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BUILDING YOUR BRAND: What Every Jewelry Designer Needs To Know!

Posted by learntobead on September 16, 2022

Branding

The ultimate goal and priority for any successful business is branding. Here your clients have an emotional connection to your work as a designer. They immediately recognize your style. Your choices in design. Your sensibilities. Your value and desirability for them. Branding is about what your customers perceive about you, and how you make them feel.

Your brand has ingredients; many moving parts which consist of the following:

  • The quality of your product or service
  • How it offers more value (for example, better quality, easier access, and/or lower price) than your competition
  • The speed at which you deliver it
  • The support you give your existing customers
  • The tone/look/feel of your product, copy, and advertising
  • How many different contexts and situations in which it is used

Jewelry designers who are successful know how to build your brand. In this chapter, I discuss this in more detail.

What Is Branding?

Branding is your product’s personality. You. Your voice. Your message. Your commitment. Your look. Your artist’s hand. But always remember, with branding, consistency is the real driving force behind it.

Your jewelry will have a personality. It may project one or more of these characteristics: handcrafted, artistic, sophisticated, human, enduring, novel, playful, versatile, fashionable, well-constructed, noticeable, enviable. These are the kinds of things you think your customer wants, desires or needs. These are the kinds of things customers buy jewelry for — to make their life a little better, a little bit more fun, a little bit more authentic. These are the kinds of things your customers want to feel when purchasing and wearing your jewelry.

Your brand is the name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies your product as distinct from those of others. Brand is often the most valuable asset of a company. As such, it needs to be groomed and managed carefully. Good branding will result in higher sales and greater longevity for the business. Good branding can make it easier to introduce new products. Good brand management seeks to make your product or service relevant to your target audience.

Your brand will be used in several contexts — in a store, on stationery, on websites, in posts, as signatures in email, with image captions. As such, it should be what is called scale-able — that is, it is flexible and adaptable enough to function in many contexts.

I am often asked: What if you want to make a lot of different kinds and styles of jewelry? If they are so different that they feel like they are different brands, you will either have to narrow your interests, or develop separate branding strategies for each set of products.

If you want to sell other types of products along with your jewelry, if they feel like a part of the same brand, then your branding strategy should be something that encompasses all the variations in products available. If they feel like separate brands, then you need a unique branding strategy for each one.

How Does Branding Differ From Marketing?

Businesses often make the mistake of talking about marketing, advertising and branding interchangeably. So people often confuse them. This confusion is unfortunate.

Marketing is what you do. Marketing efforts make people aware of you.

Advertising is a tool or technique. It is one of the many, many things marketers do.

Branding is what you are. Branding efforts create an emotional and enduring connection to you.

You cannot do effective marketing without a clear idea of your brand, and the words, look and feel needed to convey it. Branding should both precede and underlie any marketing effort. The brand is bigger than any particular marketing effort. The brand is what sticks in your customer’s mind about your product or company, whether they purchased your product or not.

Marketing may convince someone to buy. Branding will convince someone to be loyal.

Marketing will unearth buyers. Branding will make them advocate for you.

Why Is Branding Important?

Everything you do will have the effect of either inspiring or deterring your customer. Every thought, price, design choice, marketing promotion, merchandising decision, product placement — all of these lead up to your customer recognizing (or not) you and your jewelry as a brand. Branding is the essential foundation to a successful jewelry design business.

You should be in brand-building-mode from day 1!

Your Successful Branding Campaign

What drives you? Passion? Values? Purpose? People who create great brands are usually seeking to fulfill some inner longing of their own, some dream of how they want to live their lives.

How do you want your customer to perceive you? What is your long-term vision? What will your business look like when you are done? Can you track your progress? Can you create clear milestones to help you know if you are on tract? Why would someone do business with you rather than someone else?

Most successful brands use very human strategies in their communication and relationship building. You need to see and understand your business in relationship terms, not transactional ones. Give you brand an aura. Inspire your customer. How will you serve them? How will you solve their problems through the jewelry you design? What do you stand for? What differentiates you from your competition? What types of products and services can your customers expect from you?

A successful jewelry designer would not merely say “I make jewelry.” She would be more focused, more specific and more enthusiastic. She might say, “I create beautiful works of art to adorn people.” She might say, “I make people ooh and aah!” She might say, “I help people find that right décor accent they have been looking for.”

Your customer needs to know:

1. What you have to sell

2. How your jewelry changes something in their lives, and

3. What they have to do to get one of those

Try to emphasis specificity and avoid generic statements.

Who Are You Targeting
With Your Branding Campaign?

