03 May Building a Business? Build Your Brand Identity.
What can investing in a meaningful brand identity do for your business? Recently I checked in with my lovely client Leaa Both to find out how her branding was working for her business. I first met with Leaa, who is a traditionally trained cobbler, in the spring of 2019 to develop the branding for her business, South Hill Shoes. A year later, I asked her to reflect on what her branding has meant to her success.
When you were getting ready to launch your business, how important was creating your brand identity?
Leaa:I think having a strong brand identity was essential in my business launch. It gave me key values to focus on when promoting my business, such as a connection to nature and a valuation of sustainable and repairable products, and a lens through which to unite all these values into a cohesive vision of my business.
How do you feel your logo, name and tagline represent your business?
Leaa: I feel that my logo and tagline encompass the balance between refinement and classic design that my products strive for. My products take a simple, well-known design and incorporate high quality materials and trained craftsmanship to deliver a heightened experience to their wearers. I feel that my logo mirrors this, with a basic dragonfly design that highlights the world of adventure and exploration in it’s mountain-scape wings. My tagline, ‘Adventures Customized,’ highlights the rustic, outdoorsy elements of my products while also emphasizing the elevated experience of having a custom made pair of sandals.
Here is Leaa’s beautiful logo, that now proudly greets customers on her store front window:
How have your customers responded to your branding?
Leaa: The response to my branding has been phenomenal! People love to look at the logo as they notice the added details. There has been a lot of response and connection between customers and the elements of nature that are promoted through my brand identity.
Leaa found she used her visual branding many places, including on her storefront window, on customized tissue paper for her product packaging, as well as using her logo and icons on social media. She also used her logo, tagline, brand colours and fonts on her website. This gives her brand consistency across all customer touchpoints. I asked her if she found this had an impact:
What value does your branding bring to these customer touchpoints?
Leaa: Using my branding in these ways elevates my product–frankly the quality of design really makes my stuff look classy!
Especially because of the elements included in my logo, I believe that it helps to make my social media more cohesive. I post a lot about the community- and greenspace-building activities that I am involved in on my Business Instagram, and having a clear set of values established through my brand identity has helped ensure that my posts have a clear thread of unity throughout them, though some may be of my leather supply and others of butterflies or mountain views.
The lesson is simple: build your brand first.
According to Leaa, posts that show the story of her business and non profit work “receive more feedback or engagement from my online community.” She found the effectiveness of Instagram and word of mouth “skyrocketed once I had a cohesive brand image to show potential customers. Having a logo, tagline, and brand values to focus on has allowed me to engage people in a way that my products alone were not able to.”
Clearly, taking the time to build a meaningful brand identity really pays off. I’m thrilled the branding work I did for Leaa has helped her connect with her customers and get her business off the ground. So how did this beautiful brand come together? Look for an upcoming blog post on the branding process, and how I develop brand positioning, brand meaning and a creative concept, then pull in wonderful partners (such as the graphic designer who created Leaa’s logo) to execute the vision.