By Sarah Jordan, founder and director, The William Agency
For emerging brands and aspirational designer-makers, developing a strong brand identity is an essential step to making a fantastic first impression. Retailers, buyers and the press need to be able to identify what you’re all about in one glance – instead of thinking about what makes you unique, consider how you are communicating your brand identity uniquely. This subtle difference is one of the best keys to success.
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If you are struggling to establish a strong brand identity, take a step back and consider your business from every angle. Remember, even the most sensational product can’t compete against a poor brand.
Create an overarching story
To develop a long-term, loyal customer base, the bedrock of your storytelling must remain the same. Consider a brand like Fairy Liquid – since the 1930s its storytelling has centred on longer-lasting, economical, superior cleaning. No matter how many adverts or iterations it goes through, this core principle remains the same. It may be simple, but it is effective. When creating new collections, consider how they link back to your brand story.
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Choose a strapline and mission statement
‘Just Do It’, ‘I’m Lovin’ It’, ‘A Diamond is Forever’ – these straplines aren’t just memorable, they sum up the essence of a brand. A strapline is both engaging for consumers and an important way to say ‘on-brand’ across all your communications. Similarly, a mission statement is one or two sentences that sum up your entire identity. If you can crack this, your future copywriting and collections are more likely to stay on-brand.
Remember, your visual identity reflects your brand values
Asking your customers to look past a low quality website, poor photography and lacklustre social media channels to see beautiful jewellery beneath is a fool’s game. How can they trust your jewellery is top quality when it is poorly packaged? Your brand’s visual identity is a reflection of the value you place in your product; whether it costs £20 or £20,000. Start with an easy to navigate, vibrant, image-led website and invest in the best photography you can afford. You will benefit in the long term.
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Understand your target customer
Never presume who your customer is… chances are you will be surprised! Take a closer look at who follows you on social media; discover how they are reaching your website via Google Analytics; reply to their requests on Facebook and Twitter. Over time, this will help you to develop buyer personas –fictional characters that summarise the core wants, needs and personalities of your average customers. Using this information, you can create assets, images, videos and blog posts that tap into their lifestyles. This is a fantastic way to build loyalty.
Don’t forget: If it doesn’t look good, it’s not worth doing
Different brand specialists may disagree, but at The William Agency we believe that quality counts. For example, if your brand Twitter account hasn’t been updated in six months – does this speak louder than if you didn’t have a Twitter account at all?
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Stick to a workload that you can handle, don’t feel the need to spread yourself thinly across a portfolio of social media accounts, and don’t rush something for the sake of it. The strongest brands are built with time and consideration.
IJL is #withyou offering expert marketing, copywriting and branding advice from leading experts in their fields. Discover more ways the IJL 365 initiative is supporting the UK and international jewellery trade, here.
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