Make your Handmade Business Memorable
Learn about building a brand as an indie artist or designer. Branding helps create an image for you and your business. It helps generate repeat business and word of mouth which is so important for small business.
What is Branding?
Branding is about making sure people remember your business. It encompasses the look of your business, you logo, website, packaging, etc. and also the way your customers feel about your business.
Walmart is known for low prices.
Volvo is known for safe cars.
Domino's is known for fast pizza delivery.
What do you want to be known for? In my case I want Noadi's Art to be known for beautiful and quirky sculpture and jewelry.
Why Should a Handmade Business Worry about Branding?
You want more business right? Building a good brand image will help you generate more business. If your customers remember you well they're more likely to buy you're creations again and also to tell their friends and family about you.
Being a small indie business myself I know that budgets for this sort of thing are small so I've compiled advice that requires little or no money to implement. Do expect to spend a fair bit of time doing this when you first start (though once the initial work is done it gets easier).
Branding Basics Links
- What Is Branding? Basic Business Terms
Small Business - A discussion of how to run a small business, how to manage accounting and payroll, how to handle growth, how to hire, how to fire, tools and services, insurance, taxes, technology, benefits.
- FREE Online Guide to Creating a Small Business Brand | SMALL BRANDING
Your free online guide to creating a small business brand on a super-tight budget.
- Branding archive | Duct Tape Marketing Blog
Simple, effective and affordable small business marketing
- Marketing for Independent Professionals and Small Business | Shoestring Branding
Marketing for Independent Professionals
- Twitter- Branding Your Etsy Business 140 Characters at a Time | Handmade Spark
Effectively Using Twitter to Brand your Etsy Business: Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows its users to send and read other users' updates (otherwise known as tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 cha
- Case Study: Branding an Etsy Store
Or at least that's what we thought we were doing when Barbara Behan agreed to let her Blue Kimono Studio Etsy Store be a case study on The Marketing Spot. But as we got into the branding conversation, Barbara's perspective changed. As Barbara put it:
- Shop Makeover: Creating a Brand Identity for Your Shop :: Etsy Blog
For most people, the term “brand identity” conjures images of multi-national companies and shiny corporate logos. But branding isn’t a marketing strategy that only the big boys should use. Even the smallest of businesses can benefit from a strong bra
- 70 Amazing Business Cards - FubizÂ
Business card inspiration.
Visual branding is the fun part of this (or should be for a creative person). It's designing the look of your brand. You logo, webpage, business cards and packaging of your products.
MOO does some really beautiful photo business cards. If you're budget is really tight you could try out VistaPrint's Free Business Cards all you pay is shipping. If you're feeling really DIY you can print your own out at home.
Pick a theme. It could be a color scheme, a genre (retro, victorian, country), or set of textures.
Stay consistent. If you want to change your visual look do it all at once unless the change already fits what you've been doing.
Be inspired by others, don't copy them. If you like the box someone is using to package their jewelry it's fine to use the same shape box but make it your own with the colors and printing on it.
Customer Service and Branding
Okay, this should be a no brainer (though plenty of big businesses get this wrong) the way you treat your customer is key to how they perceive you. Maybe if you make billions of dollars a year it doesn't matter but for us little guy it's incredibly important. It's also pretty easy.
What to Do
Be kind and courteous. Treat your customers nicely and without rudeness. If they become rude with you do not respond to them at all unless you have to.
Be prompt. Meet deadlines or ship orders when you say you will.
Be available. Answer emails, letters, phone calls, etc. from your customers as quickly as you can.
Be cooperative. If someone is having trouble with your website or a product help them out as best you can.
This is related to the customer service. Show your customers you aren't a faceless entity. Be fun, be quirky, be sweet, but find what feels right to you and go with it. Don't force it or it won't feel authentic, it needs to fit you not fit what you think your customers want.
The Fun Stuff
DIY Branding Ideas
There are endless things you can do yourself that are creative and makes and impact with your customers.
Wear a shirt, totebag, hat, lab coat, etc. that's been screen printed with your name and logo.
Use recycled materials like old wrapping paper, playing cards, postcards, etc in your packaging or advertising materials.
Post flyers around town.
Include thank you notes or small free gifts with purchases.
- craftgrrl: Cheap screen printing tutorial
Alright, I've finally had the time to "screen print" another shirt, so here's the tutorial...
- D.I.Y. Screen Printing - Instructables - DIY, How To, craft - Entry
Once you start screen printing your original designs you won't want to stop.Watch the the video below and subscribe to our weekly show on iTunes to ...
If you don't feel up to printing your own t-shirt get Zazzle to do it for you.
- Make Your Own Art Stamps and Save
Make your own decorative rubber stamps. Save money and maybe even start a home business.
- Make your own Re-Usable Stencils
This tutorial shows how to take a stencil image and turn it into a reusable stencil sheet.
- Stencil Art...Creating Stencils - Online Tutorial at Melissa Clifton page 1
There are several different techniques for creating stencils with Adobe Photoshop. In this tutorial we will look at using Threshold to make stencils. Part B of this tutorial explains how you can then print your own original t-shirts with your stenci
- Stencil Revolution :: View topic - Bleach on fabric tutorial
Creating a reverse image by stenciling using bleach on dark fabric.
