This is a guest post from the amazingly generous and wise Erin at Madeurban.com who has over a decade's experience within the craft sphere. Over to you Erin......Jackie
Branding can get a little confusing. There are lots of definitions and explanations out there but one thing we can clear up right now is; it is NOT your logo.
Creating a branded craft show display does not mean hanging a banner sign at the front of your table or adding your logo to your products.
So what does “branding” mean?
I like to think of branding as the overall vibe your products and business give off and the experience you create for shoppers.
Here are 3 steps to branding your craft show table.
STEP 1 – UNDERSTAND THE PURPOSE OF YOUR BRAND
Let’s take a quick look at a few reasons it’s important to work on your brand.
To attract new customers
Think about brands you’re unfamiliar with. Imagine walking through a shopping center and seeing a bunch of stores. How do you choose which ones you check out and which ones to skip?
You likely look at their signage, their window display and glance in the store.
If your tastes are modern and the sign, display and store décor have a vintage vibe, you’ll decide right away that the store isn’t a fit for you.
Imagine how harmful it would be to that store if they actually did carry modern styled products but they got their branding wrong. Their ideal customers would continue to walk right by.
That’s what happens when branding isn’t done right, is inconsistent or even nonexistent.
To set your business apart
You’re likely not the only person selling a particular product at a craft show. So you want shoppers to notice the difference between your products and the vendor’s down the aisle.
Although you may know what makes your designs and business different from others’, to a shopper, it may not be so obvious.
I mean really, would you notice the subtle differences between Coca-Cola and Pepsi if they weren’t pointed out and you weren’t able to identify them through their labels? The Pepsi taste-test challenge was started to help consumers recognize there is a difference between the two and to encourage consumers to identify themselves as a Pepsi or Coca-Cola drinker. Without branding we likely wouldn’t gravitate to one over the other at the grocery store.
Your branding should highlight the parts of your business that are unique and special.
To create repeat customers
Now think about a brand you are familiar with. Starbucks is a great example of a strong, well-known brand. Their coffee shops create an amazing experience for their customers, which is consistent from café to café.
You know the look of a Starbucks coffee cup in someone’s hand when you see the white cup with a green logo. The same green is used in their storefronts so people can spot a Starbucks from down the block and smell the coffee brewing.
When you walk in, you hear the sounds of beans being ground, milk being steamed and customer names being called, along with unique drink names, modifications and sizes (where else do you hear:“Grande, half-caf, extra whip caramel macchiato for Susan!”).
There’s a warm, cozy vibe from the fireplaces, leather chairs, wood accents and soft lighting. Your drink can be customized just the way you like it and no matter where you go, it tastes the same every time.
The senses that are indulged and the familiarity is what brings customers back again and again. We could easily head to a local convenient store and get a cup of coffee for half the price. But we’re willing to pay more for the experience Starbucks offers.
Let’s create a display and experience for your craft show shoppers that attracts your ideal customer, sets you apart and brings sales in again and again.
STEP 2 – DEFINE YOUR BRAND
If you’re unsure how you would define your brand or haven’t quite built one yet, you can start now! Work off your logo and products to begin creating a brand identity.
When making decisions about your brand, you should always think about your customer. Who is your ideal customer and what do they like? How can you indulge their senses, just like Starbucks does?
With your ideal customer and your personal style in mind, consider the following senses to help you define your brand:
How would you describe the look of your brand? Is it feminine, masculine, whimsical, modern, rustic, youthful, etc.? What types of colors, fonts, finishes and styles communicate that look?
When it comes to your brand, think of “touch” or “feel” in terms of: how do you want your customers to feel when they shop with you? What’s the vibe you want to give off or the emotions you want to evoke? It may be happy, relaxed, youthful, humorous, elegant or sophisticated. Think about what you want people to feel when they visit your craft show table or wear/display/use/gift your product.
Lighting can be used to set the mood. Soft lighting can create a warm and cozy feel while a brightly lit space can add more energy.
You can incorporate “feel” literally as well. If you sell jewelry and all your pieces are perfectly smooth and polished, you may encourage shoppers to pick up each item and feel the impeccable finish. If your knitted scarves are the softest in town, you may want people to feel the difference. Or maybe you want shoppers to notice how great their skin feels after they try your moisturizing hand cream.
What’s the language and tone of your brand? When you talk to shoppers (or write text for your signs), are you bubbly and casual, using a bit of slang and talking to shoppers as though they’re your friends? Or do you use a more sophisticated tone, stating facts and keeping conversation professional? Which keywords do you use that make your ideal customer’s ears perk up? If you’re speaking to moms, “quick and easy”, “stain resistant” and “washable” may be words they want to hear.
