Creating a Brand is Such an Intense Thought...

Heck, you're no mega-corporation. You don't have a marketing team and a fleet of graphic designers. How on Earth is one little crafter who is trying floating in the sea that is the internet supposed to do that?

Well, let's talk about one facet that is pretty simple but very overlooked. This is one I think we do a good job with, so I feel comfortable talking about it. Part of branding is creating personality that is unique to you and your product. It distinguishes you from the masses and makes you memorable.

1) Don't be so uptight!

Obviously, if you're a jerk: don't do that. What I'm trying to say though is: if you're a sarcastic, happy, goofy person... use it to your advantage. Don't be afraid to write your policies and announcement with silly little remarks. It gives your shop life, if done right. Read ours, it is professional yet amusing. It tells you who we are and why without being annoying. Don't be so stoic: people want to know that there is a real person behind your business.

That's what sets Etsy apart from other online buying venues. It's handmade, so give everything the life of something made by a real person. When you send people e-mails, don't pretend your customer service rep for Comcast. We deal with enough of those all ready, and VERY few people like dealing with those. If your "business persona" isn't your real persona, it'll be exhausting to keep up.

2) Create an awesome name.

What sticks out to you more: "Stone Beads LLC" Or "Two Industrious Ferrets Supply Co"? I don't know about you, but I'm personally more intrigued by the thought of adorable little ferrets than "Hey, we got beads." That's just me, though. Obviously, you want said name to correlate to what you do. It needs to make sense. I had to add the Supply Co to the end because, frankly, two industrious ferrets could be a number of things. In context of Supply Co., it makes sense. Ferrets are notorious for gathering shiny things, beads are shiny... you see where this is going?

Green Giraffe Candles has nothing to do with anything, unless you're using giraffe milk as the base of your candles, and something tells me that's rather illegal. I know the name of your two sons has sentiment to you, but it doesn't for the rest of the world. Nor does "Makeup Designer". Okay, well; what kind of makeup do you design, whats it feels, what colors do you provide, what age range is it geared at, what do you care about?

3) Now take your name and make a fantastic graphic!

I made one myself at first, it was cute but nothing spectacular (if your still small and/or have no ambitions of being anything more then a hobby, go with this. No pint is wasting money right?). I decided when we arrived at 500 sales, I quit my job, and started doing this Etsy thing full time that if I was going to be serious I needed a serious graphic. If you suck at computers/design then do yourself a favor and just pay someone (if your going for the humorous cartoon look this guy is fantastic: Now here's where you need to start pondering how YOUR personality fits in with your shop, becuase it needs to be translated into your graphic. Your graphic is basically your face on the internet, you have an opportunity to show who you are and be memorable. Take it.

If your a sweet, graceful, well spoken woman don't pretend to be loud and bright becuase you think that is what will sell your stuff, pick a soft, elegant, wispy graphic. If your loud, forward, sarcastic pick a bright, bold, goofy graphic (can you guess which I am?). It needs to reflect you, and fit in with this whole "being you" thing I keep talking about. And, don't forget make sure it is something eye catching, beige damask is NOT eye catching. Something that will translate into a memorable image, whatever that may be.

4) Now brand EVERYTHING

Use the SAME image for your avatar, banner, facebook profile picture, blog header, your twitter avatar, etc... EVERYTHING! They say it takes someone about 7x of going through a shop, hearing something, reading something before it sinks in or it correlates into a purchase (I have no idea if this is accurate, but it sounds pretty good doesn't it?). If your constantly changing your avatar from your cat to your daughter, to a penguin eating sushi how will say someone in the forums remember you?

Pick something you love and stick with it, it will build your brand through that image, people will start seeing your penguin eating sushi all the time and be like "oh there is that sushi eating penguin again, that is hilarious!" I'm known for my purple shade wearing ferret as my avatar in the forums, why? I picked something amusing and I stuck with it! Heck I even get emails just to tell me that me avatar/name makes them smile everytime they see it, you just can't put a price on that!

Also, Read this:

*Throughout are graphics of shops that I think CONSISTENTLY brand themselves and use their personality to their advantage. I encourage you to check them out and study their design and lingo throughout their entire shop and all over the rest of the internet.

Shops used as examples:


Lisa at Visual Journey Photo said...

Great job breaking it down and using examples to explain a confusing concept! Very helpful and entertaining.

SSheilah said...

Thanks for these great ideas. I appreciate the less stressful and more entertaining approach - some marketing experts are so grim!

Knot said...

I just follow the brief jerky around wherever it goes. I'm sort of a groupie.

fivelittlegems said...

i never knew that ferrets collect shiny things until now. i must have some ferrets in my gene pool.

TwoIndustriousFerrets said...

Knot- Haha me too! Hence I jumped at any opportunity to use them!

FLG- You didn't know this, really? Maybe I need to rethink my strategy... Lol

Mixed Species said...

We thank you from the bottoms of our beefy loins TwoIndustriousFerrets! We consider ourselves VERY lucky to be used to illustrate your branding points. Hell we consider ourselves lucky ANY time we get used! We'll make sure to spread the word among our MixedSpecies Minions and thanks again!

-the Mixed Species guys-

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