branding, craft, crochet, knitting, marketing, sewing, vintage, yarn

Brand New Beginning!

I have been so neglectful of my blog recently and am now going to make amends!

Over the next few weeks I’m going to chronicle the rebranding and refocusing of my brand, currently known as Chester Bunnynuts.

Chester was one of my first pets, a gorgeous rabbit, and I am very attached to the name, it is quirky, fun and memorable.  However, it doesn’t fit the new identity and shift of my business and I have spent a long time agonising over a change of name.

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This wonderful book has helped me immensely, I’ve only really managed to get through the introduction and am working on the first section, which looks into what makes a great brand and how you can draw on inspiration to gain insights into your own creative process and how you can apply this to your own business.

In doing this, rather surprisingly, there was little focus on the brand name.  My understanding of this is that, perhaps, it is assumed that most people already have a name or at least an outline of they want their brand to be called.

The name has quite a lot of importance in branding, but it is not everything…  In reading up on this, there’s a lot more to brand naming than you might think.  A useful tool is Marketing MO to help you refine the process.

You can choose a descriptive name, such as Budget Rent-a-Car, which does what it says on the tin.  Alternatively, a made up name, this worked well for Facebook and Google.  Or even the owner/inventor name, such as Dyson.  Finally you can choose something which gives a feeling or expectation of what the brand is going to deliver.

The most important thing is to define what you want your brand to represent.  In my case it is a shift away from a rather random brand where I just made a bit of what I liked, to something more focused.

My main concerns were to appear more professional but also embody three new key centres of attention – luxurious, elegant and romantic – which is in line with the specific market which I am going to be aligning my brand with.

So, I have decided on a brand name – although I am not going to divulge this yet – but I will do shortly…  What I will say is that I have decided on a name which both gives a feeling / expectation but also has an element of description implicit in the name.  And to top it all, it comes from a reworking of names of very dear family pets, which I feel allows it to take on the mantle of Chester Bunnynuts and allow me to spread my wings and soar!

My next task from this wonderful book is to really fix on what calls to me and what brands I admire and use this inspiration to help mould my brand.  Watch this space, I shall post another update soon…

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New Year, New Plans!

Happy New Year everyone!

I’ve had such a busy time with Christmas and New Year and little time to myself, thankfully now I have had a chance to sit down and think about my crafty plans for 2015!

Initially when I learnt to knit and crochet, I was making for fun, and didn’t have a clear sense of direction.  I started by making gifts for friends and family and was encouraged by their reactions to start up in business, selling through craft fairs.

Towards the end of last year, I was considering giving up, as I had a lot of positive reaction, and some good sales, but these were intermittent and I felt that I hadn’t really found my niche.

I live in a part of England which is fairly poor (apart from the beautiful spa city of Bath) and although there are some artistic, crafty areas, there are also a lot of people who do not appreciate good quality handmade gifts.

I have spent a lot of time pondering what I want to do, and it is amazing how many factors you have to consider in making a decision!  The outcome of my ruminations that I loved what I was doing, enjoyed working with quality fabrics and yarns, with a quirky / geeky edge, but that I was spreading myself too thinly and not really focused on my ‘brand’.

So I have make some big decisions!

1. Honing my brand – I will be focusing on accessories and homewares.  As I am the Imelda Marcos of bags I will have a particular focus on these!

2. Starting to sell online and limit my face-to-face selling to those that I really feel I will benefit from

3. Going to sell off my remaining stock at discounted prices

4. My (huge) stash of yarn will be used up bit-by-bit on these accessories

5. Going to spend a lot of time thinking about Chester Bunnynuts as a brand and try to do a more professional job at marketing myself – part of that is writing more regular blogs, learning more about business and developing my skills in all areas.

So I think that’s enough thinking for now, and some action is required…  I have a week off in February, which I am really looking forward to.  I’m going to spend some time now deciding on the best marketplace for my goods – there are so many options from Etsy and Folksy to via my blog / my own website or eBay.

Where to start!?  If you have any experiences or advice on selling online it would be very gratefully received!

Happy crafting!

Lou x

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