Talking About The History of Ceramics, The Making Ceramics, The Art of Ceramics, The Science of Ceramics, The Love of Ceramics, and The Life of Ceramics
Saturday, July 25, 2015
When my father died, I became 50% owner of Andersen Design with my sister. A 50-50 ownership is far from ideal. On the surface, my sister and I do not always see eye to eye, but I think that we do so on a deeper level. Human communication takes mostly takes place in conscious awareness while deeper levels are subliminal. If I had to chose between agreement on one of those levels, I would choose the subliminal because it transcends the here and now, which is a for ever evolving process emergent from the subliminal. Most people have families and know that the family dynamics are unique to each family and not easily communicated to those who have not been existing within that dynamic for their whole lives- or a good part of it and it is not my intention to try to do so. Our business seeks to find other partners. I am finding the most immediately accessible connections are those that are part of the existing free enterprise system- the independent ceramic slip casting productions with which we are in a process of establishing relationships and Google Products and adwords, which I am just now starting to understand, which I did not when I first targeted Google Products as a solution.
I feel like the plan that will transform this business is emerging as if reading a book. I know the whole plan is outlined in the book but I as I am reading it, only a part of it is revealed to me- but I know the entire plan is there and will continue to unfold.
A while back someone came into our retail store and told us about crowdfunding and said that we should do it. I tried this and found that I had no network of support. We had plenty of likes and shares on Facebook but hardly any responses to the "call to action", This is the nature of Facebook, where more people respond to images and headlines than actually click on links to read what the images and headlines are there to communicate. So I said to myself, we need to be in an environment where people are in the shopping mode and that's how I hit upon Google Products.
But even then I did not understand that Google Products is designed as a system interacting with Google adwords and that Google adwords is an online auction for ad spaces which are constantly emerging when ever a user instigates a search and Google delivers the results, Some searches take place in Google Shopping clearly identifying that the user is in shopping mode- other ads may be distributed on related websites that feature ads. The merchandiser must target his own audience through selected keywords.
Google has developed an advertising campaign system. Large companies selling many products on the internet are using the Google adwords campaign all of the time for all of their products, or at least all in stock products, although there is a pre-order option which requires a specific date when the item is anticipated to be in stock. All products sold through Google Products must be in stock.
Since Google Products is an online auction, one must plan ones bid strategically. The bid (percentage going to Google) times the quantity in stock = the dollar value of one's bid for the ad space but Google's explanation of the auction emphasises that quality is also a factor and that one may win the auction with a lower bid if the quality is right.
Google does not explain what constitutes quality but I think we have that factor for the search term "ceramic birds' because we have been on the top of that search page since we launched our website and if you search "ceramic birds" on images, we are found throughout the page of displays. However if you search "ceramic birds" on shopping, we are currently not to be found and that is because we have not yet launched our adwords campaign.
We are working on launching an adwords campaign for our Chickadee. I have no idea until I try by trial and error what the magic numbers are for "unit price x quantity" needed to win a top spot on Google adword auctions - but I know that Andersen Design has been doing catalogue sales through out our history and I extrapolate that if the in stock numbers for Google products could be maintained in the range of the quantities needed to satisfy catalogue orders, that probably is a winning number. If a catalogue can sell that quantity of stock- so can we through Google Products. We have an established record as top sellers in high profile catalogues and other retail venues. The established marketability and classic appeal of our product is our strength.
At this point our production capacity has been reduced to a fraction of what it was once was and so I will be launching the Chickadee with relatively small stock quantities. I will be running an ad campaign in which we pay whenever there is a call to action response- in other words whenever a sale is made. If results are slow at first, I will keep the price per unit constant until we meet our target for a minimum number of items in stock. At that point one can play around with changing both sets of numbers in the bid equation. We will also be paying attention to which key words are generating the highest response, which I believe is information that will be available via Google analytics. This is a very interesting process requiring talent and skill.
Our entire business is composed of interacting interesting processes. We need to establish a larger team- perhaps at first a board and then perhaps stockholders as well as independent outside contractors and of course employees.
This business can generate business for outside American slip-casting productions-I have located about three in the United States and they are interested. I feel our business has a unique capacity to revitalize American ceramic slip-casting, an industry which was one of the first to be re-located in global low cost labor markets. I believe that in terms of the way the world is turning - pointing the the way China is currently building sand castles in the sea to change the definition of international waters - that this is an opportune moment to revitalize American ceramic slip casting.
Andersen Design can work with an outside shipping and customer service providers- and all sorts of other functions, generating middle class jobs which can train unskilled workers and provide a stepping stone to high income jobs based on performance - for anyone.
Ultimately we would like to develop training centers to pass on the special glazes and decorating techniques needed to produce our line of American ceramic nature art. We can easily work with outside American ceramic slip casting productions to produce our functional designs. Functional designs are attractive in may different glazes. However of line of American Ceramic Nature Art is inseparable from our own original art glazes. To pass this on we need to work with slip casting productions in close proximity to us that will have their own management team with Andersen Design functioning as professional consultants. Once we have passed on our understanding to a manager, that manager may also become a professional consultant for Andersen Design art glazes and other processes.
We welcome inquiries from anyone with an interest in becoming part of this project.