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Gone are the days where you can just slap a few things on a table or throw a few items on Etsy and hope to find success, to make it you must learn the rules of branding for craft businesses.
Today’s small craft businesses must have a brand and strategy to get ahead of the competition. If you’re just indulging your creative side and not also embracing the business side, you’re not going to make it. It’s a harsh truth that many learn the hard way.
Does the idea of branding make your heart sink or your head hurt? I understand. I struggled with it myself at first until I realized that branding also requires me to use my creativity – just in a different way.
Here are the steps to creating a brand your customers will love and learn to recognize.
Your Brand Message
First, come up with your brands message. This should be a simple blurb or two on what your products are, how they benefit the customer and what makes them unique.
This isn’t about “you” it’s about “them” so when you write this message avoid “I create this using blah blah” Nobody cares but you – sorry, but it’s true :(.
Here’s an example of an effective brand description “Blissful bath products are lovingly created using the highest quality organic ingredients that are gentle enough for every skin type, deeply moisturizing and naturally scented using 100% pure essential oils. We strive to only use sustainably sourced ingredients.
Indulge your senses with a zen, spa-like experience at home and feel good about your purchase.”
A Logo & Design Scheme
Once you are clear on your message and how you want your products to be received, it’s time to choose your logo, fonts and color pallette. When we rebranded last year to create “The Blissful Bath” I chose teals, white and silver – it’s clean, simple and soothing. It has a “beachy” vibe, but it’s also serene.
Our logo is our name in a Victorian style font with a similar ornate frame. We keep our business cards in a small, clawfoot tub piece I found at a flea market and painted silver.
I use this logo on our packaging, business cards, and marketing materials. It is also being used on our soon to be built website.
When I set up at shows, all of our soap bars and lotions have similar bag toppers using the same color scheme, fonts and logo for a cohesive feel.
Use a Tagline
Ours is “Creating a zen, spa-like experience at home” A quick tagline hammers your product message home in one simple phrase. Big name companies do this all the time. “Just do it” is a prime example. It helps with brand recognition, messaging and is great for marketing and packaging.
Umbrella / Consistent Theme
In my business, I also create glass suncatchers which doesn’t exactly make you think about taking a bath now does it? So what I did was integrate these by hanging them like you would in a window, on a silver hoop near my bath products.
They are beautiful, capture the light and make people happy – so therefore they tie into the “zen” part of our tagline. You need to have a consistent theme or develop different brands if you create radically different items.
Consistency & Cohesiveness
I also make macrame cat toys and they have their own brand “CatCrame” with the tagline “Cats Love to Play with CatCrame” and I never set those two things up together in the same booth. If I go to shows I do one or the other or have two spaces.
Consistency and cohesiveness are key. Find a way to fit your items into a theme, or separate them entirely.
Once you are established, even your set up should embrace the message and color scheme of your brand. If you do this from the start, you are far more likely to find success as a small business.