I have posted previously, about how to create a signature for your business and getting a logo designed. This can be done, either on your own (which is cheap to start with) or professionally designed (recommended).
The difference between, having a branded logo, that you designed on your own (via Microsoft Paint, in my case) and having one, that is done professionally, by a logo designer, can be compared, to having a burger that tastes like a Big Mac versus an actual Big Mac burger.
They may both, taste exactly the same, but it is the branding, that prompts people, to choose one over the other.
Owning a brand, can truly, set you apart from other home cake decorators, unless of course, you do not want to make profit, and literally underselling your talent.
A logo needs to be simple, professional and, yet tells a story about you to the world, that will be memorable. It also tells the world, that you mean business. A brand will catch the attention of investors and customers.
Therefore, the purpose of my post today, is to give you the five best ways to brand your cake artistry business, for this year.
Get Yourself A Brand
You may think to yourself, I don’t need a brand, I am okay, just as I am and will continue, without one. Your reasoning could be, (similar to what I used to think as well), everyone is decorating cakes using the same ideas, so why bother?
Okay, here are my reasons for, why we should bother:
- It creates a memorable impression and an ongoing recognitionWhen customers have experienced your talents, they will keep coming back for more.
- It differentiates your uniqueness from others in the same niche
You may have a certain flavour, secret ingredient, or a special touch, that other cake artists, and customers, remember your business by.
- Protect your ideas and creations from hackers and illegal misrepresentationThis one should be a natural reason why you should want a brand, your business. Really, there is no need to explain why.You may create similar cake decorations, as other artists, however, what you create or blog about in your website or social media, can be stolen and used for phishing. This is the main reason, why I have branded my business. I found, personal images of my creations, being copied and pasted as part of fraud e-books and sold off, illegally. The worst part, is in knowing, that all my hard work is being used to line someone else’s pockets. Therefore, if you don’t want to brand for any other reason, at least consider this one.
- Privacy and Trust – creates a lasting relationship between you and your customersThis reason, is quite obvious. Your brand creates trust. Your logo is your signature and ‘marketing’ face. It ensures that all parties/stakeholders involved, will protect the other’s privacy rights, and not misuse it to hurt the other, because of trust. Having a brand also, removes your need to use your own personal details for marketing.
- It improves your own self-esteem and pride in your workThere is nothing, more exhilarating, than seeing your hard work paying off, and your brand being recognized, for what it is meant to stand for.
How Do I Think Of A Brand?
Next, you say, okay, she has a strong and logical argument there, and I think, that I just might, try to get a brand after all, but, how do I even start to create a brand.
What do I need to do and how?
I say, that, you have a very valid question.
Everyone creates or designs their brands in different ways and each for different reasons.
I cannot give you an answer that fits all. I can, only offer a few suggestions, that may help you, start on the right track.
Remember, this is about your cake artistry business and not anyone else’s. So, most of the answers will come from your own experience and values.
I suggest that you take some time out and sit down with a pen and paper and go through the following list:
- Research brands of other cake artist’s – see how it connects to them and their style of cake decorating
- What is it about your cake decorating that is special or unique compared to everyone else’s style
- What are your values or mission statement?
- Look at your own personal strengths and values – draw upon those
- What about your cultural background
- Your passion in life, are your family a big part of your business? or is this just on your own?
- Is your cake artistry a partnership?
- Where are you located? Your love for your town, city or country can be drawn on as well
- What about the market that you are targeting? age group, gender, adults only, large groups, charities, weddings only etc.,
- Is your brand going to be passed down to the next generation? or are you going to sell it in the future?
- Would you like to appear professional, fun or adventurous?
Basically, I will narrow it all down, to two things: What you love to do best, and what you love doing for others.
I had created and designed my brand myself, I intend to get it copied by a professional designer very soon. I wanted it, to be fun, but still, very homely, and to showcase my love, both for art and cakes – hence, Shakespeare’s phrase, ‘art thou…’ in Romeo and Juliet, came to mind. I just added, the word ‘cakes’, and voila! – Art Thou Cakes came to be!
We, as humans, do not live forever, and our physical strength will most certainly, degrade as we get older. This means, that, our brand names will become more special. I want my brand to be passed down, to my descendants as an inheritance, some day.
For all my love, for cake decorating, my hands and fingers are slowly getting stiff, with age and arthritis. Very soon, I will no longer be able to continue my passion. However, despite this condition, I can still use my brand, on a website, to help others, by sharing all my tips, which you are also, reading, right now.
