The steps of branding depend on the nature of your business. For example, certain branding steps differ if you are selling your crafts online as compared to selling them through a physical shop.
However, this difference is less every day because online presence is becoming ever important to get the word for your business out there. The greatest appeal to online branding are the facts that a lot of it is still free publicity, and the reach is limited only by where there is internet.
Now that people have internet on their phones, advertisers are able to reach people even in their personal space, which is a good thing or not, depending on the way you look at it.
However, most of the steps are common for creating a great brand image are common. We talk about them in this post in short.
The 7 essential steps of building a brand image
Choosing a business name
This is the first step. You will read all about how to choose the best name for your business in another post. Come up with at least 3 to 5 options.
As soon as you have decided the business then you should get a domain name for the same. If the domain name is not available you can do a few things. You can either change your domain kind that is from.com to .net .me etc, or add a word to the domain name such as ‘designs’ or ‘arts’ and see if that is available. You may also move to other options that you came up for a business name.
Designing a good logo
A logo is very efficient for visual branding when it comes to making business signs, packaging, business stationery etc. You potential customers will see it on all print and digital media that you will create in the future.
If you are selling from your own space, try to make it speak to the buyer. There are no fixed rules here. You can create a space with beautiful shelves and lighting effects or you can sell from your work shop. Both have the potential of sending a message and creating an impact on the buyer. The more identity the selling space has the stronger is the impression of perceived value on the buyer's mind.
Packaging and business stationery
Get some great packaging material made. By great we do not mean expensive. Keep your packaging simple and classy and include your business name and logo on it. Most importantly make sure the packaging serves the purpose of protecting the craft as well.
Business stationery includes bills, letterheads, stamps et cetera all of which will make your business look more professional.
There is an interesting article here that you can read on how to increase the value of a craft in the buyer’s mind and perception, without actually changing anything about the product itself.
Use Social Networking
It is easy to get some image building done on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. Do this only if you can do it well. If you can manage to create a Facebook page yourself you can go ahead and do it yourself or you can hire somebody to do this. You can usually find someone providing this service for a very nominal fee.
The hard work comes in keeping the page updated, building a fan base and interacting with them. You will need to grow your social media following for the platform to have a desired impact on your business brand image.
You will need very good pictures of your crafts to post on the page. You can start by inviting all your family and friends to like the page. That is a good start. From then on you can either do some paid promotion of your posts and picture or get your existing fans to spread the word around. Selling through social media is a huge subject and we will discuss more about it later.
As a point of interest, all aspects of making money art and crafts is covered in out Art and Craft Income Handbook. It is complete guide to a craft income.
Advertising and Promotion
Some targeted advertising and publicity is important and very effective to get that brand name on people's mind. Depending on where and how you are selling, advertise your business name in a few choice places.
You will not have to spend much. When the time comes and you are ready for it you can expand your advertisement budget. Some very reasonable methods of advertising your crafts is with online ads with search engines, adds in local print and digital mediums and through flyers posted in key places like craft and craft supplies stores, coffee shops and other places you can think your target customer is heading to.
Find A Niche or a Sub Niche
You can establish yourself as a leader that much more easier when you find a niche craft to sell. There is no one or few others doing what you are doing. If you specialise even more and find a sub-niche, you further eliminate competition, making sure that you are the one that stands out. This is one of the best strategies to build a brand.