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Stamping Up Offering Online Classes - Three Factors That Will Determine Whether It's A Good Or Bad Thing For Demos - Stamping Is My Business!

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February 22, 2013

Stamping Up Offering Online Classes - Three Factors That Will Determine Whether It's A Good Or Bad Thing For Demos

This morning, Stampin' Up announced they were going to begin offering online classes for sale. 

This initial announcement was lacking in specifics.  As a result, as you can see from this thread on the SIMB Facebook Page, the reaction is decidedly mixed.

They say 'the devil is in the details,' and that's certainly true here.

When those details are revealed, here are the three factors I believe will determine whether or not this new offering will help or harm business-building, profit-minded Demos:

1. Cost

As was pointed out at Leadership, many Demonstrators are already doing online classes.  Because of this, pricing has to be a serious consideration.  If priced incorrectly, the company can inadvertently hurt their most serious, business-building Demonstrators

Without knowing exactly how much information is covered in the online class SU is offering, the only point I can make about this issue is the class should be priced at no less than $24.99.  To charge less would undercut Demonstrators already offering both online and offline classes.  Setting the bar too low doesn't help anyone.

2. How It's Offered

The only way a product like this should be offered is through the Demonstrator.  If SU offers it directly to customers, it places them in direct competition with their Demonstrators. 

To deliver maximum benefit to the individual Demonstrator, these classes should either be made available exclusively through individual Demos' online ordering sites, or the transaction can only be completed after a valid Demo ID is entered on the order form.

3. Call To Action

If one of the purposes of this online class is to encourage customers to purchase catalog product, anyone watching the online class should only be encouraged to purchase that product through their Demonstrator

As such, any calls to action in the class videos or literature should not include generic, non-Demo specific links.  Instead, every call to action should prompt the customer to contact their individual Demonstrator to place their order.

 

More details are coming next week.  When we know more, just like I did with My Paper Pumpkin and the Hostess Code, I'll do a BSCG Members-Only webinar and share some strategies you can use to take full advantage of this latest addition.

Until then, take a wait and see attitude, and enjoy your weekend.

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Comments

It's really good to know that when you are informed when a thing is worthy or not. This way we can way things if we are going to involve our selves on it.

Gwen, I am with you on many points. I wonder if some of the reasons SU! is sort of behind on the curve and doesn't have good business materials for demonstrators could be that they don't have their eyes fully open as to how brutal the competition is in the crafting world. Sure they know "up there" but they don't work side by side with us demos on the public level. They are a for profit company and without that profit there isn't a company for us to work with but I hope that while they are implementing all these ideas to bolster their profits they are also taking the time to reevaluate how they can help ensure the long time growth and success of the demonstrator. If they are going to keep insisting that they are not abandoning the demonstrator model they need to put resources into that model with the same degree of effort and creativity that they are with their new income streams.

In the meantime, stick with John! Right now HE'S the one with the goods!

My initial thoughts were that they are behind in everything lately. This should have been implemented when they began online ordering and online ordering was 4 years to late. They should have started an ADVERTISING Blitz 10 years ago, not now that they are seeing a decline in income to the company.
I can name several other items that are "behind" that they have released lately. I love their quality of product, but I am a bit upset with the direction the "business" is or isn't taking. And one last thought and I shared this thought directly to Brian in an email- SU does NOT teach business to their new demonstrators. They push product but they dont teach people HOW to run a business, if any of the important business details.
I am grateful John, that you do and that I already have a college degree in business so that I recognize these things. ;o) I think SU is a FABULOUS company, I just have a lot of concerns.

John, the way I read it is 30 different projects. It will be interesting to see how this works. I'm reserving judgement until I know more. :-)

John,
Could not agree more with every point that you made in the original post. When Anne mentioned it to me my first reaction was, "I hope they aren't going to be competing with demos who do classes."

I wonder if releasing the information with such a small amount of detail isn't a trial-balloon to get reactions to which they can respond in the final roll-out...

Lisa Brown's response was my initial reaction, as a 2013 VIP: "We know you've (John's) got our backs." Boy, did I pick the right year to hop onto the VIP opportunity!!!

Thanks John for your thoughts and being level headed with us. I take the wait and see approach and wait for your words of wisdom on SU's latest venture

John,
Thank you so much for your reasonable approach and for keeping us informed. I wish SU had released all of the details. I consider that an important lesson in business communication!

UNNAMED... The way I read the announcement, they were including product lists to make a quantity of 30 of the project. Not 30 separate projects.

As far as the rest of it, it all falls in line with my original blog post. The details, when released, will address the three factors I've outlined, and will determine whether this is an opportunity or an obstacle for business-building Demos.

John,

They are planning to offer 30 projects in the class (as indicated on demo website), so to offer the class at less than $100 doesn't make sense to me if we are going to get any commission off the classes. Demo support stated the following:

1) Customers can not take class without choosing a demonstrator first. However they did not know how customers would choose demo.
2) Classes targeted to those that have purchased and don't use their items
3) People new to stamping don't know SU

4) They are not tryng to target our current customers that take our classes or clubs.
5) They didn't know price point yet.

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