The key to success for any cake or baking business is making the most delicious and beautiful products around. That is definitely true. However, it can make things a lot easier if your business ‘brand’ makes the task of selling your cakes, a whole lot easier.
Great products will sell themselves, but only once people know about them, and in the noisy, advertising-filled world we live it, standing out from the crowd can be tricky. That’s why having a recognisable brand is really important to making sure you become people’s go-to seller. See, branding doesn’t just apply to big chains and nationwide bakers, it’s important for small and home-based businesses too.
WHAT IS BRANDING?
Don’t let the word scare you off. It seems like the word is everywhere these days, from building a personal brand, to brand awareness...it is a bit of a buzzword, BUT, I do think it is important to give it some consideration, especially when it comes to your own baking business.
Branding is more than just a logo. Whilst a logo is one of the first things people may see when they come across your business, either on your website or on a business card, it does not encapsulate what your business is all about. A brand covers all aspects of your business, helping you to target the right customers for your cakes and bakes.
So bakery specific, things that come under branding are:
Style of your cakes/baked goods
The apron you wear to serve
Your language (meaning the tone and vibe of the words you put out there!)
Stationery (invoices/email signature/receipts)
So branding can cover a lot, but the key is to have a cohesive and recognisable image throughout your business, in all of the areas mentioned above, that reflects the mission you have for your business.
HOW TO I CREATE MY BRAND?
By having a clear direction in your business you will find it easier to build your brand. Think about the following questions:
Define your business in a few short sentences.
What makes your business stand out from others? What do you offer that makes you special?
What benefits will your cakes bring to the customers?
What words or qualities do you want your customers to think of when they hear your name?
What colours and imagery represent your business? Is there a common theme between this and what may attract your ideal customer?
It can definitely take some time, and you will refine and develop the brand over time, as you become more aware of the focus of your baking business, and what resonates with your customers.
As a quick way to get going, start pinning images on Pinterest and look for a theme emerging. Don’t feel you have to stick to pictures of bakeries or cakes. Anything that you think resonates with your business is good. After about a week, take a look at the images you’ve gathered and pick out 3 or 4 that really represent your business.
Then think about the questions above and use them to pick 5 or 6 words that sum up your business. These words and images will form the basis of building your brand and act as a reference for your, or a designer, and your start designing and styling the branded elements for your business (like those in that first list we covered.)
One of the most important things with a brand, is consistency. Stark contrast or extreme changes to the way you are presenting yourself and your business to the world can be confusing and off putting to potential customers. Try to build upon what you have already build and the reputation you have gained, to exaggerate those qualities that make you the best baker for the job and the one that instantly comes to mind when a potential customer thinks ‘cake’!