What does it take to create a professional brand for your interior design business? Is the visual branding enough? And how do I know where to start branding interior design business? Let’s figure it out!
In my work, I help many designers create brand experiences that extend far beyond the visuals. We often talk about creating the Signature Business, a complete concept covering brand and client experience from the first touchpoint to the last.
- Branding is important for both new and established businesses as it provides an outlet for creativity, uniqueness, and identity.
- Branding helps make your business recognizable to customers and attracts the right clients.
- Branding goes beyond logo design and includes elements such as color schemes, the company name, interior design of office space, communication strategy, values, personality, voice, and marketing structure.
- A strong brand creates a memorable and relevant experience for customers, helping them remember your name and differentiate your business from competitors.
- Steps to branding an interior design business include defining your dream client profile, determining brand values and personality, identifying what makes your brand unique, and deciding what you want your website to achieve.
- The tactical part of branding involves networking with professionals, writing articles and using social media, guest posting on relevant blogs, participating in industry associations, creating high-quality project renderings, starting a podcast, establishing a system for referrals, collecting and posting reviews, and building an email list for inbound marketing.
- The visual identity of your interior design brand is an important component, but it should align with the overall brand strategy and reflect your unique style and values.
What is a brand?
A brand is a form of identification that is used to distinguish one product or service from another. Brands can be seen in many different ways, but they are most commonly associated with a company’s logo. Brands are typically created by companies to increase the public’s familiarity with their product or service and to create an emotional connection between the customer and the brand.
Branding is important for both new and established businesses as it provides an outlet for creativity, uniqueness, and identity. A brand helps people remember who you are and what you offer. It also creates a sense of trust among your customers that is difficult to achieve without branding.
In this article, we are covering multiple strategies and tactics for branding your interior design business. First, let’s talk about why branding is important for interior designers and creative business owners.
Why branding interior design business?
Choosing the right strategy is important for any business, and it’s particularly important when branding an interior design business. Branding helps to make your business recognizable to the customers. It helps you attract the right customers and clients.
Branding can be done in a number of ways like logo design, color schemes, and company name, but branding is not limited to just these things; it also includes the interior design of your office space, your communication strategy, your values, personality, your voice, and your marketing structure.
Creating a full brand experience
Brand experience is the sum of all interactions and experiences a customer has with the brand. This includes all the touchpoints that are in contact with the customer, including marketing, sales, service, product, and more.
It is important for a company to create an experience that is memorable and relevant to its customers. The goal of branding is to make sure you have a strong enough presence in your customers’ minds so that they can recall your name when they need your product or service.
Even if you’re not actively branding your business, your brand is being built as soon as you start communicating your message and attracting customers.
Your job is to control the narrative and create the experience you want your customers, partners, and employers to have when interacting with you.
How to go about branding your interior design business?
Branding your business is not a simple, one-off process. The first thing you should do is define your company’s values and goals. You can then create an identity for your company. This will help you to establish what kind of design style you want to work with and how you want to be perceived by clients.
You should also consider how you want to differentiate yourself from other companies in the design industry, as well as what makes your company unique.
It is important that the logo, offer templates, media assets, business cards, and other materials are consistent with one another so that customers know who they are dealing with when they make a purchase or contact the company for service.
What are the steps to branding an interior design business?
Most brand experts agree that the brand strategy is key, and something you need to be clear about before you dive into the tactical part of your branding. However, many designers focus solely on the visuals and neglect the foundations of the brand.
Steps to building a strong brand for your interior design business
The first part is about the strategy for branding interior design business, and the second part is the tactical game plan you can implement once your strategy is set.
Define your dream client profile
This is a question that many designers struggle with when they are just starting out. It can be difficult to answer because your ideal client will not always be the person who pays you the most or has the best feedback. And particularly at the beginning of your journey, knowing who you want to work with is difficult. But what it boils down to is this:
- Who do you want to work with?
- Who do you NOT want to work with?
- What do you want to work with?
- Where do you want to work from?
If you look at the 10 most profitable, fun, and fulfilling projects so far:
- What was the common nominator?
- Were the sizes and budgets of the projects similar?
- Maybe the customers had similar occupations and needs.
- Maybe, you loved niching down to some specific spaces?
When you know this, and you make a decision to only attract similar clients, your marketing, and business becomes easy and enjoyable.
