Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Little Lou Lou and Enoch and Plonk - Branding

the branding showcase........................

I have put this blog together for you all as a little light relief. We have all been so very serious with the Cheeky Chat sessions over the past few weeks, banging heads together so hard that mine has sometimes throbbed for days later! So I thought we could sit back, put the kettle on and have a read of a couple of blogs from some rather inspiring business ladies.

A couple of weeks ago our topic was branding. After the chat, I looked back at the posts and realised that  lot of us didn't really have a good idea what branding actually was. We think we do, but do we really?

I have asked numerous and VERY different business ladies to describe what branding means to them and how they brand their product, website, blog, store and then bring it all together into one polished package.

brand power......................

First up we have Lisa from Little Lou Lou - Handmade Children's Fashion and Gifts

Lisa has done an outstanding job with branding her business. From the name, to her website, all the way through to the way she photographs and edits her product photo's. I am in awe at the amount of time and effort Lisa has obviously put into her business. And do you know what? All that time, effort and hard work.......it really, really shows!!

this is Lisa's take on branding.........................

With a handmade clothing business like mine, which these days are a dime a dozen, branding is almost as important as the product itself. Branding is what will get your business noticed in what seems to be an endless sea of ruffles, bows & doilies! Branding breathes life into your product, it's what can turn a simple piece of cotton into a coveted item with a cult-like following.

For my business branding encompasses everything from my logo & presentation of my social media accounts, right down the small but significant choices I make for my packaging & stationery. I never miss an opportunity to reinforce my brand message " Boutique, handmade bloomers & accessories created with a touch of love and a sprinkle of shabby sweetness" reflecting the exclusive, hand crafted nature of our products, with an emphasis on attention to detail and our sweet, shabby-chic style. I keep this message forefront in my mind in every decision I make for my Little Lou Lou, from our imported wrapping paper & hand printed gift tags to the scented candles that I use in my studio that make our parcels smell lovely, because every choice is an opportunity to deliver our brand message to our customers.

I think consistency is the key to solid brand message, your branding needs to be not only appropriate for the product you are selling, but also targeted at the specific market you are trying to reach, as well as being consistently applied wherever you attempt to reach your customers. For example, there is no point choosing a shabby chic logo if your products are ultra modern & sophisticated, or sending out 'no frills' packaging to your high-end clientele. Inconsistent branding is not only confusing for your customers but you also miss out on the opportunity to deliver your brand message & convince your customers why they should choose your business in the future! Effective branding makes your business memorable!
I think a common mistake that many people make (including myself) when first starting out is rushing the brand development process in the haste to get the product out there, often using a cheap or DIY logo & business cards etc. I regret not using a professional from the beginning as once you become established, changing your branding can be both time consuming & expensive. Also, resist the urge to change your branding too often, every interaction you share with your customer you develop a relationship with them, it is difficult for them to get a clear sense of who you really are as a brand if you are changing it all of the time!

Ultimately I think the most important thing is to put your own personality into your branding. When you choose what you truly love every time with no compromise it is easy to be consistent & your brand message will be authentic & convincing!

punk chick...........................

Next up I wanted to show you just how different branding can be. Enter Nicola from Enoch & Plonk Nicola is a true fine artist and loves to experiment with all of her creative ideas. Nicola, like myself, is a self taught computer geek. The only difference is that she has worked a lot harder than me at it and has polished and finely tuned her skills enough, to produce her own website, newsletter and blog 

Nicola puts everything into her brand. Her personality and her off the wall, creative flair is etched into each and every dress, blog post and photo. All that hard work has obviously paid off . Last year she made it to the finals of the connect2mums ausmumpreneur awards and will soon be appearing on SKYTV in the US. If that's not inspiring, I don't know what is!

nicola's take on branding.........................

I’ve been asked by Ali to write a little about enoch & plonk and branding.
You must understand I’m not qualified in all things business, I’m from a fine art background I like to feel I have a good eye and feel for anything visual.

I see branding as..... A feeling, an atmosphere and a lifestyle, it’s that taste you get in your mouth when you see something you love.  It oozes through every facet of your business identity.  It’s not something that should feel artificial or forced but like a second skin, completely natural and very YOU.  After all as a crafter, designer or artist YOU are the cornerstone of YOUR business and as such it should to a certain degree reflect  YOU.

