1. Hi Michelle, please tell us a bit yourself and your business?
I’m Michelle Ramsay a branding consultant and graphic designer who specialises in helping small business owners get their brand across to their ideal audience in a visual way.
2. Michelle please explain what branding actually is?
Branding is an identity which represents our business to make us recognisable and memorable. There are several elements that can help us with this visually such as logos, colours, fonts and social media graphics but really it extends to every type of interaction with your brand such a tone of voice, customer experience and even music, lighting and fragrance in retail environments.
3. Michelle do you think branding is something that handmade businesses should be thinking about?
100% yes! There is often a temptation for small business owners to play small thinking the rules around branding don’t apply to them. This often comes from a place of confidence or lack of. Lots of handmade businesses start as hobbies or are side hustles people are running alongside a busy life. Perhaps you’ve designed a quick logo yourself and think that is all you need to do. The principles and benefits around branding apply to every business no matter the size, whether you have 15,000 employees or you’re a one-person business.
4. Michelle I would love you to share with us what you think the benefits of branding to a small business?
Having great branding makes you memorable and unique to your potential customers and sets you apart from the competition. We rarely buy on impulse and often like to consider purchases before making the final commitment. Before that we may follow businesses on Insta, perhaps we take a leaflet at a craft fair, look at their website first. Customers ned to have around 7 touchpoints with you before buying. At each touchpoint you want to make sure they are seeing the same branding message and you’re standing apart from your competition.
Branding makes your business look much more professional and this in turn builds trust with your ideal customers. If you’re spending money, you want to feel like you trust the business you’re buying from.
With all of this in mind the best benefit is the confidence you’ll gain around selling and putting your business out there. It’s quite a hard one to explain until you’ve experienced it but imagine waking up each day without the worry of social media graphics. Think of how proud you’ll be to promote your business if you have a professional leaflet. Imagine how polished your website will look with a logo that reflects your business and colours and fonts that fit your brand.
5. Michelle do you think branding should reflect your personality?
It should reflect your personality yes, especially if you’re at the centre of your business. If your personality or values or style comes out in your products or what your business is about then show this in your branding. Branding can be lots of different styles such as feminine, or fun, or minimalist or pretty or bold.
6. Michelle should my branding be all about me or does it need to be about my ideal customer as well?
Your branding really needs to connect with your ideal customer. For example if you’re a jewellery designer selling high end items does your logo reflect this? Does it look luxurious or does it look budget? Will your ideal customer connect with that message? Will it encourage a consistent look and feel that your customer will expect from your business and products? Think about how retailers branding sets them apart from each other for example John Lewis and BM bargains. Both sell different things. Both retail at different prices. Both have different shopping experiences online and in store. Both attract different audiences for different reasons. Their branding reflects this.
7. Michelle as an expert on branding what are your top 3 branding tips?
Keep it consistent. Wherever someone sees you online or off make sure they are seeing the same message with fonts, colours, logos.
Make sure your branding reflects your business, your products and connects with your audience.
Use it! Too many businesses stop at a logo design. Make sure you’re using your branding throughout your business and don’t be afraid to get visible.
8. Michelle you have shared some amazing knowledge with us in this guest blog post so I'm people will want to know more about you. Please can you tell us where can people find out more about you and the services you offer?
If you’re a business owner that needs a little bit of further help polishing your branding then I have an online masterclass called Master Your Business Branding to help you get your branding right. It’s suitable for those who already have a logo but want to nail a consistent branding story, or those who wish to design a logo on Canva or similar. I’ll walk you through colour palettes, fonts, logos in bite-sized videos and extra resources.
You can also see a more in-depth interview with Michelle in this video by clicking here.