A week ago 99designs.com announced that their ready-made logos store is shutting down. The company cited poor sales as the reason.
In my opinion, the poor sales could have been an easy fix. In ready-made logo sales, buyer confidence is paramount. The buyer must have the assurance that the logo is an original, once-off design. By contrast, the 99designs logo store was primarily about reselling the same logo to as many companies as possible. No doubt a percentage of buyers did not realize that they were buying a non-exclusive logo.
Really, how many companies would be comfortable with logo sharing?
Another crucial ingredient in successful logo sales is quality – which you cannot expect when designers are paid $30 to $50 per sale. Compared to LogoGround where designers receive just over $200 per sale (on average), 99designs had little chance of attracting brilliant designers.
By scrapping the “non-exclusive” logo idea and by treating designers fairly, 99designs could have turned their store into a goldmine for themselves and for their designers.