Day 7 of #the100dayproject - Create Your Branding
I have used a daily prompt in this project to talk about different elements that you need to think about when starting to market your art or craft business online but many of them are interconnected and thinking about one your should also think about the others. Thinking about your branding you are thinking about how people will perceive you and your products and this needs to create a consistent image across your brand. Think about adjectives that describe you and your brand
Simple, intricate, expensive, affordable, innovative, traditional, fancy, plain, cheerful, formal, informal, local, regional, handmade, manufactured, charitable, social, stylish, unique, high quality, luxurious, personal, comfortable, contemporary, vintage etc.
If you haven't already listed any of these or similar adjectives in your list of USPs on day 3 you should perhaps review those now! These adjectives need to come across consistently everywhere you present yourself.
Now think about colours as certain colours can be linked to certain feeling and emotions for example
- Red — passion, importance, attention
- Orange — playfulness, friendly, vitality
- Yellow — happiness, optimism, warning
- Green — nature, stability, prosperity (growth)
- Light Blue — tranquility, trust, openness
- Dark Blue — professionalism, security, formality
- Purple — royalty, creativity, luxury
- Pink — femininity, youth, innocence
- Brown — rugged, earthy, old-fashioned
- White — clean, virtuous, healthy
- Gray — neutrality, gloom, subdued
- Black — powerful, sophisticated, edgy
Obviously this is just a guide but there is clear connection if you examine many everyday strong brands. My partner Lucy Gell just loves orange and uses it throughout her branding just because she 'likes it'. When I researched this, however, it was no surprise that orange is linked to playfulness, friendly and vitality, that is Lucy all over and it comes out so clearly in her work and the way she interacts with her customers. Take a look at the products on her website and see if you agree? Lucy has just come up with a new logo which you can see below.
Just look how well that logo with its orange white and grey tie in with the branding she uses at a show with grey back boards, orange boxes and splashes of white throughout. See the use of the star in the detail of the orange boxes which crosses through all her branding. The new logo hasn't reached the stand yet but will feature soon. Lucy's stand really stands out at a show because of her clear branding and it is always recognisable.
Garry Lomas, a landscape photographer here in the Peak District has commissioned me to do a new website for him. He presented me with his logo which he has carefully designed below.
A well designed logo like this is a gift when designing a new website as I was able to take the well thought out colours in the design to create a strong branding throughout the website. The new website is still a work in progress and should be released within the next few weeks but here is a sneak preview so that you can see what I mean.
I have used the dark green in the logo in bands above and below the main body of the website as well as for strong headings at the top of pages. A lighter green from the logo for secondary navigation at the foot of the picture, white to create a clear body area on the site and dark green from the logo rather than black for page headings and text in the main body of the website to keep with the branding.
Another of my customers CE Leathergoods can be seen to present her brand very well. Catherine Edwards produces high quality leather goods. Designing her brand she really wanted to portray sophisticated high end quality luxury products made with traditional workmanship. This is all conveyed very well in the dark colours she uses on her website and in her photos. Products are shot with dark grey backgrounds, props such as vintage suitcases etc are used. Catherine also chooses not to use uppercase letters at the start of sentences throughout the site. Naturally this key part of her branding along with tasteful photos and eloquent product descriptions makes people remember her and her products, all part of her branding.
Look at fonts to use throughout your branding. Consider whether your brand is better represented using Serif or Sans Serif fonts. Try not to mix more than 2 fonts then use your fonts consistently across everything letterheads, business cards, website, logo etc. Google 'choosing a font for your brand' to find lots of useful advice in this area. Think of phrases, slogans, taglines that can be used regularly with your brand like Lucy's. Lucy regularly uses 'designed to make you smile' and several other phrases.
Branding is found in the visual identity of the brand such as your logo, colours, website, statements etc but it goes much further extending into advertising, product and package design, the shopping experience, pricing, sponsoring and partnerships and much more.
Product branding does evolve over time and sometimes you can choose something just because 'it feels right' but do a little research and watch other people's branding and you will quickly get a good feel for your own then consistently use this branding across your website, Etsy shop, mailing list, exhibition stand, letterheads, business cards etc. As we work through this project establishing a brand identify that people see as being both professional and memorable. If you do this customers are more likely to engage with you and your products and will attribute more value to them.
Branding is very much like your logo - you can do it on a budget if you do your research well and follow all the advice or if you have a budget and perhaps are ready for a rebranding exercise you can take a number of the elements you have already worked through in this project so far to a professional designer to get some expert branding designed for you. Think about creating a Pinterest board perhaps of brands that you like and admire and pin designs there to give designer some extra information about what you are looking for. You might also create a board of competitors in your niche who's branding you don't like and want to steer away from! Visit https://www.fiverr.com and search 'branding' or visit https://99designs.co.uk to quickly hire a designer.