Branding

20 Apr

One of the hardest parts about starting your own business is branding. Before you can sell anything, you need a name people will recognize. The challenge is huge, very similar deciding the cover for your novel, when your novel is only one of the millions of billions being sold in a giant super bookstore. How do you make your book stand out? What colours do you use on your cover? Do you go classic black and white? What’s your title?

All these little things decide so much because they make up the FIRST impression a client will receive.

When I was first coming up with an idea, I had a a list in my mind that I would tick off.

My List

1 – Does it stand out?

I needed my brand to stand out for a few reasons.

I always harp on about being original and unique. If the jewelry is so great, the brand has to encompass this. If I do a poor job on branding it or give it a very run of the mill image, people aren’t going to be drawn to my work.

Also, unique branding comes in handy for technical reasons. If somebody opens up Google and punches in the name of my company, will I be the first result at the top of the list or will I show up on page 3 of 6 million?

And let’s face it, my biggest exposure is when I wear my work. If I’m on a night out with friends, and someone notices my work but it feels too informal to hand them a business card, I tell them the name of the company. Will they remember it the next day when sitting in front of their computer? The more original brand, the easier it is for potential clients to track it down.

2 – Is it appealing to my target market? Is it appealing to other markets?

Starting out I had a vague idea of what my target market would be. Most of the jewelry I made was what I personally wanted to wear. It turns out my tastes are all over the place. Some of my pieces are a hit with girls in their 20’s, others get the strongest response from women in their 40’s. This age range made it necessary that my brand be something that can appeal too a wide group. Usually a target market is very specific and fixed, down to an individual personality. This niche concept wouldn’t work for me, the brand couldn’t be too specific as I didn’t want to exclude anyone.

3 – Would I trust this company?

When first starting out, I know I have to do a lot of convincing that I am educated in jewelry making. Each design has to be slick, clean, and well made. A huge help would be if my brand was something that represented this. My brand had to be something that people could trust and help them to view me as a legitimate designer.

How did I start?

My first branding idea was “Creepy Baby.” Now before you laugh, let me explain my logic.

Initially, I thought to attract an audience I should have something a little bit funny and weird. I also thought this would make it very easy for people to remember when they wanted to look it up later. I had been sitting on the computer and drew up a little alien baby.

This is what it looks like:

After working with this for a bit, I decided it wouldn’t appeal to my audiences. This type of branding would exclude more than it would include, as only a certain niche would find it appealing. Also, as a new company, I didn’t want potential clients to dismiss me as a joke. It seemed the value of remembering the brand didn’t outweigh the amount of clients that would simply dismiss it. I ultimately decided to go with something a little bit more classic.

After going through many more concepts, I decided Felt Your Heart Beat would work the best. I had been working with felt quite a bit during the time and had felt flowers on the mind. Luckily, this concept met all of my requirements.

1 – It actually stood out! The past tense of feel separated “felt your heart beat” from “feel your heart beat” which is a a widely used phrase.

When punched into Google, Felt Your Heart Beat is one of the first results.
See it now!
When you punch in Felt Your Heart Beat
When you punch in feltyourheartbeat

2 – It appeals to a wide range of audience. It has a more classic feel, that anyone, at any age would find they could relate to.

3 – It’s not difficult to take it seriously. This brand seems clean, cut, and put together. When glancing at it, it invokes hard work and something that was created with care, exactly the ideas I want coming to mind when clients think of my designs.
And most importantly, this meant something to me. I would always joke that each design I create has apiece of my soul in it. After reflecting about this, it is ultimately true.

Each piece has a creative process that includes the amount of time I spend coming up with an idea, the running around to grab the right materials at a reasonable price and high quality, the the day (sometimes days) labored over one piece to get all the parts right, the prototypes and re-imaginings to make sure it’s good enough to market, and finally getting it posted and published for people to see. At the end of a design, when I’m wearing it and prancing around the apartment, I look back and see that it’s a long road to get to this finished piece. Its not an exaggeration that I’ve invested myself in each creation.

I also thought about the feeling I want to invoke in each person. When I initially think of a design in my head, there’s a rush, my heart speeds up and my mind starts whirring with ideas as I realize it’s something I must make. I want to mirror this feeling in each client that looks at my work. I literally want get their blood pumping because they are excited to wear a new piece.

This was the image I wanted and I am quite happy with it. I’m sure it will continue to evolve, just like the other aspects of this business. It is however, one of outcomes I am most proud of and continue to improve.

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