I love research. Many of you may not know this, but I have a master's in Applied Anthropology and conducted ethnographic research in Moscow, Russia. So the customer survey that I sent out in January was a perfect way to scratch that itch, as well as get valuable feedback on how to grow Taiga Press in 2018.
Here were some of the major takeaways from the survey:
- On the design front, it's clear you love the botanical cards and want to see cards that include the regional native plant designs (not just prints). Almost half of you said you also want to see more regional nature-themed prints. I've thought about designs featuring mushrooms, trees, and animal tracks. Any other suggestions? There was also a request for a design with bodies of water, which I love!
- On the greeting card occasion front, it's clear you send the most birthday cards. Two-thirds of you requested more birthday designs, distantly followed by congratulations and anniversary card requests. I was surprised by the interest in versatile, all-occasion cards that so many of you wrote in. I'll definitely include more of these designs in the future. I also cannot believe I omitted thank you cards from the options list! Thanks to everyone who wrote that in; you'll see more of these too.
- In regard to new kinds of products you would like to see us offer (outside of strictly paper goods), I was blown away by your desire for textiles featuring our patterns. I want to look into this because this feels like the perfect extension of our brand. I'm also going to explore offering journals and washi tape--close seconds in your responses.
- It was interesting that the question about the importance of keeping the printing in house was almost split 50/50 between those who care and those who are indifferent. Know that I'm not taking this response lightly. As I continue to expand and think about offering new products, outsourcing seems to be the best course of action. I'll probably still do some of the printing, especially custom work, but I may outsource a few designs in order to bring you more products, offer competitive prices, and continue to bring you high quality paper goods. And maybe larger print sizes! Stay tuned...
- Questions around digital content--whether on social media, the website, or the newsletter--told me that you would like to see and hear more about the design and letterpress printing process, as well as see collaborations with other makers/designers. I will be trying to write more journal entries and Instagram posts that detail the inspiration behind our designs, as well as showcase these processes. I also have a couple of collaborations in the works...stay tuned for more info on that front.
- The responses from the survey made me realize that I need to give more attention to the website. I want to create continuous content for the journal, especially in regard to my design inspiration and printing process. Most of you said you are only visiting the website once every six months, so I'd like to explore interactive ways to keep customers coming back, especially as this is the way most of you claimed you prefer to purchase. I plan to redesign the website in the coming month. I'm also thinking it would be more interesting to release products throughout the year as opposed to only in the fall and the spring. Newsletter subscribers seem most interested in hearing about new designs and promotions, so I think offering both would be a great way to draw more attention to the website. Any other suggestions?
- Having you recommend shops you would like to see carry our products was so helpful! It was fascinating to see responses coming in from across the country.
- Most rewarding of all was reading the amount of positive feedback many of you left me in the final question. Hearing such heartwarming words of encouragement helps remind me on days when I struggle with vision or a malfunctioning press why I do what I do.
A huge thank you again to everyone who took time out of their busy days to take the survey. Know that your feedback is valued and I would not be feeling this positive about the year ahead without your help!
Photo by Tanya Pavlova