At enoch & plonk I began this process a while after I had set up my business, I was unsure and didn’t have a firm grip of what I wanted it to be or say. Like other FB businesses I started with a logo and like a vision Rebekah Ginda came my way.  She was already a fan of e& p and expressed an interest in designing a logo for me. I knew she was a great designer and loved her own logo so said yes and the whole process began.  I wanted a character (loving the work of artist Jamie Hewlett from ‘Gorillaz’ fame) a sassy, cheeky confident and friendly young woman, with wild hair, attitude and in bold pink and red colour scheme.  It was 50% how I am and 50% what I aspire to be.  

Of course branding isn’t just about your logo, it’s a starting point and if you get it right it will not only give your business a strong identity which is all yours but like mine will encourage and support you with a wink and a smile.
But that’s not the end of my story (you can roll your eyes if you want).  I’m a firm believer in gaining experience from everything you do whether it‘s the right path or not.   I had started appliqueing unique and elaborate designs onto t-shirts and while I had some sales it became apparent that it just wasn’t me.  I wasn’t being true to myself, this just wasn’t my passion.  A love of all things ‘alternative’ (have you seen those photos of me in my youth??) which lead to a radical departure from purely decorating t-shirts.  I’d began up cycling (which basically means giving something more value by altering it) tees in the spirit of creating something individualistic, completely unique and fun for my daughter but didn’t feel confident enough about my ideas to share them.  After posting a few photos on my blog and receiving some positive feedback I decided to share my new found artistic outlet with a wider audience on facebook.   The response was so very encouraging.   It would seem that being yourself, digging deep and being expressive, letting your work evolve is a hugely satisfying thing to do. 

Getting enoch & plonk on the map is something I’m still working on.   I’m very frugal when it comes to spending money and this has made me very eager to learn how to promote my business on a none existent budget.  I’ve joined as many business sites as I can, post photos on flickr and share them with relevant groups, use twitter and facebook, have been interviewed on a few blogs and write one of my own.  I have a number of shops and while I don’t have items in all of them I try and make sure that each has a link to my website. The result of all of my time at the computer is that enoch & plonk made it to the finals of the connect2mums ausmumpreneur awards and will soon be appearing on SKYTV and other dish networks in the US.  The later came about after opening an account on LinkedIn and joining some fashion/business groups and being noticed by a TV producer in Florida. I still can’t quite get my head round how that happened!!

Of course those who ‘liked’ my work at the beginning of enoch & plonk have seen it take off at a tangent and may have decided this new adventure is not for them,  for those who have stayed I thank you and  hope you have enjoyed sharing in my continuing evolution.    

thank you

I just want to say a massive thank you to both Nicola and Lisa for taking time out from their extremely busy schedule to write these fantastic blogs for us.

We would LOVE you to make a comment below, so the girls know what you all thought.

See you next week



  1. thanks so much for sharing this, I can't wait to continue with the development of my "brand".. I loved what Lisa said about consistency and Nicola about the feel of your brand. It backs up what I have had floating in my head since the day I envisioned starting my little biz.. thanks again ladies :) xx

  2. Fabulous ideas from two wonderful ladies. I do so admire your business development, but can only aspire to reach so high! Thank you so much for sharing :) ~ Christine xx

  3. Excellent Danni. It's great that you have got something from the blog. It's good to have someone to aspire to Christine. It gives you focus :)

  4. Linked In has been amazing for me too :) I loved reading these :) both these ladies have great brands and wonderful advice/info to share :)

  5. Thanks for sharing this excellent post. I appreciate this innovative and fabulous WORK. Visit us at http://www.freshseams.com/ to get best handmade clothing online.

  6. I've read this blog a few times. Each time something new pops out. I've learnt from Lisa Lou to 'put your own personality into your branding'. From Nicola, branding needs to be 'like a second skin, completely natural and very you'. Plus, 'letting your work evolve is a hugely satisfying thing to do'. Thanks so much for the info ladies. Still working on branding my business