Handmade Business Branding | Tips to Get Noticed
Branding a business is important. After all, it tells the story of your business and helps connect the right customers to your company. Listed below are several handmade business branding tips to get your craft company noticed.
Understanding Handmade Business Branding
Before getting into handmade business branding tips let’s understand what branding actually is. First of all branding is your company’s visual representation. Branding is organizational marketing used to create and promote a name, symbol and design. This includes a logo design, a business card design, website design, advertising, promotional items, and more.
Website design describes company offerings, ads get your handmade company name out there, and social media helps build a customer base. Company branding is therefore established with a logo, custom header designs, specific colour combinations displayed across all marketing channels.
Company branding is used to distinguish your company from the competition. And it is so important to stand out from the competition in a good way. Branding is also about how your customers interact with the brand. Ideally we want customers to feel and interact positively with the brand. In contrast poor branding or no branding might be off-putting. We don’t want to inadvertently turn people off and send visitors away!
Why Branding is Necessary
Simply put, your ideal customer base probably won’t buy from you if they don’t know anything about your company. Most people are likely to Google a business before deciding to do business with them. Handmade business branding provides advantages to increase sales and enhance credibility. Even more than ever there are opportunities to brand your company and interact with customers on so many levels.
Handmade Business Branding Importance
Branding is memorable. Also customers make instant decisions about your company based on your handmade Business branding. Is your branding home-made? Designed with clip art found on the internet? Additionally branding is essentially how people view your business. Because of this visitors may leave your business if you are not perceived as professional. Make sure your company branding is done right.
Well-designed branding tells the story of your business. Branding should as a result make it clear to your customer what your company is all about and the products/services you provide. In contrast, mismatched colours, graphics, and designs that look like they came from free clipart websites can be off-putting and turn visitors away.
General public knowledge of your brand. Refers to how well know you are around town, on the web or wherever you are doing business. Brand awareness means your brand is memorable. Customers can only do business with you if they are aware of your company.
How customers perceive your business. Includes values, brand message and anything else you want the customer to feel when coming into contact with your branding.
Customers are able to recognize a brand without the name. Nike is a good example.
Benefits of Handmade Business Branding
Customers will recognize your company based on your logo and specific branding. Customers are more likely to consider your company over competition. Even more so they will remember your handmade company when they actually need your product.
Hand made business Branding Competitive advantage
Good branding stands out from competitors, especially if their branding is poor. Differentiating your branding will communicate a message that resonates with your target market.
Customers stick with brands when they can connect with its values. Handmade items are hot right now. Companies like Etsy prove this is true. People are looking to reduce carbon footprints, reduce plastic and be more naturally inclined. Brand loyalty builds emotional connections and can have enduring effects. As a result you will get return customers. In addition you will probably get referrals from return customers.
Customers will likely refer your company to their friends. How nice is that? Remember too, it is always easier to keep a current customer than to obtain a new one.
Company branding is a key component to gaining customer trust. Customers are more likely to feel at ease when purchasing from your handmade company. In contrast poor design or lack of a logo may result in customers being unsure if this was a real business. Consequently they may leave your website and head on over to the competition.
People are willing to pay more for perceived quality. Also branding is the reason why customers will pay a small fortune for Nike shoes, rather than a small sum for shoes from Payless. The same can be said of small businesses making hand made goods. Branding makes you look professional. Customers will perceive your product as higher quality and pay more for it.
Branding helps connect your handmade company to ideal customers. Attract the right customers with appropriate branding. Contrary to what you might believe, you do not want to sell to everyone.
For example if you want to sell high end items, you must target people who will pay a high price. As a result you will need to pay more for classy beautiful packaging. Small details are important. In contrast if you make baby clothes you might want to target women. Women tend to be the major clothing purchasers in most households. Branding helps the right customers connect with your company.
Branding might seem expensive at first. After all you might have just started your company and have so many start-up costs to deal with before the money even begins to start rolling in. Consider how many customers you might lose without proper branding. As a result, having proper branding in place can pay off in the long run.
"Customers will notice your confidence and share your enthusiasm."
Confidence & Pride of Ownership
Beautiful branding will instill a sense of pride of ownership. Imagine web design, crisp business cards, stellar social profiles all branded to your company. You will be compelled to share and talk at length about it. Customers will notice your confidence and share your enthusiasm.
How to Build a Brand
Having no branding or inconsistent branding can hurt your business. Re-brand your business to change customer perceptions and gain new customers.
- Pinpoint the characteristics that customers like about your business and product line. Determine what you are good at.
