Hey Makers, Makenzie here from BQueen Collection and I'm so excited to be here on the blog sharing with you my 5 Tips to Make Your Brand Stand Out!
First off, I just want to say do not expect your business to be everything you dreamed overnight – each of these areas has a process and learning curve. But as the business owner, remember that you control the time, the tasks, and the deadlines. No one is following you around with a clipboard, waiting to pass or fail your business to-do list. Give yourself a break and tackle what you can, when you can.
Without further ado, here are my 5 Tips to Make Your Brand Stand Out!
#1: Unique Product
Hold up, I’m not talking about reinventing the wheel here. Your product is full of different features, and manipulating just one of these might be enough to make your product stand out in the ocean of handmade.
BQueen is certainly not the only company out there that makes wood crochet hooks, but we have taken the obvious features of a wood crochet hook and have adjusted some of those features to make a completely unique product. For example, our handmade hooks are ergonomically designed, have a hybrid hook head for fast and efficient crocheting, and include the most recognizable feature of BQueen: our royal crowns on the top of every crochet hook. When you look one of our crochet hooks compared to another brand, you’d immediately be able to recognize which is from BQueen. Are they still made of wood? Yep. Is it still a crochet hook? Yes.
If you make and sell finished cowls, would someone be able to tell yours apart from another maker’s? What are the defining features of your product that separates you from the competition?
If you’re stuck on this, take a moment to write down all the objective features of your product (factual observations, not subjective ones like “it makes one feel as though lying on the wings of a soft cloud butterfly on a snowy winter’s day”). What are the colors you work with, textures, fiber content, weight, dyeing technique, and so on.
Some of your objective features might already have your product standing out (i.e. if your “fiber content” is something like…galvanized wire). But maybe none of your product details are unique enough to stand out among others. This is now the time to be creative and think outside the box. How can you manipulate at least one of your product details, which will then make it unique? Perhaps it’s experimenting with rare fiber content, sticking to a certain color palette that becomes recognizable, etc.
You’re not reinventing the actual product necessarily, just a component, and that’s what will make your brand stand out.
#2: Unique Packaging
I’m not just talking about what color poly mailer you use. Attention to packaging needs to start before that, right when you’re about to stick that label on your handmade item. Is there cohesiveness? Is there a theme? Are their certain colors and fonts and styles? Yes! Packaging is a whole separate part of your product and deserves a whole bunch of time, because packaging can make the difference and is truly the icing on the cake for the customer.
The possibilities of unique packaging are really endless; the hard part is choosing a style that represents your brand well, that you can see using long term, and that is most importantly unique. Browse the magic of Pinterest and combine elements that you just love and makes sense for your brand.
If you’re stuck, it can really help to start writing down some words you want associated with your brand and product. Then, create the packaging that mirrors those words. Get some mood boards going on Pinterest, incorporate color schemes you like, feelings you want your brand to have, etc.
BQueen is associated with words like royal, elegant, natural, one-of-a-kind when describing our brand and so our packaging is classic matte black and white (also playing on the black and white chess connotation), a combination of elegant and modern fonts, warm fiber colors, a wax seal, and so on.
#3: Unique Beliefs
The most ambiguous of these five tips, but probably the most important is to start articulating your business beliefs. Consider and be able to articulate why you do what you do, and then share this on all of your platforms (website, Instagram, etc.). I recommend watching Simon Sinek’s TED Talk “Why” and many of his other videos for more insight. It’ll change your perspective on your business beliefs.
It’s probably not an overnight epiphany, and even BQueen is still working on finding the best verbiage and how to explain why we exist as a company. However, it is so important, because a potential customer wants to know what you believe and if they believe the same. If they do, they’ll purchase. If they don’t, that’s not a customer you would want anyway.
#4: Unique Presentation
A backdrop I recently saw, for a product on Etsy, was a kitchen towel. OMG, is this real life? Don’t. Be. That. Person.
How you present your product is telling a potential customer how you feel about your product. You could be creating super power capes, but if people can’t see the cape because you took a blurry photo at 8pm with an overhead light, dog hair protruding from the carpet as your “backdrop”, it’s not going to matter.
Present your product with pride! You made this, you took the time and every stitch is a talent that should be celebrated. Make a plan to take those better product shots, hire that professional model or good lookin’ friend you have to wear your accessories for a photo shoot, show your products doing what they actually do.
The set up I have for our BQueen photos – $3. THREE DOLLARS. Two white foam boards to bounce light and a white poster board for underneath our hooks, shot with my OLD iphone 5 that consistently dies at 80% battery life. So yeah, I’m confident you can do this.
Try different camera angles, show off that stitch definition, get your hands in the shot holding or squishing the item (because we ALL love to squish fiber), get a little video of the making process, the product in use, etc. You must convince your potential customer that your 2D product is just as good as the real thing (just trust you), and therefore the brand to go with.
#5: Unique Experience
All of these – unique product, packaging, beliefs, and presentation create an experience for the customer. From the moment they visit your website to when they frantically try to find a knife (or key or some moderately sharp object) to cut in to your package should be something for them. What are you providing for them that they won’t find elsewhere?
At the end of the day, it’s all about cohesiveness and if your brand is unique enough to stand apart. Do you deliver that extra somethin’ somethin’ for your customer that makes them feel complete, satisfied, and wanting more? Can they get the same exact thing from someone else? Because if they can, they will price shop, and that’s not good for your #makerstrong goals.
Find out how to get your brand from a literal product to memorable experience, so that your customer is coming back to your business time and time again. Not because you have the lowest price, or the fastest shipping, but because you provide an experience from start to finish that isn’t found anywhere else.
I hope these tips were helpful and maybe inspired you to dive in to your brand a little deeper. I am always willing to help a business navigate these topics, and always just a quick email away.