Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Handmade Business Talk 1: Branding

When we think of a brand we tend to think of things like the Nike swoop, the golden arches of McDonald's, or the mouse ears of Disney. But, their "brand" goes far beyond just a picture. What we see is their logo, what we experience is their brand. While we are building our handmade business presence online, we have to take into consideration what our brand is going to be.

The big question you need to consider is what sort of experience do you want to give your customers/clients?

Branding includes your website, social media experience, packaging, your one-on-one interaction with your customers through emails or texts, the language you use, your grammar, the "personality" of your business, etc. Branding boils down to how your customers feel about you. Have you given them an experience that was pleasant and they would like to repeat? Or have you given them just enough to get their money? 

What makes a customer loyal to a brand? A positive experience and a relationship.
What makes a customer leave a brand? A bad experience and a lack of communication.

As a consumer, I'm sure you have had your fair share of poor experiences. What sort of taste did those leave in your mouth concerning the business you were dealing with? Will you go back? 

One thing I learned working in customer service over the years is that it's all about giving them an experience. They don't just want to purchase an item...they want to purchase an item that has a story behind it from a company that went out of their way to make sure they enjoyed every aspect of their purchase from the shopping and selecting to the package opening. They want to know you care!

Just like people eat with their eyes first, they shop with their eyes first. This means the pictures you take and share on social media are part of their shopping experience. The goal is to get them to follow you on social media, visit your website, sign up for your email so that you can have greater contact with them, etc. This sort of loyalty comes from consistently creating a narrative and story that they can connect with and trust. When they begin to feel like you "know" them, they begin to look at your product as something worthy of investment and something they need to have in their lives. People don't buy from businesses they don't trust.

Spend some time thinking about who it is you are trying to reach with your product, and then create your branding based off of that. Also, think about what makes a purchasing experience special for you. 

What makes Disney different from every other theme park? The experience!


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