Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thursday Etsy Tips: Branding Pt.1

Today I'm going to share with you my branding journey.
This was my first ever Etsy banner:

A graphic designer friend of mine made it for me and while it is GORGEOUS, it didn't really tell a story as to what my shop was about or who my demographic was.  At the time I was looking for something pretty, and I was in love with peacock feathers so I asked her to design something to reflect that.  I still love this design, but I stopped using it when I made this one:

The photo is a picture I took of some items on a chair outdoors.  I then fooled around on what used to be Picnik (now PicMonkey) and made a border and found a text I liked and put that up on Etsy, had business cards printed and was pretty happy with it.

Then about a year ago, I was starting to get more serious about my business and was reading a lot about how to create a successful Etsy shop (and though I wouldn't say I'm there yet, I have definitely come a long way) and I decided I really needed a solid brand.  I read some tips on how to do this, and what I found really helpful was brainstorming what my little handmade business was all about.  Here's some questions I asked myself:

1. What do you sell?
2. What is your demographic, who is buying your items?
3. What do you want your items to say to a customer?
4. What are a few words that describe your brand?
5. What are some shops you love and why do you love them?

This should hopefully give you somewhat of an idea of your theme.  For example, I'll answer these questions for myself:

1. I sell upcycled clothing and accessories for women (so my brand should have something to do with an aspect of this)
2. My demographic is women like me-who love fashion, color, and unique items!
3. I want my items to exude fun, color, and comfort while being stylish and trendy-I want my pieces to be the ones in your closet you LOVE and can't wait to wear again
4. FUN, colorful, flattering, unique
5. Some shops I love and why I love them:
Noella Beauty-her makeup is natural, and her colors are rich and vibrant. I want them all!
Lamixx-I can tell that I am going to be SO comfy wearing her clothes, and you could probably pair the neutrals with anything-so many options!
Mojo Spa Style-So bright, colorful and fun, lots of variety

What can I get out of what I love about these shops?
Well, with Noella Beauty, I like that her makeup is natural, which is a 'cause' in a way.  If people are searching for upcycled garments, that's something I want to make sure to emphasize in my shop.

With Lamixx, the photos and items make me feel a certain way; If they are trying to make their customers feel like their clothing would be super comfy while remaining stylish, they are succeeding!

Mojo Spa Style has bright fun colors, I just want to look around at everything-they're making me stay on the page and look around.  That doesn't mean you have to have this much variety, but taking a look at the things you love about other shops might help you out when it comes to what you want people to see/feel/understand about your shop.

Phew, that's a lot of information!  I'll stop there for today, and if you want, feel free to treat this as a homework assignment, especially with the questions. Stay tuned next week for Branding Pt.2!

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