You want to target four key audiences with your branding campaign. These include:

1. New Customers

2. Influencers

3. Current Customers

4. Purchase Decision Makers

Your Business Name
Should Reflect Your Brand

How does your business name relate to your product and brand identity? Does your tag line support your brand identity?

If you plan on selling more products than just jewelry, you do not need the word jewelry in your name. Anticipate the future of your business as best as you can.

Before you select that name,

· Settle on a tone.

· Research that brand names you want are available.

· English is not the only language option for you.

· Getting feedback is your best friend.

The Names Your Call Your Jewelry And Lines Of Jewelry
Should Reflect Your Brand

Giving names to your jewelry and jewelry lines allows you to amplify your company name and brand, as well as their impacts and effects. But you must tie your naming strategies back into your primary brand identity.

Your LOGO and Other Graphics Designs
Should Reflect Your Brand

Does your logo relate to your products and values? Does the logo help people remember you?

You want effective visual brand identity. Fonts, colors, images, packaging, displays, use of particular visual elements to create distinction all should support your brand.

Your ELEVATOR PITCH and TAG Lines
Should Reflect Your Brand

Your Elevator Pitch and your Tag Line make it easier not only for your audience to understand exactly what your product is, but also gives them something easy and simple to share. Shareable information is spreadable. It can be posted, tweeted, texted and talked about. These give your brand a voice.

The Look of Your Pieces
Should Reflect Your Brand

You play with shapes, colors, sounds, scents, tastes, movements, textures, patterns, compositions, silhouettes, packaging, displays, constructions — are all of these supporting your brand?

Your Website and Online Social Profiles
Should Reflect Your Brand

Your website and online social profiles should look like your work — similar in look, feel and tone. Your work and your presence need to reflect on one another and be compatible.

Always include CALLS TO ACTION and/or LESSONS LEARNED throughout.

Your Portfolio
Should Reflect Your Brand

If you have a varied set of pieces to include in your Portfolio, organize them in such a way that your brand identity still shines through. This might involve placement, naming, descriptive text, sizing and layout.

Delivering Your Message Clearly

It goes without saying that you can have a lot of things organized and in place, but the crux comes in how you deliver your brand message clearly.

Think about: Why do things catch on? Why do people talk about you? How do you generate a buzz?

Developing your marketing message, pretesting it, pretesting again, testing, testing again is very important. Your message needs to be consistent and coherent and resonate with people. Your customer should be able to anticipate that your brand is going to deliver the same essence of a thing each and every time.

It is very tempting to try to be everything to everyone. And you may have different kinds of customers. But, at the end of the day, they all should have the same impression of your values and your products.

Your core message needs to have both an emotional side and a rational side.
Example: You make jewelry that lasts.

Your core message needs to be believable.
Example: Your jewelry is worn by the queen. [True or not true?]

Your core message needs to be relevant.
Example: I sell wedding jewelry. [Only relevant for people who need jewelry for a wedding; if that’s not your customer, this message won’t work.]

Your core message needs to be simple. If your customer cannot understand, remember or repeat your one thing, it is too complicated. It won’t stick in the person’s mind.

Give people things to talk about. Make things fun.

You will be using a multi-method approach towards getting your branding messages out. Advertising. Social Media. Attending events. Sponsorships. Selling in stores. Website. Donations. Packaging. Displays. You want your message to be reinforced over and over again from many angles and points of view.

Your marketing message should promise what you know you can actually deliver. Authenticity reconfirms actions, and in term, resonates well with customers.

Confirming Your Credibility

Tell and share your story in a way that creates a connection with your customer. Think about how things in your life led up to your success, how this relates to the brand identity you are trying to create, and, last, how the customer will relate to your story. You may find you have to re-write your story to meet your branding goals, and this is OK.

Your jewelry can be explained by your values and beliefs, your experiences and lifestyle. Put into words who you are, what your values and beliefs are, also your goals and how you approach the jewelry design process.

Show and tell the customer, in simple words and phrases, what the consequences (positive and/or negative) for them might be if they bought and wore your jewelry, and what the likelihood of any of these consequences occurring.

Offer any evidence that your assessment of consequences and their likelihood of occurring will happen.

People always trust word-of-mouth, so generating this is always important.

Commit to serving your customer over and over again, and they will learn to trust and rely on you.

Connecting To Your Clients Emotionally

Always work to market that emotional connection with your customers. Inspire affection. Create fantasy.

People need to see your business as a solution to their problems. So you want to make your competitive advantages (over all your other competitors) very visible and apparent. Show and tell them how you intend to minimize their risk should they choose your products to solve their problems. Not generic problems, but the actual concerns of your real and potential customers.

