September 1, 2020
Branding in one day? Let me tell you why you need to!
I’ve learned how design and campaigns get done on a deadline in my time in the advertising industry. This experience in the design sphere and experience opening my shops made me want to merge the two. I wanted to create a process any new business owner can do. My Branding in One Day guidebook is a process any Etsy maker can trust.Picture the modern-day “Mad Men” agency life. Graphic designers cannot afford to spend weeks on projects. Campaigns get tasked short-notice. Creative directors work in a flurry of conceptual thinking, brainstorming, and working out the small details. Things get done at an agency. I wanted to hand that power to others.
What is branding? Isn’t it just a logo?
I know you probably know what branding is, and you may mostly know it’s not just a logo that makes a brand. But I do think many people don’t fully understand the concept behind branding. So here’s someone who can explain what branding is much more efficiently than I can:
“Brand identity fuels recognition, amplifies differentiation, and makes big ideas and meaning accessible. Branding identity takes disparate elements and unifies them into whole systems.”– – Designing Brand Identity, 4th Edition by Alina Wheeler
So a logo is only an element of a whole system that is your business’ brand. Think of the logo as the face of your brand’s body. It is the most recognizable part, and therefore, it’s tempting to get caught up in designing logos. Sure enough, logo design is an art and science. Some graphic designers only specialize in logo design. They spend years perfecting their craft.What else makes up the branding system? It’s everything your business’ has in its presentation: its messaging, underlying purpose, copy (and tone), and visual elements.
Why Etsy shops need to establish a branding system
If you want to run your business like a business, you need to devote the time to create a business foundation. Even hobby sellers will benefit from this effort! A branding system simplifies and streamlines the way your business’ runs. Instead of building a marketing email or Pinterest pin image from scratch, a brand can pull from its library of established elements.If you want a business (“not a product” as Shark Tank says), then you need a brand to give it an identity. It gives your business a level of legitimacy to customers.
You become more than the product you sell when you present as an established business. Etsy sellers need only refer to what Alina Wheeler (from the book mentioned above) says: “How a brand is perceived affects its success, regardless of whether its a start-up, a nonprofit, or a product.” Creating a brand identity gives you control to lead the conversation of your business.
You are gently directing people in how to perceive you.All of this leads to gaining trust. You instinctively trust a supermarket over a man on the corner of the street selling peaches. The supermarket has worked to earn that trust. It has a building, branding you recognize, and standards. The man on the street corner is a stranger.
Why you need to brand it yourself (at first)
There are two main reasons I argue new handmade sellers need to be the ones to brand their shops themselves: money and expertise. The branding process, done right, gives you an excellent start in becoming your business’s expert. No one knows your business better than you.
This dynamic has to continue! If you forgo the process or hand it off to someone else, you let go of the opportunity to do critical research and substantial thinking. We said that branding is more than a logo. Its a system. You have to be apart of that system from the bottom up.
You cannot do this if you don’t take the time to dig deep and craft that system.Secondly, you are likely wasting your money when you hire a graphic designer for a new brand. They are not an expert in your shop. Depending on the scope of work hired to do, they may be missing HUGE gaps. They may not perform the research or the right research. They may not think beyond a logo, or maybe they create a style guide that misses your business point.
A business is more than a logo. There’s the foundation that the logo is supposed to represent and communicate. All the presentation of a brand must be rooted in something substantial and real.
THAT is why you have to start your business branding yourself. You need to be the creative mind planting the roots. Later, as your business grows, you will be better positioned to hire skilled design work.Chances are, your money is better served elsewhere for a young business.
Save your money for more practical things that will grow your business now. Invest in better packaging and shipping supplies even. Beautiful and skillful design work is expensive. Wait until you can afford it, your business has grown, and you have a foundation.
But why do your branding in one day?
Here’s why I wrote my guidebook to be accomplishable in a day. When you are starting a business, you have a lot to do. Do you remember where I said branding is the wrong priority when starting an Etsy shop? My guide book is meant to get this out of the way so you can focus on the important things.
You need your branding done and done well.Take it from me; it is easy to overthink and draw out this development phase for weeks! Don’t be like newbie me. Be more like me, who’s not only learned from past mistakes but built an entire process around it. When I mention overthinking, I am also referring to “analysis paralysis”—a very real and challenging thing to break out of.
When you research without a goal in mind, you are liable to spend hours collecting data. You build a whole database around what you’ve learned and then realize you don’t know how to make sense of it. You understand what most of the data itself means, but how do you create a cohesive picture around it?
You need a process! And you need to get it done, so you don’t dwell on details. When you follow a process, there’s purpose in every step. You get the information you need and apply it.
- Headaches from overthinking,
- Analysis paralysis: when you have so much information that you get stuck,
- Spending money on beautiful but shallow work, and
- Staying in your branding phase rather than moving on to more important business.
I wrote this book to address all of this.
My guidebook’s entire purpose is to help you avoid all those pitfalls. Properly researched branding can reveal this vital truth: you don’t know what you don’t know.My process will help you unearth the things you don’t realize you need to know and help you dig deep to serve your customers effectively.
Branding is essential, yet it’s easy to waste. Do it effectively. My guide shows you how to build a researched, purpose-driven, and versatile brand.
You can get my Branding in One Day ebook for free. If you love it, let me know! If you show me how it helped you, I’ll give you a shout out on my social media accounts!
What’s next for Pink Pursuits?
More value-packed blogs, a free mini-course, and more freebies, of course! I am so excited to announce that I am working on several other guidebooks too. One will be able to “power-research”! I’ll show you all the tools and resources I use to research. I swear, these are rarely shared online. Its as if people who use them like to keep it to themselves.
The sequel to this branding book is all about how to apply all the work you did across platforms. Don’t let the hard work go to waste by misapplying it. I’ll show you the nerdy tech things you need to know and the tricks graphic designers use to create content that is always on-brand quickly.Be sure to join my email list to stay in the loop.
Get the free one day branding ebook
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