Mar 22, 2013 The Art of Branding-Workshop Write-Up Happy Friday you guys! Jason and I went to a super workshop yesterday about branding for your business. My lovely friend Michaela of Not a Spy Multimedia was the speaker. The general goal was to get a good overview of what branding means, how to tell if you're doing it well and how to fix it if you're NOT doing it well. We headed downtown to this fun artsy building for the meeting yesterday. My friend Mia of The Mia Connect hosted the event-she is so fabulous at connecting people who can benefit from each other's experiences! She brought Michaela in to give this awesome speech. I've summed up most of what we discussed (with examples) below so you can see how branding might affect your business. WHAT IS A BRAND? Your brand is essentially your message, not just your logo or a handout, but the "essence" of your business. Its a simple statement that tells people exactly who you are and what you do. WHAT IS BRANDING? Branding is the method by which you convey your brand to your customers. This includes your logo, any paperwork or handouts you have, your website, your demeanor, the look and feel of your retail store or craft booth, the packaging you use to ship with, what you include in your shipments. Literally EVERYTHING that connects you and a customer. BRAND CONSISTENCY is a huge thing we talked about. What this basically means is that your "branding" should have a consistent look and feel. Your logo shouldn't be one thing on your website, another thing on your business cards and yet another on a handout. It should be the same across the board. If I looked at all your marketing collateral it should LOOK like it came from the same company. This allows people to recognize you and feel connected to your "brand". A great example is the Google brand. The "G" for google is recognizable almost anywhere. Another example would be the Nike swoosh-almost anyone in the world can see that swoosh without it even saying Nike. There are also some great examples of BAD branding, check out the photo I took of this example during our workshop. Consistency and accurately portraying your brand are SO important! So what does this mean for the average small business? In our case it means the logo being the same on Etsy, blog, website, invoices etc. It means the business cards looking like the Etsy banner and website banner. It means using the same colors for everything (so in our case we use white, yellow, orange and kraft paper brown for all of our stuff, down to our shipping boxes). Don't know how to figure out what your brand is? Here are the steps Michaela suggests going through-ask yourself these questions 1) Why does our brand exist? What is its purpose? 2) Who falls into our target audience and more importantly, who doesn't? 3) What does your brand stand for? What are your beliefs? Are you sticking to them? Are you being loyal to your own brand? 4) How does your target audience see you? 5) Are you growing your brand and growing WITH your brand? With Fleuriste for example we've made a lot of little brand changes to make it EASIER for customers to identify with us. For example this was our very first Etsy shop banner: I loved the FEEL of this banner, clean and delicate. But no one has any idea what our business does or what we stand for. Here's our current banner (after going to this seminar I changed it!) Etsy doesn't allow you to put too large of a file as your banner so we couldn't put any more info there. But here is our banner for the website which really portrays exactly what I consider our brand to be: great boutique supplies, excellent customer service and quick shipment times. Our facebook cover photo has all the same info: I still have plenty of changes to make but I definitely feel like we're working towards branding our store a little more effectively! If you think you need branding help you can get the PDF of the talk from Michaela at Not a Spy. Just contact her via her page and she can get that to you-her company also helps with branding and you could easily book them to do that for you if you aren't feeling inclined ;) Happy Friday, have a fab weekend you guys!