Saturday, February 26, 2011

How to tell if your business is "branded".
Branding Irons by Monki Vintage on Etsy

Today's mini critique is for Flourish & Debonair. I just love that name! It's so...ritzy! Anyway, she'd like to know about the branding & cohesiveness of her shop.

Well, if you are serious about your business than it needs to be branded. If you want an in-depth look at branding, read the article Branding 101 that I wrote for Handmadeology. But, if you're looking for a quick way to learn how to brand your biz, then here are 5 things you need to do to create a brand for your business.
  1. Come up with a mission statement. What is your business all about?
  2. Describe your products. Key features & characteristics. What sets you apart from the competition?
  3. Describe your target market. Who are your products for?
  4. Evaluate your Business or Product Name. Does your name reflect your mission statement?
  5. Come up with a tagline. Does it reinforce your mission statement?

As far as cohesiveness goes. If you've branded your business & it's reflected in every aspect of your will automatically bring cohesiveness.

Now let's check out Flourish & Debonair's shop & see what it looks like!


What she's doin' right...

  • Let's start with the name...which again, I love! Flourish means showy, and Debonair means sophisticated. So, those are two HUGE keywords right there. Use them EVERYWHERE! They need to be in your marketing, in your descriptions, and mainly in the items you choose and make for your shop. Look at each individual item. Is it showy? Is it sophisticated? If not, get rid of it. It doesn't fit your brand.
  • Graphics - love, love, love your banner colors. The grey and yellow look great together. They reflect showy & sophisticated. & I love that you're using two fonts in your banner that reflect the meanings of the words.
  • Ideal - to me, your shops purpose or mission seems to be to provide style for men & women by using a mixture of vintage & modern clothing & accessories. This needs to be reflected in all your marketing. Even in your product descriptions. Tell a story through your descriptions. I love this one... The first paragraph is great. Try to do this with every listing. Keep that showy, sophisticated, vintage yet modern theme going strong.
  • I think your shop looks very cohesive. The jewelry works well with the vintage especially since you're using vintage materials to make the jewelry.

What I think could use some improvement...
  • Graphics - I'm a big fan of matching avatars & banners. If you have a logo made for your business, that's what people start to recognize your business as. Calvin Klein is recognized by "CK" not a picture of his jeans. I'd come up with an avatar that matches your banner. You could use the grey & yellow and put a F&D on it or something. Very nice! Remember to use this for the product tags & business cards too!
  • Links - One way to blend your jewelry into your vintage is to match some of the jewelry listings up to some clothing listings. Link them to each other in your descriptions. Say something like, these earrings would look great with this dress, or this tie coordinates with this jacket.


Leave us a comment below & share the ways you've branded your business.

"Hope you enjoyed it!" - Meagan @BabySwank &


April Starr said...

Wow, this is SO helpful!! Thanks so much! I was especially interested by your take on the shop name. My thought was "Flourish" for women, and "Debonair" for men - but I like your take on the style connotation because that sophisticated look is exactly what I want to go for! There were so many helpful aspects to this article - I can't wait to work on my shop from your advice! Thank you!

Victoria said...

Thanks, good advice. Liked the avatar logo coming from the banner or creating it as your brand, very helpful.

Laura said...

I'm so glad to hear you say that the avatar should somewhat match the banner (and you implied these should both be sort of logo-ish). I keep hearing all over Etsy that your avatar should be a product from your shop because it entices buyers to click. But I really disagree!

Yes, it entices buyers to click. But I think it's much more important to present a cohesive image throughout your web presence. Buyers will start to recognize you through your avatar if it has your branding!! They're not going to remember it's you specifically if it's just a picture of your product.

Good advice and makes me feel better about my decision.

Fairy Cardmaker said...

Wow, to see a live example really helps demonstrate the tips. Thanks for the post!

gretchenmist . . . {belinda} said...

this is really helpful, thanks for sharing this.
i often wonder about applying the idea of branding to fine art! or whether it's a necessary thing?

Michelle said...

thanks for the advice! do you have any advice more me with promotion?

Meagan said...

Laura...I hear you when you say some people think your avatar should be a pic of one of your products. To each his own. It may work for some, but it doesn't for me. If your pic is of a product from your shop, then that item needs to be for sale. For me that doesn't work because I don't always keep the same items in stock. Most big companies have a logo designed and that's used in their avatars and in their banners. If they're doing it and it works, then I'm gonna do it too!

Meagan said...

As far as branding goes...I think every business needs to be branded. Whether you sell fine art or not. Now how you brand your business will depend on the type of art you sell. Is it original? Is it replicates? Is it impressionist, abstract, illustrations, photos, etc. Art is a huge, in depth area that I don't know much about, but if this is your can brand it. Follow my steps. The main thing is to come up with a mission for your biz. What are you in business to provide? HTH!

Meagan said...

Michelle...the first step to promoting your products is to figure out who you're promoting to. You need to know who your target market is & where they are...then you can promote to them. Check out April provides great info on finding your target market. Search for "target market" in the search box at the bottom of her page! HTH!

Audrey said...

I love this critique and advice...and the name of her store!!
I wish I had thought more about it before I chose a shop name...wish etsy would allow us to change it.
I am working on a mission statement today!

aka AudreyGardenLady on etsy

Meagan said...

I think a lot of people struggle with coming up with a name. It's a big decision if you're gonna try to have a real business, not just a hobby. Definitely something to carefully consider!