BRAND – STYLE – PHOTOGRAPH by Arabella from Bushwalk Candles
sparrMy first blog for Love Australian Handmade is going to help you to discover your brand, style and photography and really understand what it is you are trying to say. I have been given some great tips and words of wisdom along my handmade journey that have really helped to make my brand stand out from the crowd. Here are a few pointers to get you thinking about your brand and how you can make it shine. No cost involved, just a lot of love for what you do.
Your brand is the type of product you manufacture under your company name. It is your logo, your website, your why, and your promise. Your brand is what draws customers to your products and keeps them coming back, so spend quality time on your brand and it will reward you.
My brand is Bushwalk Candles.
When I started, I made some early decisions about how I wanted my brand to look and feel. I made a brand board filled with the colours, textures, artwork and words that defined my brand. I always try to be consistent with my brand so that my customers recognise my products and are confident in what they are buying. Consistency is the key.
Instagram is a great tool when it comes to learning about branding. Pick your top three favourite Instagram pages and then delve in to see what makes them great. What does their page look like? Are the photographs cohesive? What does their Bio say? Does their story come across?
One of my favourite Instagram pages is @sparrowsoap, this is branding at its best. Her products are just amazing, her photographs are stunning, and I love her story. #nailedit
Your style is the identity of your brand, it defines who you are and tells the world what you stand for. Make this one count.
Research your target audience to really understand what they are buying. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and identify their problems and their needs, and how you can solve these.
My target audience is women aged 25-45. They love instagram, interior design, travel, the outdoors, natural products and Australia. They buy my candles for themselves, as gifts and to send overseas.
Analyse your current customers to find buying patterns and things that they have in common. And observe your competition. Scroll through their website, facebook and Instagram pages and find out who they are engaging with and what they are selling.
I follow lots of candle makers on social media, partly if I am honest to make sure that I am not being copied, but also to keep up with trends and to see who is buying candles, and why. I take note of who is following their pages, who they are following, and I also find some great potential stockists along the way. It makes good business to understand your competition.
The points above will help you to develop your own style. Your personality is very important and so is your consistency. Be yourself and be true to your values.
This is a process of trial and error, and a lot of photographs. I normally use 1 out of every 10 photographs that I take. Taking great photographs is more than just a white back ground. Your photos should be well lit, thoughtful, brand aware, authentic and beautiful.
Prospective stockists and retailers will look at your website and Instagram feed to get a feel for your brand and your products. If your photographs do not sell your products to them, then they will probably not buy them.
A lot of people ask me about using props in their photographs, and which ones to use.
Try to choose props that tell a story or evoke a feeling. Each piece should mean something, say something or make you feel something.
My Bush Walk scented candles are photographed with leaves as they smell like a walk in the Australian bush.
Gaia from @three.wildlings uses native leaves with her beautiful felt shoes that really evoke the natural, organic feel of her products. Her brand story is amazing and so are her photographs. If only these cute shoes came in bigger sizes!
If you find it difficult to find suitable props then you can try a different approach. Anh from @anamapetittresor takes amazing photos with her hands holding her products. I love the one holding a pile of beautiful fabrics, simple but very effective. I notice this idea has been repeated a few times in her Instagram feed which has resulted in great feedback and comments.
- The empty space in your photographs is as important as the product. Always keep the overall look of your photographs balanced.
- Make your product the hero of the shot.
- Use the same background for all of your product photographs for brand consistency.
I hope this blog has helped you to think and understand a bit more about your brand and how to make it shine. If you have any questions about styling or photography please contact me via Instagram @bushwalkcandles or email firstname.lastname@example.org and I can offer you some further tips and advice.