Sound can also be incorporated if you have an enclosed craft show booth where you can softly play music. Would your brand be identified by classical, rock & roll or pop music? It can even work into your actual product (think: the snap, crackle and pop sound Rice Krispies make) or its packaging (think: the pop a Pringles can makes when you open it).
Although smell may seem to only apply to scented products (such as soap) or food items, it can be incorporated into brands selling any type of product. Some people are sensitive to smell so you do want to keep it subtle. But sense of smell is one of our biggest ties to memory.
Is there a perfume you wore in high school that immediately takes you back when you catch a hint of it? You want to create the same trigger and have shoppers think of your brand, business and products when they smell a specific scent.
Consider if there’s a scent that might represent the look and feel of your brand and could be lightly used in your craft show space. It may be as subtle as spritzing your tablecloth with linen spray, adding a Scentsy warmer to your table with a wax melt or spritzing the tissue paper you place in shopping bags.
If your brand is feminine and sophisticated, a light floral scent could help strengthen that message. If your brand is masculine and moody, a spicier scent could work.
This sense likely won’t apply to your brand unless you’re selling food or drink items. However, that’s not to say you can’t get creative and find a way to incorporate taste (if it makes sense…don’t force it).
You may offer a bowl of mints shoppers can enjoy while they check out your refreshing peppermint bath & body products. Or it could be candy canes to celebrate your holiday jewelry collection full of red and white stones.
The more senses you incorporate, the more memorable experience you’ll create for your shoppers. Remember that perfume that reminds you of high school? It wouldn’t be as memorable if there weren’t strong sights, sounds and emotions that occurred at the same time.
STEP 3 – APPLY YOUR BRAND
Once you’ve defined your brand, the next step is to determine how to incorporate it into your craft show display. In a few words, define the senses of your brand so you can easily reference them as you think about your space.
Then, think about each aspect of your craft show space. It may involve:
Now determine how you will apply the elements of your brand to the elements of your display.
Let’s take a look at an example.
Imagine a bath & body vendor who creates candy-scented soaps. Their logo has a vintage vibe to it, playing off the look of an old-fashioned candy shop. They create one new scent collection to go with each season and their staple scents are: Gummy Bears, Milk Chocolate and Licorice.
They’ve defined their brand by:
SIGHT: Colorful and old-fashioned (their logo is pink and white)
FEEL: Fun and youthful
SOUND: Relaxed language and cheerful tone
SMELL: Candy scents
Here’s how they might communicate their brand through their craft show display.
Their old-fashioned, candy-shop-vibe logo would be displayed on a banner sign. A few photos would be displayed with each scent collection showing a bar of soap on a bed of the candy it smells like (e.g. the gummy bear bar of soap would be photographed on a bed of gummy bears). Price and product information would be printed in a vintage style font.
The same type of big glass jars you would find in a candy shop would be used to hold the bars of soap. Display fixtures such as shelves or risers would be white to allow the colorful soap to stand out. Samples for smelling could sit in white candy bowls or on cake stands with a folded card stating the name and scent of the soap.
A few oversized lollipops, a pink and white striped tablecloth and vintage candy scale could be used to add to the candy shop theme. A bowl of wrapped candies would sit on the edge of the table for shoppers to help themselves to and emphasize the candy theme.
The vendor would break their display into 4 groupings. One for each signature scented soap (gummy bear, chocolate and licorice) and another for the season’s feature scent (since it’s summer, bubblegum ice cream is an obvious choice;) The labels for each bar of soap mimic a candy wrapper and when one is purchased, it’s placed in a pink and white striped candy bag.
The vendor may wear a pink and white striped apron and a pink bowtie to look like a candy man/woman. They’d be upbeat and energetic and speak to customers in a friendly but professional tone.
Sounds like a fun craft show table right?
That’s an extreme example and your brand or products may not fit into a theme. But do think of your craft show table as a mini store and design it with the same attention to detail you would if you were opening your own boutique.
Keep the look and feel consistent from one element to the next and you’ll have an amazing branded craft show table shoppers can’t resist!
- Erin from madeurban.com
(For more help building a powerful craft show table to boost your sales and step-by-step instructions, join my free email challenge: 5 DAYS TO A STANDOUT DISPLAY )
Ever wished it was easier to...
know which craft fairs are worth your time and which are best to skip?
create a display that sells your products effortlessly
work out the numbers, how much stock to take and your prices so you leave with a profit?
- just enjoy craft fairs and shows???