Customer concerns and problems may be one or more of the following:

· Want peace of mind

· Want to feel a part of a group or family

· Want to feel they make good choices

· Want to make life easier

· Want their questions answered

· Want to minimize any sense of risk or consequences

· Want to be the focus of attention

· Want to fit into a particular situation, context, event

· Want power and influence

· Want reassurance about something

· Want greater self-esteem

· Want meaning in their life

Listen to feedback. What are your better customers saying about your brand — positive, negative and everything in between? Show them that you hear what they are saying.

Always respond in meaningful ways. Follow-up on everything. The more you can repeat your customer’s first name in your follow-ups, the better their response.

Motivate Your Buyer, and
Secure Your Customer’s Loyalty

Recognize loyalty. Reward and cultivate. Give them access to new products and services first. Involve customers in your business. Let them test your products. Turn them into brand ambassadors and encourage them to spread word of mouth. Get feedback on your marketing strategies. Give them a sense of brand ownership. Engage in conversations. Respond to needs. Make them feel good. Give out referral rewards. Encourage them to post reviews online, and then thank them for these. Feature them on your website or blog. Follow-up after purchases.

SUCCESSFUL BRANDING STRATEGIES

There are many types of branding strategies, and you will be using several of these. These include,

1. Making new rules

2. Marketing a belief

3. Creating connection and belonging

4. Enabling expression

5. Creating culture

6. Leveraging tension

7. Using scarcity

8. Encouraging play

Since a lot of your business will occur online, you will be doing a lot of social media marketing.

Anticipate Problems

Your brand loyalty can disappear in almost an instant. You have to be diligent in anticipating or dealing with after the fact, things like

· Service interruptions

· Too many options diluting the brand

· Mixed messages confusing customers

· Negative publicity or negative word-of-mouth

· New competitors or existing competitors upping their game

The jewelry market is always big enough to attract new competitors as well as provide opportunities for existing competitors to deliver better, faster, cheaper. Face the challenge to elevate your marketing and branding strategies and tactics and deliver more value.

Brands Evolve

As time goes on, things come in and go out of fashion. Styles, colors, silhouettes. Your customers might begin to get bored or even dislike your brand. Stay relevant and flexible. A well-managed brand is always making adjustments.

You want to be ready to deal with this kind of thing before it happens. That means, it is important to be ready to re-brand. It is important to seek out and enter new markets. It is critical that you be in touch at all times with your customers’ goals and values.

Periodically, reality test.

For instance, visualize someone else taking over your business. Could they succeed at maintaining your brand?

Did your product deliver the experience the customer was looking for?

Have you maintained quality standards?

Did your employees and sales staff and sales agents understand your brand and sound like they know what they are talking about when interacting with customers?

Did you respond to phone calls and emails in a timely manner?

Do you customers believe you have their best interests at heart?

Measure Your Effectiveness

It is always important to build in evaluative and feedback components to all your business activities. Branding is no exception.

How well is your business (you and your employees) inspired to execute all your proposed marketing and branding activities?

Given the time and money you are spending, are you getting that Return On Investment (ROI)?

Does your brand resonate with your customers? Does this translate into sales and profitability?

Plan to do some experimenting by testing out different ideas before settling on one. Be sure your ideas fit your brand authenticity and align with your strategies.

_______________________________

Thank you. I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft Video Tutorials online. Begin with my ORIENTATION TO BEADS & JEWELRY FINDINGS COURSE.

Follow my articles on Medium.com.

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Check out my Jewelry Making and Beadwork Kits.

Add your name to my email list.

_________________________________

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Saying Good-Bye! To Your Jewelry: A Rite Of Passage

The Jewelry Design Philosophy: Not Craft, Not Art, But Design

What Is Jewelry, Really?

The Jewelry Design Philosophy

Creativity: How Do You Get It? How Do You Enhance It?

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Becoming The Bead Artist and Jewelry Designer

5 Essential Questions Every Jewelry Designer Should Have An Answer For

Getting Started / Channeling Your Excitement

Getting Started / Developing Your Passion

Getting Started / Cultivating Your Practice

Becoming One With What Inspires You

Architectural Basics of Jewelry Design

Doubt / Self Doubt: Major Pitfalls For The Jewelry Designer

Techniques and Technologies: Knowing What To Do

Jewelry, Sex and Sexuality

Jewelry Making Materials: Knowing What To Do

Teaching Discplinary Literacy: Strategic Thinking In Jewelry Design

The Jewelry Designer’s Approach To Color

Point, Line, Plane, Shape, Form, Theme: Creating Something Out Of Nothing

The Jewelry Designer’s Path To Resonance

Jewelry Design Principles: Composing, Constructing, Manipulating

Jewelry Design Composition: Playing With Building Blocks Called Design Elements

Contemporary Jewelry Is Not A “Look” — It’s A Way Of Thinking

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