We all know how important branding is in a business. Logos, watermarks, color schemes, etc. all play an important role of getting your customers to know who YOU are. I'm going to share a bit with you about my business branding journey and then give a tips that I've learned along the way.
When I started this business, it was called "EmbroidaBaby Designs." Catchy right? Eh. I thought I was so clever. Embroidery...for babies... Embroid-a-baby? Yeah. It worked. But I never ONCE heard someone say "I got it at EmbroidaBaby" which is a definite goal in business, right? "Word of mouth" advertising doesn't work if they don't speak words out of their mouths!
Look at my first logo and FB cover photo! YIKES!
That... wasn't cutting it for me. After lots of prayer and consideration, I changed my name to HoopMama Designs. My husband has been called HoopDaddy, therefore, I am HoopMama and my son is BabyHoop. I figured, you HOOP embroidery... I'm a HOOPER... I'm already called HOOPMAMA...It was perfect! Almost immediately after I changed it, I started seeing "I got it from HoopMama" in different groups! It was so cool to see that, I'm not even going to lie! And it still is pretty darn cool :)
My new logo and FB cover changed to this... quite a difference, no?
Oh and recently, I added a few more little letters to my business name.... "LLC!" Whaaaat?? I'm a REAL business! *Insert booty shaking HoopMama here!*
But gosh! I STILL have stuff that says EmbroidaBaby! I'm constantly working to change that.
I spent 2015 with a "grow, grow, grow" mentality. And now I want to slow down a bit and work on more of the branding for my business. Don't worry, new designs are still number 1 priority, but you will just maybe notice some changes that hopefully help you recognize HoopMama, say if you ran into me on another website or forum other than HoopMamaDesigns.com.
One thing that you'll start seeing now is the change of my watermarks. Slowly but surely all the designs will change on the website and on Etsy to reflect the new watermarks as well as to finally bid farewell to designs with only one size! Here are samples of what it will look like.
If they have a stitch out/vinyl design picture it'll look like this.
I'm so excited about how my business is growing and changing. And I'm so glad that I can share what I've learned with all of you! Here are some tips that I hope help you with branding your own business.
4 Quick Tips to Branding:
1. Pick One Or Two Fonts for Your Logo and Advertisements and STICK WITH THEM.
I love TheHungryJPeg's font bundles. Here's a few of the January ones that will expire in just a few days, as well as one of my favorite fonts! They all come with commercial use, which is very important to have that covered for use in your business. These also work great for creating your own cutting files or digitizing your own fonts in your embroidery software!
2. Don't Go Crazy With Colors.
As you can see with my EmbroidaBaby logo, colors were all over the place. I then simplified and went to black, gold and coral. Picking 2-3 colors helps your customers identify who you are before they even look at what you're saying or offering.
3. Watermark Your Photos.
I honestly hate the way I have to watermark my designs. Sadly, here are dishonest people out there and I need to make it a little trickier for them to trace my work. Now, your product photos don't need to go all out like mine. A simple logo in the corner and a transparent watermark through the actual shirt will do the job. (In my next blog post, I will go over how to do the transparent watermark.)
Consider also adding either a website address or another way for them to contact you in case Google can't find you and brings up your competitors listing instead. The goal isn't to only keep competitors from using your picture as their own, it's also to let customers know where to find you if your photo gets pinned or shared on Instagram 7,000 times and loses its source.
4. BE CONSISTENT.
I struggled with this at first but I now feel like I am getting on the right track with consistency. Your customers need to know what to expect from you. As you build your business, you're building relationships with people, and relationships rely on trust. If you do a newsletter, be consistent with putting it out. If you market for holidays 6 weeks in advance, make sure you do that for every holiday. If you offer monthly sales, don't miss a month. You get the idea.
I'm not going to lie. Branding and re-branding is hard. So hard. It's also so mind-numbingly tedious that you will forget what you've updated and what you haven't, you'll question the changes 17 bazillion times, shoot, you'll probably forget YOUR name in the process. BUT! As you build your brand, it will become more and more manageable and eventually become routine to where you don't even have to think about the process.
If you've been in business and just picked a name to pick a name, and have recently found that something else describes YOU and your business, make the change! If you're happy with your business name but don' really have a branding process in place, DO IT NOW! You want your customers to be able to recognize you from a mile away.
Thank you for reading! I hope these tips help or inspire you in some way :)