- Think of a brand message for your company. Famous example include “Eat Fresh” or “Just Do It”. As a hand-made company you might consider people want all natural, organic, made with love items. Make sure to deliver what your message promises.
- Ensure consistency across all marketing channels. First of all ads, signs, display units, website and social media channels need to be the same. Additionally colour psychology plays a large part in branding. Also make sure it matches the personality of the brand.
Overall your branding should work hard for your company. Remember that you are a business that exists to solve a problem for customers. In order to be the first choice over competitors, your brand should:
- Send a brand message to your target market
- Improve credibility and therefore customer trust
- Ability to emotionally connect target market to your brand
- Build customer loyalty, leading to repeat business and referrals
- Encourage people to buy
How to Create your Handmade Business Branding
There are several ways to create a brand for your company. Do it yourself branding, Pre-made graphics, and hire a designer.
Do-it-yourself handmade business branding
Many startups recognize the importance of branding however affordability is scarce when you don’t know if the business will be successful. There are websites that cater to this type of branding need.
Canva - Create designs, posters, cards and more with this program. Pro: A lot is free, but you will find that there are backgrounds and the likes that will cost a small sum. Con: It might be time consuming, and if you are not graphically inclined, or able to produce content that is the same across all marketing channels, then this is not a good option.
Inkscape - A graphic design program that is free. “Design freely” is their brand message. Considering Inkscape is free, it is an amazing program. If you have time to watch some Inkscape tutorials I highly recommend learning, especially as a stepping stone to learning Adobe Illustrator.
However Inkscape does have some drawbacks. One major drawback is It does not have CMYK print colours. This means the colour will not display on print material accurately. Also the learning curve is high, but there are many tutorials on YouTube to show how things are made.
Places to get fonts
Dafont - Popular free font website. In DaFont search the type of font ex. ‘calligraphy’ and in the search bar make sure to select ‘public domain’ and ‘100% free’ to search for free fonts for commercial use.
FontSquirrel - Free commercial use fonts can be found here. FontSquirrel does all the hard work for you by uploading fonts that are free for commercial use. Some are listed as almost free.
Pre-made Graphic Templates for handmade business branding
Premade graphics are made by a graphic designer intended for multiple downloads. This is something you will need to customize yourself. All you need to do is fill in company details. It is fairly inexpensive. The biggest issue with this idea is that you are not differentiating your company or standing out from competition. Also, you may need design program knowledge to use these elements. Examples are Creative Market, Envato, and Graphic River.
Work with a designer to custom tailor a logo for your company. If it works out and you love the design, then gradually hire them to create business cards, banners for your social channels and website.
A graphic designer will work hard for you. There is a 7 step logo design process that begins with a questionnaire to find out about your company. The process will go through research, conceptualizing, sketching, drafting, revision, and delivery. A designer should also provide you with a brand guide to explain about the logo.
The downside of course is the expense. In contrast though having a great branding strategy can make money by attracting customers. Branding is a long-term investment for your company. Consequently it pays off many times over.
Through the research process the graphic designer will identify a target market. The key to getting a good design starts with knowing who you are selling to. And no, it is not everyone. There is always a refined target audience for a company. Branding design is a marketing tool to attract customers. In order for it to be impactful, a target audience needs to be refined. The designer will ask questions such as:
- Gender (M, F, both)
- Age (child, adult)
As a business owner you are providing a solution to a problem. What problems do your customers have? Do they have needs, challenges that you can help with? What motivates people to pay even more for an item? Once the target market is established it makes it easier to convey your marketing message to customers.
Put Target Market and Design Together
Once the target market is established, there will be a better understanding of the company need for design. We know our audience, colour scheme, and the intended effect necessary to engage the right audience. Now it’s all about putting design elements together that will invoke emotions from customers.
Designing is about collaboration. Branding a company is a collaborative process involving the company, the designer and of course the target market. Ultimately the design is for the company’s target market. When we know more about them, then it is easier to reach them.
Make branding work for you
Once you have your branding make to place it consistently across all marketing channels. Your website should have a logo, colour scheme and consistent fonts. Call to action should have a consistent brand message. Finally, always provide several contact methods.
Social media needs to have appropriate branded design in the header. Use the logo as a profile image to ensure recognition. Similarly make sure all contact info is visible and profile about page is consistent with the brand message.
Advertising is used to increase brand awareness. Make sure that the message is consistent, and reflects the overall tone and branding of the company.
Ultimately, branding your handmade business is a powerful marketing strategy. Create relationships with you target market based on your logo, colour scheme, tagline, and brand message. Customers should feel emotion or an experience when interacting with your brand. Gain insight into your target market and your small business. As a result you will certainly grow your brand successfully.