- 105+ Logo Design Tuts And Resources
Logo design in todayâs world has come to be one of the most important aspects of creating a brand identity and connecting with consumers. Logoâs are everywhere - the web, books, magazines, newspapers, television, moviesâ¦you name it, there is some ty
This handmade business lens is a creation of Noadi's Art
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Your Thoughts? - Do you have a tip to share? Or just want to leave a comment? This is the place to do it.
Leticia on February 19, 2015:
- Hi Kap! Thanks so much for the comment. I love The Glow and have amdired it from afar for a little while. Thanks for sharing and for all the kind words. Please stay in touch.
somethingpetit on July 15, 2014:
Great article for someone just starting out. Thanks :)
ahmet-y-lmaz on April 19, 2012:
Business branding is the most basic and important part to introduce your services or product to people. http://www.turkishgift.net
squid-pinkchic18 on April 03, 2012:
Awesome tips! I got my bachelor's degree in marketing and a lot of this is right on spot with some of the most important stuff. Great job here :)
RainbowArmor on March 11, 2012:
This is a great article! Always looking for some new tips to help get started, thank you for posting this!
bradhughes on December 13, 2011:
Business branding is the most basic and important part to introduce your services or product to people. Nice lens!
BuildMyBrand on June 21, 2011:
sweetdeal on March 31, 2011:
onlinebusiness11 on January 12, 2011:
scar4 on December 20, 2010:
Bravo, thumbs up!
Margaret Schindel from Massachusetts on November 24, 2010:
You've done it again - another extremely well put together and helpful resource!
John Dyhouse from UK on October 20, 2010:
Another great lens full of really useful information. I have been browsing several of your lenses and am beginning to feel quite positive about selling my artworks on-line - Thanks
anonymous on October 04, 2010:
Great information! Thanks!
anonymous on May 20, 2009:
love this lens(especially the fun stuff( and rated it)!
julieannbrady on September 17, 2008:
I recently had some fun helping my friend Watsie -- Mommy Petree with her branding. She is SUCH a busy lady that there are not enough hours in the day for her to get to everything. Branding is such an integral component to the marketing of virtually anything! Great lens that touches on the important touchpoints of branding. 5*****
WritingforYourW on August 29, 2008:
Nice--I don't make handmade goods, but branding is something I want to pay a lot more attention to with my writing (blogs, books, etc.) in the future. All you have to do is look at something like the "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" brand to see how powerful (and lucrative!) a good brand can be.
Annette Geiger on August 23, 2008:
I have never thought about branding for handmade goods. You have given me something to think about as I get ready to dive into the CafePress/Zazzle world! 5*
Katherine Tyrrell from London on July 09, 2008:
Nice lens - I've added it into my Resources for Visual Artists group
TheNewGreenWayToHealthyLiving on June 30, 2008:
Cool idea, now you got me thinking in a different direction!
Sheryl Westleigh (author) from Maine on June 29, 2008:
No, customers are not always right. There will always be people who can't be pleased no matter what you do or are trying to scam you (especially true online). When you come across one of those don't drop to their level when responding to them.
mosaic lm on June 29, 2008:
Do you believe that customers are always right? In terms of your customer service?
RentMyGarden on June 24, 2008:
Great visual branding information to help others succeed online. Entrepreneur Marketing Secrets can take time to discover. Visit when you're free and read what I have discovered from my online journey.
businessbites on June 23, 2008:
Nice lens. Great ways to brand on the cheap
bjslapidary on June 22, 2008:
Nice lens. Lots of great info. 5*s to you
twisted-barfly on June 19, 2008:
Lovely lens. I'd like to learn more about handmaking business cards (some of the flickr photos show what look like handmade cards.)
My mum has some photo business cards from moo (actually free with a 2year ($24/£12) flickr account!!) They're lovely. I'm going to sign up to flickr and get some too... then when I start selling stuff on ebay, I'm going to tie them with ribbon to the products.
anonymous on June 18, 2008:
Great lens ! Very informative ! I am striving towards this goal.
anonymous on June 10, 2008:
Excellent, excellent, excellent!! 5* AND a favorite ~ this is really useful stuff.
Jen Schaefer from St Petersburg on June 09, 2008:
I saw you on Lensroll. Good stuff! 5 Stars :)
rebeccahiatt on June 09, 2008:
Great info we often forget about.
RinchenChodron on June 08, 2008:
Thank you for the Do It Yourself resources! ****Rating! I favorited it.
Shannon Chiarenza from Vancouver bc on June 06, 2008:
Great info 5*
Sheryl Westleigh (author) from Maine on June 05, 2008:
Aww.. thanks so much, and sorry for submitting more than two I didn't see the notice.
kemengr on June 05, 2008:
You are irresistible! Though I have restricted the number of lenses per lensmaster to two in my Make Money Honestly group, I am forced to deviate because of the quality and the basic objective of the group. Well done!