Welcome to #TheGreatBuild, a series dedicated to starting an ecommerce business from scratch. In this series, the founder of A Better Lemonade Stand, Richard Lazazzera, shares the lessons he learns and the strategies he tries as he builds his own ecommerce business from the ground up. This series has been created with the intention of showing other new entrepreneurs what it takes to start an ecommerce business so it will hopefully inspire them to start their own online business, too.
To read all the blog posts included in this series, navigate using the Table of Contents down below.
Table of Contents
- #TheGreatBuild: Choosing a Niche & Product to Sell Online
- #TheGreatBuild: Product & Niche Evaluation
- #TheGreatBuild: The Great Reveal of My Product & Niche Selection
- #TheGreatBuild: Make, Manufacture, Wholesale or Drop Ship
- #TheGreatBuild: Negotiating with a Manufacturer
- #TheGreatBuild: Choosing a Shopping Cart
- #TheGreatBuild: Pivoting
- #TheGreatBuild: How to Build a Brand Persona
- #TheGreatBuild: Unveiling My Brand
- #TheGreatBuild: DIY Product Photography
- #TheGreatBuild: How to Launch a Business
- #TheGreatBuild: First Month Revenue & Marketing Report
- #TheGreatBuild: Behind the Scenes of a 6-Month-Old Ecommerce Business
I have completed my brand build for #TheGreatBuild project. Creating a killer brand can have a massive impact on your business. Not only does it unite everyone working on the project but it also helps define your purpose, direction and can help differentiate you from your competitors. I love branding. For me, branding is one of the most enjoyable parts of building a business.
Since deciding to pivot, I have been challenged to come up with a new name for my business. Ideally, I wanted to find something catchy and memorable, but also a name with an available domain and social networks to go with it.
After a week of brainstorming, I decided to go back to a word/name I considered from the very beginning, Finch. Finch was the name of the street I grew up on as a child, and the place my entrepreneurial spirit began. From my house on Finch, I had my first lemonade stand, vegetable stand, and wood carvings stand. The more I thought about it, the more it seemed fitting that Finch should be the name of my new (better) lemonade stand. After a bit of brainstorming around that name, I finally landed on Finch Goods Co.
As I noted in my previous post, How to Build a Brand Persona, a brand has two essential elements: The brand persona and the brand graphic assets.
With just a pen and some paper, I worked on the brand persona for Finch Goods Co. using my 5-step branding process I developed. Using this process, I clearly defined the four elements that make up the Finch Goods Co. brand persona:
After a week of reworking the material, I was finally happy with the results. Below, is my final brand persona work for my new business. Remember to check out #TheGreatBuild: How to Build a Brand Persona for a detailed description of each element.
- Mission: To motivate every man to reconsider the small autonomous decisions in life
- Promise: To make men’s lives better by curating, designing, and developing the best in men’s fashion finishings and lifestyle products
- Essence: Fresh Finishings
- Pillars: Bold. Cultured. Smart. Fresh. Authentic.
Brand Graphic Assets
Once I finished refining those elements, I began to work on the customer-facing side of the brand: The brand graphic assets.
Starting with the logo/wordmark, I knew I wanted it to have a bit of a vintage flavor. The vintage feel to me represents a time when the plastic “throwaway culture” didn’t exist, products were built to a higher standard of quality and choices were more discerning.
Once I had my logo, I began to define the other graphic elements that would make up my brand, This included things like fonts, photography style, brand colors etc.
For the purpose of presenting my brand to my readers, I created a brand deck. A brand deck would typically be created by a branding agency for its clients to present a final brand.
In this deck, I present my logo, wordmark, font choices, and color choices. I do consider my brand deck to be a work in progress. It’s not perfect yet, but it has definitely helped me define my direction and style.
I’m lucky to know my way around Photoshop. It’s definitely one of the most valuable skills I have learned in my life. To develop the entire brand including brand persona, brand assets, and brand deck, it cost me about a week of time and $25.
I personally consider this money and time extremely well spent. In the past, I have worked with branding agencies on various projects, and what I created here in 1 week for $25 would have taken weeks to months and thousands of dollars (on the low end) to hire a branding agency.
Creating this brand and brand deck has helped me define and refine my direction. Moving forward, I am really excited to translate this into a website and business. Over the holidays, I will be working to translate my brand into an ecommerce website.
I have started placing orders with several select wholesalers. The challenge right now is that the few brands I intend to carry to start are in between seasons right now. I am reluctant to purchase inventory for the tail end of the season when the new season’s products begin shipping Feb. 1st.