Decide your brand values
Brand values are the set of principles that are used to guide the decisions and actions of a company. They should be consistent and authentic. These will be your guiding principles in every decision that you make as a company as well as the basis for all of your marketing efforts.
Essentially, you need to ensure that these values are consistent across all touchpoints with your customers – from social media posts to packaging design – so that they feel like they know what to expect from you at every turn.
Decide your brand personality
Deciding your brand personality is important before you start creating any kind of brand or marketing content. It will help you decide what kind of materials you want to create and how it should be written, what kind of voice you use, and what emotions you want to create among your audience.
Also, you should decide whether you want to be personal or not. This will also help you form your service and products so that they match your personality and preferences.
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Decide what makes your brand unique
There are many companies out there that are competing for your attention. What makes your brand different? Some brands may have a unique product, while others might have a unique service. Some designers offer a very unique signature style, while others focus on specific functions in a home, workplace, or public areas.
The key is to find what makes you stand out from the competition and then make sure that you communicate this in the best possible way to your target audience.
How are you different?
When branding an interior design business, it is also important to understand how your design business can differentiate itself from other brands in the design industry. This strategy requires you to acknowledge how your brand identity is different compared to other brands.
So, first, decide what makes you unique in terms of your special sauce, and then figure out how that compares to others. These are a few ways in which you could differentiate your brand:
- You could have a different product or service than your competitors
- You could offer something unique or exclusive
- You could have an entirely different customer base
- You could have an entirely different target audience
- You could have better customer service than your competitors
Your uniqueness might (or might not be) about your story
Sometimes, business owners’ personal story matters, and sometimes it doesn’t, and the key to designing your brand strategy is to know whether you have a story that actually matters.
And yes, this might sound harsh, but most brand origin stories do not matter at all, yet most brand coaches and experts tell you you need to share your story everywhere you can.
When does my story matter?
It matters if you can use it to benefit others. It matters if it actually matters to your audience. If it has no relevance for your clients, if it doesn’t benefit them anyhow, then it doesn’t matter.
For example: if you have a child with special needs and your interior design company helps other parents to create rooms that help their children with special needs to feel and function better, then it matters.
If you stepped out of your corporate consulting career and decided to help other career warriors to have a beautiful home because you know how important a home is to relax after a hectic workday, then it might matter, but not necessarily.
The key is this: knowing what matters to your customers and communicating your story in a way it helps them become better off.
Decide what you want your website to do
I know you say: “well, I want my website to bring me clients!” But, let’s think about it for a moment. The goals for a website are many, and depending on the goal, the strategy and design look very different.
If you work with a professional website designer (which you should), you will create an experience that does exactly what you want it to do, and nothing else.
Let’s dive into the tactical part of branding your interior design firm
Once you have designed your strategy, it’s time to take action. I’m listing several ways to do exactly that.
Network with other professionals
Networking is a great way to not only find jobs but also to get advice from professionals in your field. Not to mention how networking can lead to new connections and opportunities that may have never been found otherwise.
One of the best ways to network is by joining professional interior design organizations in your area. These organizations are created for the purpose of exchanging ideas and information between different professionals. They are also a great way to meet new people who share similar interests and goals as you, which can be beneficial for future collaborations.
The most important thing to remember when starting a blog is to write content that is relevant to your audience. If you are specializing in health-related topics and home, then it would be best to focus on writing articles related to wellness design.
A blog post should also have a call to action at the end of it. This call to action should summarize what you want readers to do after reading the article.
For example, if you want them to subscribe or comment on the article, then say so at the end of your blog post with a link for them to follow through with that action. It’s also important for interior designers to use social media in order to distribute their content and grow their following base.
Social media has become a huge part of our lives. We use it to connect with friends, family, and even strangers. It is a way for us to express ourselves and share our thoughts, experiences, and opinions. It is also a way for us to stay up-to-date on things that are going on in the world.
Social media is a powerful tool for interior design business owners to use. It is a great way to connect with clients and customers and a powerful marketing tool. But it can also be tricky. It’s easy to make mistakes that could cost you your business or brand. So how do you use the medial platforms correctly? There are some simple guidelines that will help you succeed on social media.
1) Don’t post too much about your company, instead, focus on posting content that is valuable and entertaining to your audience. A great rule of thumb is to post selling content about 20% of all your content. This would mean, for example: if you post 5 times per week, then 1 of those is directly promotional.