Warning: it may take you a few days of constant thinking so do not rush this part. It took me more than a week of mindlessly searching words and phrases.
Therefore, once you have something in mind, write it down and, play around with the words, and say it out loud, to yourself, friends and family to see if the name matched your personality and your business.
You see, after I finally, came up with my brand name, I constantly had to tweak the colors and the letters, until I finally loved how my brand looked and sounded like.
Now, enough, chit chatting, lets move on to the next part: Creating a logo.
Create A Logo
If, you have decided on what your brand name is going to be, then, I am not going to bore you here.
As I had said, I have already shared, how to create a logo and provided instructions that could help you design a signature/brand for your home cake artistry business. I also, wrote how not to choose and overly expensive logo designer who will scam you too.
What I didn’t go in to in that post, was that there are quite a few affordable and trusted logo providers on the internet, and I wanted to save you the time of surfing for one.
All the providers have great service, and they are free to sign up. I will be honest, that some may cost you, to use their services, but not enough to dent your grocery for the week. In fact some logo designers, may just cost you a cup of coffee, from MacDonald lol
Here are the ones who I have researched to be trusted companies (Note: the order is not a hierarchy of their services – each are unique and are all equal in their ability to produce amazing logo designs, therefore you can choose any):
If you are like me, and enjoy creating your own stuff, just make sure, that your images are sharp and will not appear fuzzy, when it is printed. The above list, of designers, can take a copy of your idea/s, and work from that, or redesign your logo from scratch, and give you several choices, to choose from as a result.
The designs are, then sent to your email, or you can upload them directly to your PC/Laptop, to save for marketing.
Market Your Brand
Market Yourself. Once, you have your logo design, you can go ahead, and start branding everything that you use in your business.
I use Vistaprint to create a lot of my branded items. I upload my own design/s to their site. I love this, because I have the freedom to personally customize it, to how I want before I make an order.
Here are some ideas to use your branded logo to effect:
- Create a wooden shop/business sign, or road sail sign
- Customize your cake decorating apparel/uniform/aprons/caps/T-shirts
- Car stickers
- Branded utensils and tools
- Make edible logos for your cakes
- Customize all your business stationery
- Brand customer gifts or staff gifts
- Coupons and Brochures
- A door sign
- Brand your website
This last bullet point, is what we will discuss next. Using your brand in the global market.
Create A Website To Enhance Your Presence Online
I have written about this topic, on a previous product review, to explain how I created my website using siterubix, for free, before I finally bought my own domain (I have to admit, I am happy that I made this decision and that it is now my greatest pride and joy).
If, I had not found the wonderful online platform that I am with today, I do not think I would have improved in my home cake decorating business, or let alone be ranked first on all the first pages of Google, Bing or Yahoo.
If, you personally don’t think that you are up to it, then I suggest looking at getting someone else to create your website.
Professional site builders can cost up to $5000 in initial costs alone. I have learned so much on building my own site, through great training, that I have since created another website, to share my newfound skills. I can now build sites for anyone else, at a much lower cost, but with the same quality.
The free site builder that I suggest is Siterubix.com, which I had reviewed in a previous post. The same programs that I listed above, for logo designs, can also be used to create a website, as well. They will all, give quality and great service.
However, none of those programs will offer a free website for six months, like the platform that I am currently with. You will find that the cost of building a site, will not be the only thing that is to paid. Other hidden costs, such as, web hosting and security are extras, that will later be added on, on an ongoing basis, for per created website.
The platform, I use only charges me a cheap monthly subscription fee, as an upgrade (optional), which takes care of all that hassle, and all I do is write my posts (like what I am writing, now). However, if you want to see what your business would like on a website, I encourage you to use Siterubix, to create a free trial, up to six months (you actually get two free websites to use).
Branding, will give your home cake decorating business, a great makeover. If you put the same effort, in to making your business shine, just as much as you do with your cakes, then you will come out much happier, and so will your customers.
Since I built my website, my brand Art Thou Cakes, has thrived, and is now globally recognized. Therefore, do not be afraid to develop your business and show it off to the rest of the world. You never know who you might end up needing your tips and skills.
All the products and suggested programs I have chosen, should not cost you more than you can afford.
I am more than happy, to answer any questions regarding my current post or any other article, on this website. Please leave me a comment, or subscribe, to my email list, to be first to get my newest posts.
Have a marvelous day, and continue to be you.