the ideal setting you would envision your stuff in the home of the person who is your target customer, and in fact we have had many buyers tell us how they think it will look nice on their glass table or shelf at home

 

also, the venues/shops/shows you choose...dont sell yourself short just to get the stuff 'out there', if it is not the proper context it is not going to work out for you in the long run...its good to be among the nicer things in a nice show, or shop or gallery, but you dont want be the nice thing in a rinkydink context, your customers will not be there...hold out, if possible for the best you can find, and dont be bothered by being turned down! learn from it, ask, with a smile, how you were lacking...be flexible to change and improvement........OK, now im waaaay offtopic, i'll stop! cheers all

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This is really useful stuff- thank you.

 

As a day-tripper type (University professor) who's sort of segueing into ceramics as a second career, I've been - maybe - too content with a lot of ad-hoc stuff (displaying my work on a picnic table, using found objects as display stands, etc.).

 

I can't argue with the visual impact of your display, however (although I have to attribute some of that to the quality of your work).

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....... the venues/shops/shows you choose...dont sell yourself short just to get the stuff 'out there', if it is not the proper context it is not going to work out for you in the long run...

 

A BullsEye once again, Cass.

 

An important component here in this concept is a serious and highly objective critique of your own work so that you can match the work to the market / venue. Sometimes (read that "most of the time") we tend to see our own work through a set of very rosy glasses. We somtimes think our work would fit perfectly in a high end venue.... when that is not the case at all. This is the hardest part of this idea to deal with.

 

best,

 

..................john

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Remembering the context is important too. We sell at lots of Ren Faires, and slick glass displays would look totally out of place. At Art shows, and higher end craft fairs thise displays are grand, but in a mucky field where the customers want an "experience" as well as a chance to buy pottery, not so much.

Your stuff looks amazing on those pedestals!

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thanks becky!

 

yep, proper context is the key...(though our glass has been in several muddy fields, it was not a ren fair)...in that case too though i would be thinking of where you customer would be placing that piece at home, or how to make it look its best with wood or iron, some Ren type materials

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A quote I recently read on this topic:

 

Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

 

I don't remember who said it. To me, it means you have to show the customer the value of your work.

 

-chantay

 

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maybe i go over the top with this concept, but its crept it's way into everything we do....business cards, postcard, website, how you present to a prospective shop/gallery/wholesale buyer, it all matters, and does make a difference...everytime you are presenting yourself to the public...i guess it amounts to branding in a way, a whole other topic

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....... the venues/shops/shows you choose...dont sell yourself short just to get the stuff 'out there', if it is not the proper context it is not going to work out for you in the long run...

 

A BullsEye once again, Cass.

 

An important component here in this concept is a serious and highly objective critique of your own work so that you can match the work to the market / venue. Sometimes (read that "most of the time") we tend to see our own work through a set of very rosy glasses. We somtimes think our work would fit perfectly in a high end venue.... when that is not the case at all. This is the hardest part of this idea to deal with.

 

best,

 

..................john

 

 

It's fascinating- when I think back on how excited I was at some of my early work, and how clumsy it looks now. Impartiality is pretty tough.

 

On the flip side, I think that it's easy to be hyper-sensitive/critical about 'flaws' in what we create... when those flaws aren't obvious to someone who's less close to the process.

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if everything is going as it should, you will always look back at old work and have a little twinge of 'ugggh!' that means you have moved forward, onward, and upward....if 5 years later the stuff is still the same? then theres a problem!

 

i love seeing my old stuff, like when i go to my mom's, (lol , an avid keeper of early work she never asked for), and see the flaws, goofy shapes, and sometimes the seed of an idea that is still being resolved to this day, thats fun

 

getting turned down for things, if you find out why, can be one of the invaluable lessons in progression...being hypercritical of yourwork helps too, probably a charater flaw, but i'm never satisfied, i can Always find out what is wrong with my stuff

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