What’s a Brand?

It’s important to understand what Branding is before you can use it to attract, engage or sell your patterns to the right crafting audience for your Pattern Design Business. 

You may just be starting out and everywhere you turn, you see that branding is a necessary aspect of running a successful business but you don’t really understand how all the pieces work together. 

Or,

Your business has grown and evolved and you need your branding to grow and evolve with it. You may even discover that your design style and target audience is very different from when you first started, which means it might be time to re-brand.   

As an newbie or established designer, developing you're Branding is probably one of the biggest projects you’ll have to develop for your Pattern Design business. Let’s make sure you get a great start. 

When you hear the word ‘Branding’ what comes to mind?

  • Logos?
  • Colors?
  • Fonts?
  • Website Design?

Yep, Branding includes all of those, but it’s so much more. Let’s read on….

The terms Brand, Branding, and, Brand Identity are sometimes used interchangeably, but they’re different:

What’s a Brand:

The word ‘Brand’ is used pretty loosely. People use the word 'brand' to talk about logos and colors, but these are just parts of branding. Your logo and colors are the symbols that represent the emotional connection your business has with its audience. 

Your Brand is bigger than a business. You have a Brand when your business takes on a persona/personality that attracts, engages and effectively converts the right audience.

There’s one person in particular that comes to mind when I think about having a great business persona and connection to their audience; Gaye of GGMadeit has developed a business around her outgoing personality and uses it to create an authentic emotional connection. Gaye and her company are one. There’s little separation. A lot of other crafters, including me, love and support her based on the unique brand persona she’s developed

A Brand is the perception or vibe your business has in the eyes of its audience. You don’t have to be the face of your business for your business to be a brand. (Thank goodness for that because I’m a true introvert) It’s the relationship you develop with your audience that’s important. 

The main question when creating a Brand is asking yourself: “How do I want my business to be perceived? What role do I want to play in the industry/marketplace? What do I want to be the Go-To for?”

You can't automatically assume that because you have a business, you have a Brand. A Brand earns their audience’s attention, trust and loyalty. A Brand works hard and consistency at projecting a particular image and creating a unique experience for their audience.. 

A thriving Brand is the reward for the hard work of building a real, authentic relationship with your audience.

What’s Branding:

Branding is the action you take to build a particular image or vibe around your business. It’s the process of shaping/developing/designing the personality/persona of your business around the value you offer. DESIGN YOUR BRAND is a 241-page workbook that helps you shape the image and develop the value you want to offer crafters when they engage with your Pattern Design Business. 

A great example of Branding is Francoise of Aroha Knits. Everything she does in her business is designed to give crafters a magical/mystical experience. She’s even created a discovery quiz to help crafters find their magical essence, and uses the results to point them in the direction of complementary patterns to purchase. 

Branding is the act of carrying out your plan of creating your business perception/persona around the value you offer. It clarifies the kind of experience crafters can expect when they engage with your business. The essential aspects of branding is clarity and consistency. 

  • Clarity around what you’re actually offering
  • Clarity around the value you offer
  • Consistency in your Brand message
  • Consistency in your design style

Every move you make in your business should reinforce the perception you want crafters to have, the value that you offer and the experience they can expect from engaging with you. Branding is the act of making sure your message is getting across effectively.

What’s a Brand Identity:

Your Brand Identity is the face of your business. It uses visual and style elements to represent the perception or vibe you’re projecting, the value you offer and the experience crafters can expect from engaging with you. 

After figuring out how you want to be seen in the marketplace/industry, and get clear on the value you offer and choosing the perfect audience to market to, you’ll use:

  • Logos
  • Fonts 
  • Colors 
  • Design Style 
  • Business Personality 
  • Voice 

To attract, engage and convert that audience. Consistent use of these elements makes you instantly recognizable in a saturated craft market. It's a visual guarantee of the value and crafting experience you offer. Using your Brand Identity elements consistently will also attract new crafters, while making current crafters feel at home.

It’s important to make sure that each element is contributing to the overall perception you want to imprint in your audience. Your brand identity helps you look the part of the value and experience you offer.

To see if your Pattern Design Business is on the right track, download the Brand Audit Workbook from the Resource Library, or sign-up below to get the Library Password

Why is Branding so Important?

  • It helps you stand out from the competition: When crafters have several options, your branding can help them make a decision. 
  • It increases the value of what you offer: Branding elevates your business in the minds of crafters.
  • It creates a deeper connection with your audience: Your brand's voice and personalit helps you connect on an emotional level. 
  • It builds crafter loyalty: Knowing your audience means you know what they want and need from you.
  • It keeps you focused and clear on the most effective ways to attract, engage and convert your target crafting audience.

Patterns, just like fashion, can have a limited life cycle, but great branding can last forever. Once you’ve nailed down exactly who you are as a brand and who your audience is, it’s so much easier to market and promote your business, design patterns and develop products.

How to Develop a Strong Brand

If you’re reading this and thinking: How do I even begin? Well, there are a few things you should know. Before you build a brand, you need to know who you are and what you offer as a business. 

That means you must know:

  • Your Mission (Know your why)
  • Your Values (What beliefs drive your business?)
  • Your Business Personality (If your business was a person, what kind of personality would it have?)
  • Your Unique Positioning (How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors?)
  • Your Brand Voice (If your brand was a person, how would it communicate?)
  • Your Audience (Who is your Ideal Crafting Customer/)
  • Your Touch-points (Where can your audience can find and engage with you?)

All of these elements must be in place before your Pattern Design Business can become a Pattern Design Brand. 

Is Branding easy? Nope. Even if you live and breath knitting and crochet, it can be tough to brand your business. But it’s totally doable. Just take your time and always think through the perception you want your business to have, the value you offer and the experience you want crafters to have, guide every decision.

Check your to see if your business is a Brand by downloading the Brand Audit Workbook in the Resource Library. Click here for access.

If you’re having trouble figuring your branding out, don’t sweat it. I’ve done all the heavy lifting for you with a  241-page workbook that helps you go from business to Brand Whether you’re branding your new business or re-branding you're existing business, DESIGN YOUR BRAND is just what you need to make sure your business is a unique and authentic reflection of you. Click here to get your copy.

Sticks & String,
Lori