2) Be consistent in your posts, so people know when they can expect new content from you.
3) Don’t just post links, try to interact with people who comment on your posts or share them. Ask questions, and ask your audience to engage in your posts. This will trigger the media platforms to favor your content since they acknowledge it makes people engage. That’s always a good thing, regardless of the platform of choice, trends, or algorithm changes.
Guest post on leading blogs or websites
Guest blogging is a great way to increase your brand awareness. It also helps you to understand what kind of content your target audience likes. To do guest posting, you need to first identify your own voice, and then find the blogs and magazines you want to write for. For SEO purposes, guest posting on relevant sites is a great strategy!
Contribute to and participate in industry associations
One of the most important things you can do as a designer is to be involved in industry associations. These organizations are essential for improving your skills, networking with others, and keeping up with the latest trends in the field.
There are many benefits to joining an association – from getting access to educational materials and resources to meeting other interior design business owners with common interests and goals.
While it is not necessary for every designer to join an association, it can be a great way to expand your knowledge of the industry and make connections that will last a lifetime and help you grow your interior design business.
Create high-quality project renderings
Images are everything in the design industry, the customers need to be able to see the results of your transformation. Even if you have no previous projects, you can create high-quality renderings to showcase on your website and sales and marketing materials.
Creating renderings is a great way to go about branding interior design business.
Start a podcast
Podcasting is one of the best ways to build authority in your industry, both to attract customers and to attract partners and different media opportunities. If you are interested in building a strong brand, podcasting is a great strategy for doing that.
When you become the one who’s contributing to the industry itself, you will automatically become seen as a category leader, which in turn helps you get the best customers and charge a premium price for your service. And this happens even if the industry events, podcasts, and other media don’t necessarily attract buyers.
Have a system for referrals
Referrals can be made in many different ways, such as through online media, word of mouth, and email marketing. However, you should not only rely on getting referrals to your business, unless of course, have a system that you can control.
Don’t rely passively on referrals but build a system to get referrals. The system should include methods for both current and potential customers to refer others. It could also include a gift for those who bring you referrals.
Collect and post reviews
The reviews section of a website is one of the most important pages for any business. It helps in building credibility and trust among potential customers. The reviews section also serves as an opportunity to showcase the work done by your business.
If you are looking for a way to collect and post testimonials and reviews, then you should consider using a review management system. There are many platforms out there that offer this service but it is best to go through the features and pricing before making a decision. If you are in B2B, you can use LinkedIn to collect reviews, that’s a great way to get them visible on the largest B2B social network.
Build an email list for inbound marketing practices
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways of reaching out to your target audience. It is a cost-effective and time-efficient way to create a customer base. Here are some tips on how to build an email list as an interior designer:
1) Create an email signup form on your website, blog, or media profile. Offer a valuable gift that people actually want to receive, and that is aligned with the service you are offering.
2) Create content around your product/service and keep your emails consistent. Once / week is a minimum when comes to email marketing.
3) Include a signup form with a gift at the bottom of every blog post you publish. It doesn’t have to be a big gift, here’s an example:
What about the visual identity of your interior design brand?
Let’s talk about how you build a visual image for your brand. Please keep in mind: many brand designers focus only on the visual presentation of your brand, but as we have walked through a number of aspects of brand design, you most likely agree that the visual is just a small part of your overall brand strategy.
Visual branding is important, however, it is not as important as many brand designers want you to believe
It is true that visuals play an important role in the success of a company. The logo and the design of a company’s website can have a big impact on how people perceive the company.
Finally: Create your brand guidelines
Brand guidelines are a set of standards that define how a company wants its brand represented visually, verbally, and emotionally. They can be used by employees as well as by external partners who do not have direct contact with the brand owners.
The guidelines should describe your brand values, personality, point-of-view, imagery, and visual elements such as logos, fonts, colors, and emotions. The brand guidelines need to be updated each time your brand changes.
Branding interior design business and attracting the best clients
Regardless of whether you design your brand or not, your brand will exist. It exists in the minds of the people who are in contact with your business, and if you don’t intentionally build your reputation, other people will build their own perception of your brand.
Brands are a constant in our lives and they have a significant impact on our behavior. This is because brands are not just logos, they are a concept, an idea, and a representation of who we want to be. With this in mind, it’s important to think about the brand before we try to create one.