Sunday, 23 January 2011

Brand (new) Thinking

At the start of the year I was working on my business as a whole entity rather than just a way of selling and found a great website called Copyblogger and a series about branding your business there. As an experiment I thought I would go through all of the steps he suggests and I’m putting the step-by-step online. It’s a very useful site. Have a look if you’re interested/involved in small business marketing. This is the third part, the first is over here and the second is here.
So far people have had really nice reactions and it seems to have been picked up on by other people wanting to re-brand their business.
The questions are divided into sections and these five questions are the end of one section, the next part is all about audience so I’m not doing ten here but just rounding this part off.
21. How do you describe what you do?
This is a great question and something I have struggled with since starting my business. I describe myself as an artist/jewellery designer and my work therefore as both art and design. Whether it’s family you see at a party, old friends you meet in the street or strangers, doing something creative is just plain difficult to describe. There tend to be several different reactions.
1. “Oh, that’s nice dear” (“Oh god, her poor parents must be so disappointed”)
2. “Really, how fascinating” (“Please, please don’t let her keep talking about this, it’s so dull”)
3. “Wow, that’s exciting, how did you end up doing that?” (“Why doesn’t she have a normal job? Oooh, maybe she was in prison!”)
4. "Right, yes, hmmm etc." ("I don't understand what, she's on about but I'll keep nodding")
5. “So, how do you balance your time/ where do you source materials/ what selling medium are you employing/ other detailed question” (“I’m genuinely interested, please tell me more”)
It tends to be more of the #1 and less of the #5 but the people who are interested more than make up for those who think I am a wasting my time and I do tend to waffle on about it when I find someone who will listen/can't escape me!

22. What are your goals?
I want to make a career out of my creative skills. My plans for the future are quite open ended, I don’t want to box myself in too much this early on because I’m still not certain what either myself, or other people want as yet. In practical terms I plan to make cards as well as collages, do some smaller pieces as well as much larger ones. I am enrolled in a silver-smith course at the moment and I hope to be able to bring my new skills into play when I have completed that.
23. What is your message?
I want to make people think. I love art where you find something new each time you look at it. As much as I enjoy art as beauty I also think that it needs to be a talking point, something that can be thought about on a basic visual level but also at a much deeper cognitive level. I might be aiming for a little much there but maybe I’ll land among the stars.

24. What are you really selling?
I am selling a 5x7 inch idea. I’m giving someone a new way of looking at the world. The thing that I love most about collages is that they juxtapose ideas that you would not normally see together. Gravestone lettering with stamps from Papua New Guinea, or glittered love hearts and old Latinate text. I can’t get enough of showing people how strangely different things can be brought together to make something beautiful that will complete a room.
25. What is your level of commitment?
My level of commitment is life-long but paycheck limited. I will do this for as long as I can afford to as a business and then it may have to return to a hobby. I hope that I can manage to be successful enough to keep doing this as a career. When people ask about the long term options I will always say that the risk or failing is worth the chance of having a career I love rather than returning to a world of work I by and large hated. I believe in the brand that I am creating and I think that it is both strong and flexible enough to cope with any changes that need to be made because of the market or a shift in my priorities.
To end on a high note – I will always be creating art and jewellery even if it is not making me money or is not my primary job.

So, that’s the third part of the branding. A brief business branding blog (don’t you just love alliteration?) this time around.



  1. Just one comment for the three episodes. It makes me more clear headed. I find a lot of myself while reading your answers. Stunning bio.

  2. Thank you - that's so wonderful to hear. I hope you're looking forward to a lovely weekend.
    All the best, Vick.

  3. Seeing your answers helps me make some shape to my own answers....
    thanks very VERY much for posting all this.