Ok, I may make some enemies today – so if you sell those cute little “store branding kits” on TPT, I apologize in advance. 🙈
When we talk about branding, first it’s important to know what branding actually means.
Branding refers to what people think of when they think about your business.
There are two main parts to the branding story you tell: messaging and visual.
Visual branding is what your store (products, email, blog..) actually LOOKS LIKE. When a customer arrives on your storefront, it’s the fonts, colours, images, etc that they see.
A lot of sellers stop here. They want to have a store that looks cute – but forget to also consider the messaging that should go with it. (When someone thinks of your TpT store, you don’t really want them to just think of a FONT, do you?)
If you’re not familiar with design, it’s natural to want to get some help. But when you do, you need to shop carefully.
Three reasons not to buy pre-made branding kits
1) They don’t reflect your unique brand identity.
Your visual branding needs to work hand-in-hand with your overall brand message. If you sell math resources, your store should look and feel different than if you sell spec ed materials. (If you don’t have a branding message, please check out the free 5-day messaging challenge). A branding kit from a template won’t reflect the uniqueness that is your store.
2) They look the same as everyone else’s.
There is a cutesy-ness that has invaded TpT and it’s a real problem. Unfortunately, there are some design packages (usually less expensive ones) that use cutesy templates to create store brands. Because they are less expensive, they get widely used… and then new sellers see this aesthetic and automatically assume that that is how your store is “supposed” to look. However, this also presents a real opportunity – if you break outside of this trend, your store will immediately stand out.
3) They promote common store practices that aren’t necessarily best for business.
Quote boxes that ask for followers before the customer even knows anything about you. Banners that say generic things like “welcome to my store”. These types of elements are EVERYWHERE on TpT and yet they don’t actually do anything to communicate with your ideal customer. Welcome messages and follower requests are wasted space. Yup, I said it.
If you want to re-brand the look of your store, do these things before hiring a package
- Eliminate any design package that doesn’t create your brand elements from scratch. A high quality designer won’t use the same templates on multiple stores.
- Get crystal clear on your ideal customer and brand message. A high quality designer will ask you for more information about what you want to communicate. If you give generic information, you’ll get generic visuals.
- Think critically about what you want your store visuals to achieve, and ask for these elements. Make sure that your quote box and banner are working together to grab the attention of your ideal customer.
There are many, many awesome designers who do great work for TpT sellers. There are also those who will churn you out something generic with the same cutesy font as 25 other stores. Choose wisely, and do your homework first!
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