Monday, April 18, 2011

Personal Branding-What Makes You Stand Out?

There are so many brands to choose from at the grocery store, mall, and in the handmade community.

What is it about a brand that makes you feel connected? 
Do you pay attention to brands? 
Do you like some brands over others?

What is it about your favorite coffee? 
Is it the taste of the coffee or the fact that the barista knows your name, knows how you want your skinny, sugar free, french vanilla latte extra hot without even asking and delivers it to you with a smile on their face minus the coffee cozy because she knows you have your own?
Again, is it really the coffee that matters or is it what stands behind the brand?

As I spend more and more time with my etsy shop, I revisit my brand. 
What do I want to be known for? 
I want to make a quality item. 
I want to have my personality shine through. 
I want happy customers and good customer service. 
I want my customers to feel good. 
I want them to come back. 
A brand is more than just a logo or a font. 
A brand is the entire shopping experience. 
A brand is an email. Do you delete or read an email based on a brand? I do. 
A brand is a blog comment, a tweet, or a facebook note. 
A brand can be anything that involves the shopper in an experience that could potentially lead to a sale. 
A brand keeps the customer interested. If you do not deliver as promised or have bad customer service, a customer may not come back. I think about an experience that I had once at a retail chain that is no longer in business. I had ordered my friend a wedding gift. A week before the wedding I received notice that the gift was on backorder but would arrive a week after the wedding. I informed my friend who said not to worry. A month after the wedding, no gift. I contacted the retailer who told me my order had been cancelled however I had not received a refund nor had I been notified.

Needless to say I would never shop there again. Bad business. To me the brand was tarnished after that and I was not surprised when the company went out of business.
What is important to you in a brand? 
How do you ensure your brand is in every aspect of your potential shopper's experience with you? 

Psst: Have you entered the Vintage Rose Wraps $50 Gift Certificate Giveaway? 

11 thoughts:

Carrie said...

To be honest, brand is not at all important to me! I mean yes, it would be a better quality. but as long as i see something that i like, i go right ahead and buy it regardless of it's brand.


Sarah B. said...

Great post! I've been thinking a lot about branding (as in: what am I conveying about my brand through my actions?). And I'm not surprised that store went out of business!

Sandy a la Mode said...

branding is soo definitely important!! for me, i have bunting banner for my bog and bows for my shop... i should prob make it more cohesive when i have the time haha!!

Ms. Megan said...

Fantastic post darling!!! I usually don't think in terms of a brand. If I like something I just buy it. However, if I do not get good customer service or I don't get my product then I will not be shopping with them again {unless it was an honest glitch or just a odd day- I am willing to give the person/business the benefit of the doubt} .

Mama Pea said...

I do think that having consistency through font, logo, color, etc. makes it easier to recognize a brand in different places - Twitter, blog, Etsy, biz card, etc. & can make a small indie biz seem more professional. Customer service is definitely important - just a little extra kindness & attention (even just saying "thanks") can go a long way and make a customer loyal and get them to keep coming back; on the other hand, zero personal attention from a small indie biz can turn a customer off. After all, I choose handmade because I like the personal aspect - buying from a real person rather than a big faceless corporation - so if the personal aspect is not there, then I probably won't buy from that person again, because I could just go to a chain store and buy something similar for less money.

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

Brands aren't really important to me. I try to look at everything and think do *I* like it? Not is it popular? Is it what everyone else has? Do *I* like it??
I also looooove owning things that people can't tell where it came from. SO, Etsy is heaven for me :)

Jessica @ Barefoot by the Sea said...

Thank you for this post, I need all the help I can get. Seriously lacking in this area!

Watkins35 said...

cool post gina.
Branding is so important as it can be the first thing you see when you're out shopping - it's got to draw people in; once you've found that product/company that suits you I think the most important thing (for me) is consistency - them not letting me down in any way, whether it's product quality or customer service - it's all so important. xox

Ashley said...

In most cases, I don't care about brand. This goes for food, clothing, cars, bags, etc. If I like it, I like it. If I like it and it's crazy expensive, I will like it from afar.

However there are certain brands that stick with me - you pretty much can't convince me that they don't rock, because I've had great experiences with them, and for various reasons associate them with quality or something I really love. Doesn't mean I will always buy those things or won't buy a competitor's item - but I will always recommend and will at least consider buying them.

For example, I know that I am probably going to like whatever the Beastie Boys put out, whether it's music, clothing, art, an interview, etc. I just love them so much that I automatically want to love their product, no matter what it is.

Same with Adidas - if I have the choice of athletic item, between Adidas, Nike, Puma, New Balance, etc - I will choose the Adidas item, assuming they're all comparable. I won't choose a FUGLY Adidas item . . . but Adidas doesn't MAKE fugly stuff, now do they?! ;)

But - as loyal as I am to a very few things, I won't buy something just because it's that brand. Most brands I have a loyalty are a bit pricey, so I rarely buy their stuff.

la petite coquine said...

It's like you can read my MIND-John and I had a huge conversation about branding yesterday on our way home! My mom was pretty strict with us about never representing someone else's brand over your own (no polos with horses, pigs or any other creatures, no bags with big logos), but I think everyone has a favorite brand of canned tomatoes or nail polish.

That said, I'm trying to find the perfect name for the blog, and it ain't easy. With just a few words, you have to sum up everything you're about-it's overwhelming! But I think it can some of the most important work you do, so I'm willing to take some time to do it!

BB Goad said...

Great post, thanks for sharing, Gina! I'm thinking a lot about branding as I plan for my handmade shop.

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