“Branding your business will help you win the work you want,” according to Author, Speaker and Creative Director Fiona Humberstone, the name behind The Brand Stylist. People expect, experience and remember your business, and as an entrepreneur, you have the power to shape that. Here Fiona offers six brilliant branding tips to enable your business to make an impression, create deep and lasting connections, and ultimately craft the business you’ve always dreamed of.
1. Attention to detail is important in creating your identity
"Taking care of every single element - from the soap in your loos to the signage above your premises is one of the ways you can craft a really special and memorable experience for your clients. A lovely restaurant has just opened near me: The Garden House at Beaverbrook. It's a beautiful walled garden and cookery school on a large estate and is utterly beautiful. The decor, gardens, food - even the Bamford Hand Cream creates a really special experience and it's somewhere I'll take most of my clients because it's a great example of the power of following through your brand vision down to the last olive!"
2. Think like a client
"I always encourage my clients to think through what it feels like to be a client of theirs. How do you want your clients to feel at every stage of the process? If you're a designer, that means paying attention to what it feels like to receive one of your designs. How do you sell in your ideas? How do you create credibility and excitement at every level? And once you've completed the project, how can you create a great feeling that'll carry you on to the next project together. Lots of these things don't cost tons of money - sometimes it's just about adding a 'so lovely to work with you' line onto your invoices. Other times it's worth investing in something a bit special."
3. Make them feel appreciated
"I love to use print and mail my clients things unexpectedly. For my retreat I created a beautiful bespoke box, complete with laser-cut palms and foil blocked boxes. Admittedly, those elements weren't cheap! But I balanced it out with a fabulous printed brochure from you guys, some custom postcards and some printed letterheads to communicate my message with style. It's about being sensible and creating a vision."
4. Build a bridge between the real world and online
"It’s all about creating a seamless experience. Online and offline both have their places - it's about having clarity and focus and enchanting your audience every step of the way. I love to use a mix of beautiful photography, engaging copy (that avoids the over-zealous hype we see so often in sales pages) and good old-fashioned print. Nothing beats it! Print still wins hands-down for memorable, lasting and powerful communications - as long as it's done with style."
5. Stay true to you on social media
"Be yourself. Forget what the gurus are telling you about sharing everything online from what your dog ate for breakfast to your first love. Focus on what's right for your unique business. What message do you want to send out? Why are people following you? How can you add value to their day? What feels right to you? It's really very simple if you let it be. There's lots on this in my new book, Brand Brilliance if you'd like a more comprehensive walk through. But it really can be as simple or as complicated as you choose to make it."
6. Create stories with powerful photography
"Start by thinking about the story you want to tell. What do people need to know about your product? How can you inspire them? If it smells, how can you show something that people can't physically smell? How can you get people thinking about how something can be used?
"Secondly, think about what's right for your business. Backdrops, props, lighting, post-production filters. How can you communicate the right message for your business? We cover lots on photography and styling in Brand Brilliance because I think that creating powerful and intentional photography is one of the best things you can do for your brand."
Learn from Fiona through her branding retreats, books and workshops
Fiona’s first branding retreat was in a beautiful hotel this May in Majorca. She’s booked the retreat again for 2018 and it sold out in 48 hours! Fiona has also just launched an online Colour Pscyhology course which is a game changer for creatives.
Her book, Style Your Brand, does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a creative workbook to empower readers to create a distinctive brand identity. Fiona’s latest book, Brand Brilliance, is designed to help elevate brands and enchant audiences. It's all about creating a sustainable, powerful business that plays to your strengths as a business owner and wins you the right kind of work. Launched in May 2017 the response has been phenomenal so far and she’s already ordered a second run six weeks after launch.
What do you think of branding your business? Do you have any tips yourself? Let us know by commenting below!