Modding for Many: How to Build your Own Brand
As a modder who wants to start commissioned builds for a business, you may get too focused on just launching - setting up your prices and contact info and waiting for orders to come in.
But as you start to grow, it is important for you to take care of your branding. While creating a logo is not as difficult as some might think, there are countless other aspects of branding that can be overwhelming without the proper guidance.
But not to worry, because you don't have to hire an expensive consultant or agency to do your branding for you. Brand your business better with these tips!
Focus on Your Identity
A strong brand identity is composed of a few elements: logo, color, fonts and tagline or slogan. The process of creating a cohesive brand identity for your business involves careful consideration of each of these to ensure that they share the same mood and are appropriate for your target audience. You also want to make sure that the way you use them is consistent across other business activities, such as advertising and marketing materials and social media platforms.
Imagine when a customer goes to your Instagram then visits your website (if you set one up) and you have different branding on both of them. Even if it’s the same logo and slogan but a different color, people will already be confused and will doubt if they went to the correct website or have been redirected to a copycat.
Consistency is a must when it comes to branding.
A good example to illustrate this would be @four_forty_four_pm - a well-known watch modder and content creator. Each of his posts is marked by his seal of quality; a black and white logo that says 4:44PM. Visit his Instagram, his website, then his Youtube channel, and you will see that his logo is present in all platforms.
Another one is @jp_wristshop whose logo simply reiterates his IG handle - a JP_WRISTSHOP inscription in an eroded font. This is also his website address, and there you’ll find more of his featured watch mods and all the information you’d need to request a quote and order a customized watch.
Think About What Makes You Unique
Before putting together your brand identity package, it's important to take stock of what makes your business stand out from the crowd. Whatever it may be- location, service, design philosophy- write it down and use it to craft your brand identity.
If the idea for your business is catering to a specific niche (although Seiko modding is already a niche, you can still segment this market further), think about how you can incorporate that into the design or in your marketing materials.
Once you have started to publicize your branding, you may not be able to take it back or make changes, so plan well before executing your branding strategy.
Keep It Simple and Memorable
The simpler the better. Branding experts will tell you that if you try to do too much with your logo and messaging, it will end up being confusing and fail to create an impression on potential buyers. The same thing goes for other aspects of branding such as taglines or slogans or typefaces.
Look at Nike - probably one of the most recognizable brands in the world. The simple Swoosh logo leaves quite the impression and can easily be recalled from memory. You can even ask anyone to try and draw the logo and they’d easily be able to. The slogan is short and sweet as well: Just do it. Three words carry the powerful messaging that the Nike brand represents.
Another case study is Apple; who hasn’t heard of them? They are one of the most valuable brands in the world today, and many are willing to pay top dollar for the social status that can be had by consuming their products. The bitten Apple, meant to signify a bite from the biblical fruit from the tree of knowledge, is another simple and memorable example for a logo. Their slogan “Think Different” is catchy and well-observed in their product releases.
We may not have the billions of dollars to spend on branding, but by remembering to keep it simple and memorable, the business is one step closer to success.
Since we realize the importance of simple and memorable branding, we at namokiMODS have upgraded our logo from the old bezel insert silhouette to the new inverted percentage (%) sign. The percent sign symbolizes a part of a whole, which is how we feel about our brand: a recognizable part of a big and growing whole that is the Seiko modding community. The logo also represents the N from namokiMODS.
Build a Strong Digital Brand
Your logo can easily represent your business, but it won't do much for you if you aren't taking great care of your digital branding efforts as well. Since everyone is pretty much getting their mod parts online, sharing their builds online, and buying and selling Seikos online, it is only logical that an aspiring Seiko Modder for Hire will do business online.
This means optimising your digital presence. You want to make sure that you have a strong, flexible, and fast-loading website that allows visitors to easily find what they need and also attracts them to order from you. Make sure to use high-resolution images and include testimonials in your home page to let your visitor know that you are a legitimate seller of products or services.
Be present in as many platforms as you can, as long as you can manage it. Being everywhere helps cement your brand in the minds of your target audience, as long as you are consistent and create meaningful content.
At present, namokiMODS can be found on Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, Pinterest, and Discord. Being on all these different platforms gives us a wider reach on the market and engage with our customers better, and it has been a massive help with building our organic traffic.
Have a Dedicated Marketing Plan
The purpose of branding is to make your business stand out from the rest. However, if you don't have a marketing plan, what's the use of having a great logo and identity? If you want to build a successful online brand, write down all the necessary tasks that involve marketing and promotion and develop a detailed schedule to make sure you've got your bases covered.
One of the most common mistakes small business owners make when creating their marketing plan is trying to do too much. Take some time out to review your plan and determine if your branding will be consistent with the direction you want for it. If not, decide which marketing elements you should keep and which you need to replace, then execute accordingly.
Here are some of the essential marketing tasks that you should not skip on:
- Set your social media goals - If you don’t have goals, how will you know if you are succeeding or if you need to change your strategy?
- Create Buyer Persona/Customer Profile - Having an intimate knowledge of your target customer will make it easier for you to develop your marketing plan and tweak your branding to resonate with them.
- Conduct a Competitor Analysis - Know your friends, and your enemies. While it may be a stretch to consider them your enemies, knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors will help you learn and adapt to best practices.
Let your Brand Tell a Story
An excerpt from our About Us page:
“namokiMODS is a story of two guys who love beer. And... watches. What started out as a weekly watch talk at the neighbourhood watering hole eventually evolved into a shared interest in modding them.”
Quite relatable, right? It’s an authentic story too - the namokiMODS founders hatched the idea for a mod parts store after getting into the hobby and not finding parts that are up to their standard.
You can almost imagine yourself in the same situation; in fact, you may have started Seiko modding the exact same way!
A brand is not just a logo, but the vision and mission of your business. By learning how to use it to convey the story of your business, you'll be able to help customers connect with and understand what you do better. Who are you? What do you do? How can you help others achieve their goals? Why should they choose you over other businesses in your category? Make sure that every element of your branding supports this purpose, whether through social media posts or other marketing materials.
These are some of the branding strategies and guidelines that we have used as we grew the business from a few local orders a week, to being an established Seiko mod parts supplier in the community and shipping parts to watch modders from all over the world.
Even with how far we've come, we're still learning new things and experimenting with new strats to reach out to even more hobbyists and professional modders out there. We hope you picked up some useful tips, and stay tuned for more infotainment!