|Posted on April 20, 2020 at 4:10 PM|
How I Built The Sparks Sunglasses Brand ft 9 Tips
Sparks Sunglasses - Akila Shades COMING SOON!
Before setting up Sparks Sunglasses, I worked hard and have been consistently dedicated to the growth of Kayisha Online. I was determined for it to flourish as a whole, but I also wanted the other elements of the KO Empire to blossom intheir own right. It all started with PCBphotography in 2011, the Sophisticated K YouTube channel in 2015, which is now K London. Sophisticated K Clothing in 2015 and Kayisha Online Publishing in 2016. They are all separate entities that come under the Kayisha Online umbrella, and they are all very individual, with their own looks, feels, colour schemes, motives, audiences and birthdays. Yes, I added birthday to the list because, the age and birthday of each element contributes to the knowledge and experience that went into the building. Just like a builder, the more experienced the builder, the better the next building will be, and that happens with branding. I was a newbie back in 2011 when I set up PCBphotography. I had one prior experience when I set up a children's party planning business 2009, but in 2011, I was 21 and went all in. I was adamant that PCBphotography was going to be here for the long haul. All of that helped me with the birthing of Sparks Sunglasses, which was launched on May 19th 2019. It's not even a year old but the branding and efforts I have put in have been much more advanced than when I started PCB. So here goes, let me share some branding tips with you.
1. Research and Educate Yourself
Research is major! Education is key! That's why it goes first. You can't start a business that you have no knowledge of. You have to have a passion, a desire and an interest in it enough to research the elements of the business, read books, educate yourself; whether that be with online courses or attending college. You have to research your target audience so you know what group of people your products or service will be aimed at. You also have to look at your competitors. There will always be someone that has done it before you BUT remember, just because they have done it before you, doesn't mean there's no room for you, so don't be discouraged by your competition. The world needs you and the way you do things. So educate yourself. I read books and business articles. The Forbes website is my best friend. I have the Bloomberg app so I can get the background tea and I look and listen to my target audience. I also listen to podcasts featuring female CEO's so I can get tips from them.
2. Create a focus
Once you have done all of your research and you know who your target audience is, it's time to create a focus and a goal. If you're the type that brainstorms and writes down all of your ideas, now is the time to rein it in. Get all of your ideas under control and begin to focus on what is going to make your business tick. What will your niche market be? In other words the specific market that you will be focusing on. For example, within the takeaway food industry, there are many different segments or niches, but many choose to focus on chicken. That's why there are so much shops that just sell chicken and chips. (Sorry if that made you hungry!) Focus on your brand goals.
3. Choose your business name
This one is going to stay with you for a while, so choose a name that has meaning (research the words - you want it to be something powerful and positive). When you do come up with something, ask your friends and family about it because we can be biased about the things we create. Is it catchy, is it long, has it been used before? Google it, because you don't want someone to accuse you of using their name. Make it original and easy to remember and spell. I wrote down the name Sparks Sunglasses in a vision board type note on my BlackBerry Curve back in 2009. It said "Sparks Sunglasses Line" And like I've shared in a blog "The Story Behind Sparks Sunglasses" It took me 10 years to bring my vision to fruition and I'm glad I stuck with the name I came up with back then.
4. Choose theme for your brand (colours and font)
Colour is very important. For Sparks Sunglasses I went with a Gold, White and Black colour palette. I'll explain why in bit. Colour has the power to create moods, colours have impact and certain things look better in specific colours. It's important to think about how your colour scheme will affect your audience, and trust me when I say you want your audience to have a positive experience. There are primary colours, secondary colours, oh and tertiary colours so there's a lot to choose from, but what I suggest is researching what the colour means. When I decided to go with gold, I did some research to confirm my choice. Gold is associated with love, compassion, wisdom, courage and passion. Gold is the colour of success, achievement and triumph. If that wasn't enough to solidify my decision, I don't know what would have been; but wait. It's also a precious metal that we all pair with wealth, prosperity, grandeur, glitz/ glamour and wait for it.... SPARKLE! I think I made the right decision.
Sparks Sunglasses - Akila Shades COMING SOON!
5. Design your logo
Now that you have your colour scheme and you have the name of your business, you can come up with a concept for your logo. This is another one that has great significance. This is the main feature that allows your business to be recognised by your audience and others. Your logo is your life partner unless down the line you decide to rebrand and create a new logo. For now, you take out a pad and pencil and get sketching and then you either work with a Graphic Designer or do the creative work yourself. Your logo is the image that becomes the official emblem or symbol of your business. You have to use it confidently to promote your business, so you need to be 1000% happy and proud of it. It represents you and everything you do even when you're not there. Make it perfect with just the right amount of graphics, unique design elements such as letters, fonts and colours.
6. Come up with a slogan or punch line type phrase
A slogan is your thing! It's memorable, it's short and sweet and it helps with advertising. More than anything, it's like a striking motto that your business will live by. Sometimes it just comes naturally, whilst your sleeping, but if not get creative. The Sparks Sunglasses slogan is punchy (Trendy - Stylish - Fashion) 3 simple words that describe what we provide. Trendy, stylish and fashionable sunglasses FULL STOP! I also always say "Sunglasses to love and protect your eyes."
7. Apply your branding to everything
You are a Business Owner, so apply your brand to everything that you do. Just like stickers and stamps go on all post that goes through the mailing system, your branding has to be on everything. Your website, your social media, your communications, your products and packaging, your email signature, your business cards, your service, your promotional content, the experience your customers or prospective customers have. Be consistent, put your customers first because the best type of promotion is word of mouth. You want people to have something great to say about you. And apply your brand to EVERYTHING!
8. Be original in all that you do
No one likes a copy cat. It's alright to be inspired by others, but no one likes when you imitate them so do you, your way and you will definitely standout. You have a unique touch, you have a different perspective, you have your own voice and a unique fingerprint. You should use that uniqueness to your advantage. Your audience will fall in love with the way you do things and that is why the phrase "Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe" is true.
9. Your website
Last but not least is your website. I mentioned it above but its very deep. Its the online home of your business. It can find you customers and business whilst you sleep so it has to be right. It has to be easy to use and navigate. It has to be welcoming, it can't be slow when it comes to loading, it can't be cluttered. Don't be afraid to get help with website creation because you need a professional homepage, a customised link/ domain name and you MUST stick to your colour scheme.
I really hope that helps you form your business identity and you begin to make moves. There is no time like the present, especially if you're at home twiddling your fingers and contemplating starting a business, or a side hustle. You Can Start Now!
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