Etsy – Big brand thinking for small business

Regardless of the size of your business, you need to create and build a brand.
I know that’s easy for me to say, but even the smallest home-based enterprise can use some of the same thinking that goes into building brands for some of the world’s largest organisations.

I was recently introduced to Etsy, the handmade and craft version of Ebay. This is an amazing online marketplace that amplifies the concept of the local craft market significantly, and does it on a massive global scale, but also keeps some personal connection between seller and buyer.

What I am most impressed with is how they seem to be committed to building and supporting their community. In particular, they realise that helping their sellers develop their business will make Etsy more successful.

In their comprehensive ‘seller handbook’ are all sorts of tips on how to set up and grow your business and one dedicated to ‘building your brand’.

Michelle, from Etsy, explains that “creating a cohesive, branded line is key for getting your shop noticed. When your products, packaging, and online presence all work together to convey a specific look, your shop becomes a memorable destination.”

Etsy also get their sellers to engage and educate other sellers. Janell Anderson of Prunella Soap, an Etsy seller is featured in this video that explains what brand means to her and how she has been able to stand out among the many soap sellers.

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/39225274[/vimeo]

While this is not the silver bullet for branding, it is a nice introduction for a small business. It also has a nice ‘someone like me’ feel that is, if you are just starting out.

Of course, this doesn’t give you all the answers, but certainly provides some food for thought in a genuine and helpful way and may be enough to get you started.

However, if this has wet your appetite and you’d like to take it to the next level you will probably need some expert and impartial advice to help you build a truly robust, differentiated and compelling brand to life.  Of course, we’d love to hear from you if you want to take the next step.

Michael Hughes
Director of Brand Strategy

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