Branding Your Business
Gregg Corbett is Marketing Director at Avery Office & Consumer Products, whose new Small Business range of easy-to-customise blank marketing materials and free Design & Print Online software helps craft start-ups create professional, eye-catching branding, merchandising and promotional materials for less.
Whether you’ve just started a craft business or are thinking of setting one up, marketing and branding is definitely worth thinking about at the earliest possible stage. Your brand is essentially your identity, it’s the personality you want your business to have. In a crowded market place, with lots of other people selling their crafts too, your branding can be the thing that separates you and grabs the attention of potential customers. Remember, you will usually only get a very short space of time to capture the attention of new customers. So whether it’s the design of your business cards and other marketing collateral, your website or even the name of your business, these things really can make a difference when it comes to the success and growth of your craft business.
If you’re looking to get your new business noticed take a look at these top tips for better branding from Avery and see how they might apply to your business.
- Don’t rush the initial ideas stage! If you’ve taken time and care over your hand crafted items, don’t ruin this by overlooking things like your logo, company colours and messaging. Try to imagine an identity which will evolve with you as a business. Spending time getting it right at an early stage will mean you won’t need to spend money on an expensive re-brand once your business starts to grow.
- Consider your colour schemes carefully. Do they send out the right message? Colours can make a huge difference because as human beings we naturally associate different colours with all sorts of different emotions. So think hard about what you want people to feel about your business and choose your colours accordingly. And, if you’re selling overseas, remember that colours can have different meanings in different countries, so consider the impact your brand colours could have abroad. This is especially important if you’re selling online to customers around the world.
- Your fonts need to be thought about too – think about your target audience and make sure your messaging is clearly visible and understandable for them. This applies both online and in print. Don’t be tempted to go for a font that’s too artistic and makes your communications hard to read.
- Be likeable! People are loyal to brands they like, so consider this in everything you do from your social media interactions through to the way you describe your business in promotional literature and brochures. Don’t make your services or your pricing difficult to understand but don’t patronise your customers either.
- Don’t let your branding make promises your business can’t keep. Make sure you can produce the results you say you can. Nothing is more likely to frustrate a new customer than being let down or disappointed by your services.
- When it comes to merchandising, consider printing your product labels and tags rather than handwriting them. There are lots of ways to make your merchandising materials still appear personal and from the heart without having to hand write them on every order - after all this isn’t very practical long term. So try creating some personalised designs with free software such as Avery’s Design & Print Online to save yourself time.
- This one sounds obvious, but it’s so important! Check everything carefully. A grammatical or spelling mistake on your branding materials will not help you appear professional, neither will a poorly printed brochure or business card, so make sure your checks are thorough. If you don’t do this, how can you expect new customers to trust that your services are thorough, or that your products have been properly checked?
- Don’t forget to check out your competition – are there any businesses similar to yours? Who else is trying to reach the same audience as you? Look at how they’re doing it and ask yourself how could you do it better? Compare your branding and think about why your target audience should pick you over anyone else.
- And finally, once you’ve created your first set of branding materials, don’t forget to test them out with someone unbiased, preferably members of your target audience to ensure you get an objective opinion. Remember these are the people you’re trying to reach, so take on board all feedback, good and bad and look to address any issues.
So whatever stage you’re at with your craft business, take a moment for some brand reflection time. Ask yourself, is your brand likeable? Have you tested your branding out on someone objective, as opposed to just family and friends? What do your brand colours say about you – have these conversations now at the start-up stage to ensure you’ve got clear direction and a strong brand identity for the road ahead and you never know how quickly your business could grow!
You’ll find Avery’s Small Business range available at your stationery supplier, or at Staples, or Amazon.