Why branding is so important for your creative business by Liz Mosley

business Apr 24, 2022

I think often as small and creative business owners the word brand makes us flinch - or makes us feel a bit yucky. When we think of the word brand we often think of the mega businesses that possibly have some shady practices going on and there’s no way we want to be associated with them. 

But whether you feel like a brand or not, if you have a business then you have a brand. And whether you have given it much thought or not your, business will have a certain amount of branding. BUT don’t screw your face up in disgust and think this blog post isn’t for you because I want to help you understand branding in a way that takes away the ick factor and helps you to see it as a tool that can help your business grow and give you so much confidence when you are promoting and telling people about what you do. 

So before I dive right in, let's just re-cap what branding actually is. Your branding is basically anything that differentiates you from another business. So while we often think of the visual elements (which is what i’ll mainly be talking about today) like your logo, colour palette and fonts, it also includes your photography, copywriting, customer service, pricing, marketing, values, shop experience, website experience and a whole bunch more. 

Now let’s get stuck in - why is your visual branding so important when it comes to promoting your business.

It sets you apart from your competition

It has never been easier than now to start a business. In the past, you would have needed investment, possibly a physical space, maybe a marketing budget. Basically there were a lot more barriers to entry. Now you can start with an idea - a basic website, a way to take money and maybe a social media account. And honestly I have seen businesses with a sales page in google docs or selling products in their Instagram DM’s and totally flying. 

In one sense, this is amazing, and it means there are so many incredible opportunities for people. But then on the flip side, it means that there are a lot of businesses out there that you are competing with all over the world. Now, I don't really love using the word competing because I definitely think that there is space for everyone, and I don't think that the fact that there are lots more businesses out there is a bad thing because everyone is going to have their preference on who they work with and who they buy from. But it does mean that your branding needs to work harder for you when it comes to setting you apart from these other businesses. How can you make your business look different? How can you make sure that people notice it when they are scrolling social media or searching for a particular product on google and they stumble across your website?

It helps make your business more memorable

The other thing you want your branding to be is memorable. Once someone interacts with your brand for the first time you want a little memory seed to be sewn in their brain so that when in the future someone asks for a recommendation for XYZ that you offer - or they need something that they have bought from you in the past  - you are the business that comes to mind first. If your branding makes them feel something (inspired, delighted, curious, creative) then they are more likely to remember you. There are lots of different ways you could make your branding memorable but here are a few examples. 

  • Bright colours and 70’s nostalgic aesthetic
  • Lot’s of humour in the designs and copywriting
  • Maybe branding that is really calming and peaceful that makes them feel good about themselves
  • Lot’s of evidence of the person or people behind the business  

It helps communicate what your customers/clients can expect 

The main job of branding is communication. It is to tell people what it is that you do but also what they can expect. We all make snap judgments about anything we see (ya know the whole don’t judge a book by it’s cover cliche - that is pretty much what we are doing constantly). So just from looking at a website or a social media account you will glean certain information about whether that business is for you or not. So it might be things like: is it budget or luxury? Would you be working with a team or an individual? Does the business seem  warm and friendly or  more serious and to the point (neither are right or wrong - but people will have different preferences). Have a think about what your branding might reflect about you and your business and make sure it is an accurate representation of what you are like and how you work. A great little exercise could be to get some trust friends or family members to have a look at your business and share what words spring to mind when they look at it. This will hopefully give you a clue as to whether you are on the right track. 

It builds trust in your business

Ultimately trust is a HUGE thing we should all be working towards when it comes to our businesses. If people don’t trust our brands then they are not going to do very well. We want people to feel confident that they will get the product or service that they have paid for. That they will be treated well if anything goes wrong and that they can recommend us to others with confidence. One of the key components of building trust is consistency. Now that doesn’t mean how often you post on instagram or how many times you send out an email newsletter (but those are both great things to do) - but I am talking about branding consistency. Do you have a visual look and style that you use consistently across every aspect of your brand? Do you have a logo, colour palette and fonts that you use that are the same everywhere? This helps people recognise your business and as they see it over and over again in different places and maybe engage with you on different platforms or visit your website regularly - that trust starts to grow. 


It attracts the right people and repels the wrong people 

Not everyone is going to be the right person for you business. You aren’t going to want to work with everyone. You can use your branding to help you attract the right people and make sure your put of the wrong people. Now this one won’t just come down to your visual branding and your messaging and the words you use will play a big part in it as well - but the visual will definitely help. Remember how I talked earlier about us all making snap decisions about whether something is relevant or not. Some people will look at your branding and just immediately dismiss your business as not being right for them. And that is not a bad thing (as long as you are attracting and repelling the right people and not accidentally repelling your ideal clients). This might take a bit of trial and error to get right - but when you do it can be a game changer. 

I hope these reasons have made you think again about your branding and how it can help you grow a business that you feel so proud of and really confident about promoting. 

Liz Mosley is a graphic designer with over 12 years experience and now specialises in creating creative branding and animated GIFS for small business owners. She also hosts a podcast called Building Your Brand and teaches courses showing people how to create their own branding and GIFS if they don’t have the budget to outsource it. Her goal for her clients and students is for them to come away with branding that they love that helps them to feel so proud and confident promoting their businesses and sharing what they do with the world. You can find out more on her website lizmosley.net and following her on instagram @lizmmosley

All images captured by Marie Palbom