Raise your hand if you started your interior design business without considering branding. When you start a small business there are so many other important tasks (finding clients! resale license!) that usually branding for interior design is not addressed until much later.
Which is fine. You can't do everything at the same time. But it should be something that is on your mind and on your must-get-done list.
I know that the word "brand" or "branding" can sometimes feel a little insincere or inauthentic. But you are not creating a large Brand (with a capital "B", like Coke or J.Crew) and you are not going to run your business as anyone but yourself.
You and your business are different. You are going to take parts of you and create a brand for your business. This will make your business recognizable, create consistency, and make your business life easier.
If you haven't tackled branding for interior design or maybe you need a refresh, this one is for you.
The two questions you should ask yourself about branding for interior design are:
- Who are you trying to attract? Who are your perfect, ideal, wonderful clients? Who is going to gobble up your particular services? Who do you want to work with? What are they like? What do they like? How can you position your business & brand to
- Who are you? How do you like to work? What are you really good at? What are you not so good at? What type of interiors do you want to be working on? What makes you special? How are you different? Why should clients work with you?
Two Types of Branding for Interior Design
This is the look of your business, the overall design aesthetic. The fonts and colors that you use on your website or business cards are visual branding. Visual branding should relate to the types of interiors you are doing. Hot pink shouldn't be a brand color if you are working primarily on Seattle bachelor pads. Script fonts should not be used if you want your bread and butter to be engineers.
It may be helpful to think of words that describe your style and make sure that those words can also describe what you are putting out visually. Think clean, modern, cozy, English, Bohemian, stark, whimsical, retro, and on and on. You want your visual branding to give clients an immediate feel for what they'll get.
You are going to use visual branding on your website, business cards, marketing materials, on each and every piece of paper you send to someone from your business - cards, invoices, letters, envelopes, business checks, etc.
The identity of your business is about creating an experience for consumers. Your brand identity is the personality and voice of your business. A good exercise for this is to imagine that your business is a person; is your business a schoolmarm, a helpful neighbor, a bohemian scholar, an older sister, a babysitter, an absent-minded professor, a know-it-all friend.
It is important that your brand identity is a part of you as a person, but remember that your business is not you. You are drawing out a part of yourself to highlight in your business. Personally are exceptionally complex and complicated but you brand your business to be exceptionally clear and consistent.
Identity branding will include your values, you can dive into Creating Core Values for Interior Designers to discover what makes your business tick.
Your message is also part of your identity branding. The content of your website, not how it looks, but actually what you put on those pages is part of your branding. What you are trying to do for clients will become part of your branding. Are you designing vacation homes, advocating better quality, working with single moms? The meat of your work is the message and should be part of your branding.
Where to use your branding for interior design:
- every page on your website
- facebook cover
- client communications
- email signature
- yard signs
- client welcome packet
- social media posts
- business cards
- IF IT IS A PART OF YOUR INTERIOR DESIGN BUSINESS, IT CAN BE BRANDED.
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