Victoria Reece-Heal from DHBS Marketing is here to help us understand how a little brand awareness can help improve your business image within the marketplace.
You’re creative, so crafting a fantastic brand should be a doddle (or is that a doodle).
Your wonderful creations are a personal testament to your creative ability and your passion. You spend hours carefully stitching detail, moulding intricacies and blending colours. This is about what you want to do and what you want to sell. However, your brand isn’t about you, or even totally about your amazing creations... it’s about your customers and what they want and like.
To show you what I mean, let’s go back to the birth of your creations...
One day you have this wonderful idea and you turn that idea in to (for the purposes of this blog) a ‘Squirmlet’. Now this Squirmlet is soft and squishy and adorably cute. They come in a range of colours and there are ten different characters to collect, each with their own personalised poem about their individual likes and dislikes. Fantastic idea and absolutely perfect for primary school aged children to collect.
So how is a brand going talk about your Squirmlets behind your back?
Well, your brand is how your Squirmlets (and your business) are perceived by others, and most importantly by your target audience (i.e. those mums, dads, aunties, grannies, etc of primary school children, as well as the kids themselves). Your brand literally speaks to your customers, telling them what to expect from you (quick delivery and quality craftsmanship) and your Squirmlets (hours of fun and swapsies with friends).
So how does your brand do this?
- Through the words and pictures on your flyers and adverts;
- By the quality of your Squirmlets and how you package and present them;
- With your Squirmlet (and non-Squirmlet)posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest;
- Through your Etsy descriptions, images and price-points;
- By how your Squirmlet website and online shop look and how easy they are to navigate and purchase from...
Everything that is seen by those mums, dads, kids, etc. is your brand and each one of those elements will create an impression about you and your Squirmlets. So you need to be sure you are creating the right impressions.
So what impression are you creating right now?
- Is it an honest and representative impression?
- Is it the right impression?
- Is it an impression that will interest and entice your customers?
Here’s how to craft a brand that will say the right things (up-front or behind your back!)
- Define your best (and actual) customers. You need to know exactly who your target market is in order to understand the best way to promote to them, with right images, best words and most suitable methods that will grab their attention.
- Know your competition and define how/why you are different. What makes you stand out, and what sets you apart from others offering similar products/services, is what will make customers come to you. Shout about what makes you (and your Squirmlets) special and unique.
- Create the right logo. A single image can convey numerous messages, and these messages are providing your potential customers with their first impressions of your product/service. Creating a first impression only happens once and creating the right impression is vital.
- Set the right tone. People don’t always remember the words and images you use, but they will remember the impression and the feelings they created. So how you say things is just as important as what you are saying. The right words delivered in the right way can influence your customers and persuade them to choose you
- Define your message. Strong, clear and consistent messages are needed across all your promotional and sales activities, in order to sell yourself to your customers... to get their attention and guide their actions.
- Be consistent. Make sure your customers recognise YOU instantly on your website, your Facebook page, your Etsy page, your Eshots, your craft fair signs, etc. So that means the same use of colours, imagery and messages in the same way across everything.
And one final thought for you...
Does your brand whisper sweet reminders when you deliver your products... a branded gift tag, a logo’d sticker on the packaging, a leaflet about your product range inside the package?
Or does your brand sneer and say ‘you can’t find me’ as it hides on a plain white carrier bag, a blank Facebook cover, or a missing strap line?
Blog post by Victoria Reece-Heal, who helps small businesses get new customers. Check out her blog for more marketing know-how and advice: