I firmly believe that every creative entrepreneur should be building their business as a luxury brand. As a small business owner, providing one-on-one custom services (which in my opinion, is the cornerstone of luxury branding), you simply don’t have the time, or the resources to be competing on price! The answer, instead is to build a one-of-a-kind high end brand.
Now, I know the concept of “luxury branding” might sound daunting to you. Maybe it conjures images of diamonds and champagne… and sure, for some brands, that is their definition of luxury.
But “luxury” and “high-end” can truly mean different things to different people—and really it comes down to your visual branding and brand experience—which is exactly what I’m talking about in today’s video!
Visual branding is my area of expertise—and it’s what I create for my clients every day! For example, logo design and website design are two of my most popular services. But don’t mistakenly think that your visual branding is limited to graphic design! It also includes your brand photography, and elements as basic as your brand colors and brand fonts. [Check out: How To Use Fonts In Your Brand].
In reality, your visual branding system encompases every visual element you use in your brand! So, if you’re thinking it’s a big deal—you’re right!
Here’s a list of some important visual branding elements to include in your brand:
If you’ve been in business for any amount of time, I’ll bet you’ve already got a few of the visual branding elements (or maybe all of them!) listed above.
But simply having a logo, or a website, or business cards isn’t enough when it comes to building a luxury brand—and really, by “luxury” I mean a successful brand that books high paying clients!
You need consistency in your visual branding—which means:
You need a comprehensive system of visual elements that consistently represent your brand.
Being consistent with your visual branding system does two very important things for your small business:
Maybe you’re not convinced yet. Maybe you’re wondering, “does this visual branding stuff really matter?”
I’m here to tell you, yes ma’am! It absolutely does!!
Many times as a small business owner, your initial interaction with a potential client will be via an element of your visual branding system (your business card, your website, or your social media presence).
If you’re serious about running a successful and sustainable business then you definitely want to be wow-ing your clients from that very first impression—and then at each subsequent interaction!
If a potential client comes across your business card—and it’s a cheap and flimsy DIY piece, guess what that person’s gonna think? They’ll think that your business is cheap.
Which means that high-paying clients (expecting a superior experience) are simply gonna pass. They’ll look elsewhere and you’ll never hear from them.
The only people you WILL hear from are those looking for the cheapest option. So those business cards that you thought weren’t such a big deal? They actually are, right?
And every other aspect of your visual branding is a “big deal” too!
Hence the need for luxury branding.
As I mentioned above, it’s my opinion that all creative entrepreneurs should build their businesses as luxury/high-end brands. This will allow you to charge appropriately for your custom products and one-on-one services—because you’re not a discount store! So stop trying to compete on price. Your time is valuable!
Okay, stepping off my soapbox now… 😉
So, what can luxury branding do for you?
Well, to start, if you want to charge more for your products and services, then your brand needs a higher perceived value. Hello luxury branding!
When your branding is high-end (and consistent, and just looks… well, fabulous!) then you no longer have to tell clients you’re worth the money. They can see it with their own eyes! They perceive a higher value.
This really seems like such “common sense” to me—so I’m always shocked when people don’t get it. But I have these incredible “aha” moments with my clients all the time!
We do a rebrand together and launch a new website for them… and suddenly they’re no longer attracting those bargain hunting clients.
Erin is a newborn photographer who came to me because she wasn’t attracting the right clientele. She’d been in business for a while and her work was gorgeous. But her visual branding was not.
She had a template website and a premade logo — and they just screamed “discount.” So she was only getting clients who were hunting for a bargain.
I rebranded her with new branding, a new website, brand strategy, brand photography. And now she’s attracting the right clients!
Here’s what she had to say about her experience:
This is a really great exercise for your own business! Take a look around brands that you consider to be “luxury”—you know, the ones that offer a service or product at a slightly (or maybe much) higher price point than other brands.
Study their visual branding. What is it about their logo, or their website, or their brand imagery that seems luxury or high-end to you?
Now look at their competitors that are at a lower price point… how does their visual branding compare?
Shameless plug here—but you should absolutely do it! This whole month I’m sharing my top tips and advice on creating successful visual branding for your business, in a dedicated 5-part video series! So you won’t want to miss out.
Click here (or check out the video at the top of this post) and be sure to hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss a single video. I promise this will be a game changer for your creative biz!
What?? Two action steps in one blog post? You know I’m not messing around!
This step will be key in figuring out how to improve your business and your conversions (hello, more clients and more $$$? Yes, please!).
So, sit down with a pen and notebook and give your own business a brand audit. Analyze every element of your visual branding (check out that bulleted list of Visual Branding Elements above!) and be critical!
And be honest with yourself. I know it’s not easy but without doing these types of audits you’ll never grow your business.
Feeling really brave? Ask some friends and industry peers to audit your branding as well! And graciously accept their constructive feedback—it can only make you more successful!
Listen, I know this probably isn’t what you wanted to hear… but you knew it was coming, right?
Because DIY does not equal luxury.
DIY = cheap, discount, bargain
If you really want to run a successful small business then it’s time to hire a professional. And do it sooner, rather than later, so you can stop spinning your wheels and start attracting the right clients!
Work with a professional brand designer who can help you not just design a pretty logo (because by now you know that’s simply not enough) but build a comprehensive and cohesive visual branding system that is effectively communicating your high-end value to clients without you ever having to utter a word.
That’s exactly what I do for all of my clients! So if you’re at the point in your business where you are ready to invest in your dream and finally take it to that next level then I would love to hear from you! Fill out my contact form—I cannot wait to hear from you!
Don’t forget to grab my Brand Blueprint—your 20-page guide to building an epic foundation for your brand!