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Posted on January 30, 2013 in Build Your Brand by Katie Oskin
It is my honor to have guest blogger Kelly Sorenson join me today for this post. Kelly has personally branded all of Kater’s Acres: from colors, designs, fonts … and the best part she make Parker & Lolly come to life in digital graphics (see their adorable faces all over my website). Kelly is a top notch graphic design artist that wants to help you brand your Etsy business. I have known Kelly for 3 years now and every time I work with her it just gets better and better. Without any further ado … let’s talk about business branding & your Etsy store!
A Brand is the image or idea that people associate with a particular product or service. It sets the business apart from its competitors and carries with it the image and reputation of the business. According to Marty Neumeier, a brand is “a person’s gut feeling about a company or product.” Essentially, a brand is what people think about your business. Your brand is what your think about you, your products, your customer service, your website, packaging and policies. It’s what they tell their friends.
Business Branding is creating the association between your business and the image or feeling you want your business to convey to your target market. It’s the story you tell, the imagery you use, it’s everything you do or don’t do to create your customer’s experience
Every Facebook post, every Tweet, every Pin and every blog post… they all shape your clients experience with you. It’s all about emotions, feelings, and trust. When your branding is clear and consistent, you build trust with your potential and existing customers.
And as for marketing… well according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, marketing is “the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service.” Branding is the part of marketing that is meant to pre-sell products or services. It does not involve selling or closing a deal. It is simply all about establishing the image and reputation of your business.
Let’s talk about the visual side of branding. This is the use of images to create the desired feeling that your business wants to project. This includes:
This is how you reach your target audience at light speed. At a glance, they should get a certain feeling from the look of your shop. If it resonates with them, they’ll stay and look around… hopefully make a purchase. If it doesn’t, they’re gone in the click of the mouse. This is why your branding images need to grab your target market’s attention. Use the images, graphics, colors and fonts that your target market is drawn to.
Aside from your product images, the next most important would be your profile. In most cases, customers will see this before they see your banner. I’ve always urged my clients to put a face on their profile, the face of their business. For Katie, that face is Parker. For me, the face is my own. If you create clothing, that could be a model wearing your product. People relate to other people, a smiling face, not a logo or initials or text so small you can’t read it. If you do use a model in your profile, make sure you have a picture of yourself on your about page. Use a good picture, not a blurry picture from the last family reunion. Being able to see who made the product they plan to purchase means a lot to people.
Your shop banner should be clean, uncluttered, and easy to read. Don’t use some crazy loopy font if people won’t be able to read it. Don’t try to cram a bunch of information in here. Just your business name and a tagline will do for text. If you use a background or a specific set of colors, make sure to use the same on your listing graphics as well as your branding on social media sites, your blog, and website. It should all blend together.
A great way to extend your branding into your listings is by making text images that could include the fabulous benefits the customer will get from owning your product, specifications and details about your product, or instructions for purchasing. People are drawn to images and many times don’t take the time to read past the first paragraph. This is one way to get them to see what you want them to read. Here again, use the same fonts, colors and patterns used in the rest of your branding.
Visual branding is essential in building a strong connection between the brand and the consumer. If you want to succeed in your business, you can’t be just another face in the crowd. You need to create and market your brand in such a way that you will outshine your competition. It’s all part of the story you are telling. It’s part of the story you want them to tell their friends. Make their visit to your shop an experience.
I specialize in logo design, branding and helping small businesses create a solid foundation online. If you’d like to get to know more about me and see more of my work, you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and in my Etsy Shop. Don’t miss her blog where she discusses all this and more.
I love helping small businesses get their start and teaching them what I’ve learned in my online adventures, and talking about some of the mistakes I’ve made along the way.
Stay tuned next week for more important information on building your brand.