The Value of Uniqueness

We had an interesting visitor at EXIT this week. Being the open-minded, creative sort, we always encourage drop-ins from clients, friends, family, and vendors, and when we get a random visitor, it’s even more fun. Without going into too much detail, this woman had created a homemade product she wanted us to look at. The product was heavy on quirk and light on potential audience, but we were happy to give her some advice. When talking about it later, Etsy was brought up as a selling avenue. I hadn’t thought about the wonder of Etsy in a while and dusted off that bookmark to check out what was new on the handicraft front. What I love about Etsy is the uniqueness. Everything is homemade or vintage, so each piece is something no one else will have. As a consumer, that is important to me. As a marketer, I think it is genius. Etsy has provided a platform for Karya from Turkey to sell her headbands and Jane from New Hampshire to sell her photographs and for anyone in the world to buy them. The site, started in 2005, has grown to tens of thousands of sellers and about five times that many buyers. As of May 2009, Esty had 60 employees and sales of $10 to $13 million per month. To me, those numbers speak volumes about the value consumers place on the unique. Having something that is one of a kind makes the consumer feel special, like the necklace I’m wearing that was made just for me. Esty found a consumer friendly and cost-effective way to bring that feeling to the world.

Also, just for fun, check out Regesty – the worst products found on Esty.

Thanks to Etsy for the header image.

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