We’ve all heard the optimist phrase that “it’s what is on the inside that counts…” and that may be true when it comes to people. However, when it comes to business people are not always willing to spend a lot of time “getting to know” your product.
Clear concise branding can help your customer to decide within a few seconds if they want to support your product or service.
It’s all in a name
I have always had a hard time “naming things”. Whether it be pets, titles of articles or our businesses deciding on a name always stresses me out. I think the problem is that I have a hard time narrowing down the essence of our project into a few short words. I don’t want a title, I want a paragraph!
Naming is a very personal thing, if you have plenty of opportunities to develop your brand, then your name can be somewhat ambiguous. Some brands use ambiguity as a marketing ploy to create curiosity.
Our Brand is called Iron Oak Farm. We started our business to incorporate my husband’s blacksmith products and our farm products. When we named our farm we didn’t want it to be too specific because we wanted to be able to cover a wide range of products. I also knew that I would be blogging and spreading our brand over many different platforms so the name would be explained and experienced quite thoroughly.
However, if your product line is specific, I think it can be beneficial to make your name specific. If you ONLY sell pies then be sure to include the word “Pie” in your name.
Also, keep brand names short and to the point. I’d say 3 words max. People want to be able to glance at your name and have an understanding of what you’re selling.
You know your farm and product better than anyone so why does it sometimes seem so hard to decide on a look for your website, logo, and product packaging? Sometimes I think we’re a little too close to our product to really see it through the consumer’s eyes. It never hurts to ask others what they think. Ask them what does your product make them think of? Is it a home-y warm and cozy product like fresh baked pies or hand knitted items? Is it a beauty product that summons spa-like whites and light grays? Are you selling earthy green plants or seeds? I don’t want to place these ideas into cliche boxes…but you get the idea.
Create a clean logo. Don’t include too many elements or colors. If you have wording or an acronym make sure the font is easy to read and not too flourished. Also, make sure your logo gives the vibe of your brand. Is your brand young and laid back? Maybe a chalkboard look or a thin, handwritten, lower case font. Is your style more elegant? maybe a classic Times Roman or an easy-to-read script. Think of how your logo will look in different sizes. Will it loose detail if it’s shrunk for a business card? Will it be too complex if enlarged for a banner?
You have to decide if you want your face to be part of your brand. It’s kind of a funny way to think about things but including your face in your brand can help give it a more personal vibe. It can also give you-the-person recognition as well as your products. I’m a shy person and I know that if I become “the face of my brand” I will shy away from certain types of advertising, which may hurt our success. Because I know this about myself, I made a decision to design our brand with very little of my image.
Stick with your theme or else you don’t have a theme.
One of the hardest things to wrap your head around when you start a business is that not everyone will be your customer… but that’s ok. It’s better to truly serve your specified customer then water down your product to fit everyone. This is also known as finding your niche. So if a product doesn’t look or feel right for your brand. Feel confident in letting it go.
Set a mood or tone
Our Iron Oak Farm brand is very rustic. I incorporate that feel into everything I publish, from the color scheme on our website to the filters I use on our photos. The fonts are very traditional and classic. I was inspired for our look by the way the sun sets on our aged barn wood walls of our outbuildings. The wood has a textured, rustic, old-fashioned look. It’s a brown-golden color with lots of shadows and contrast. That is what I have in the back of my mind when I’m creating our brand. I also love a classic, timeless look, rich jewel tones and golden browns and rusty oranges. That is my pallet.
How to create your look
Spend time on websites that you admire. You don’t want to copy some else’s design but study why you like the look of that particular brand. How does it make you feel? Why does it make you want to buy that product? Is it fun and colorful? Is it peaceful and serene using pastels and light clean colors and lines? Is it earthy? Etc. How does that look compliment your product?
If you’re not the artsy type then hire someone. It is well worth the money to find someone who you trust and admire their sense of style to create your farm brand. Make sure they’re willing to listen to your ideas and easy to work with.
Always remember that nothing is permanent. As your product line grows and develops so can the sophistication of your brand. The important thing is to get started!