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Case Study: Brand activation for shop owners and handmade businesses

March 26, 2012

in: branding, challenge

I talk a lot about making brands more active but I bet you are wondering how this idea applies to you!  How do you brand yourself if you own a shop and sell something? Most of the time, we just think of starting a  shop and starting a mailing list but there is SO much more you can do. I talk about it some in Erin Bowe's brand review but today, I am going to give you insights on branding plans through case studies for "fake" businesses.

This fake case study is inspired by a question Erika asked me during our free call.

So, Emma Stone sells these amazing spice blends that she makes herself.  Her spice blends have a worldly influence and are inspired by some of the places she visited while traveling.  She has a mailing list for deals and a website for people to buy the spices. She has a twitter and a facebook but she has no idea how to use those to get more business.

Ok, this is what I would do:

  1. Take full advantage of the story of the spices: feature photography from the places the spices came from and create little  music videos or simple slideshows that talk about the history of the spices. She could feature a new place and spice blend every month with a special deal to go along with it.
  2. Get people to participate: Use social media to consistently promote the month’s features and ask people to share their own experiences with the places and the food.  Collect photos and travel stories.
  3. Give them the tools. The blog should regularly feature recipes that use the spice blends as a main ingredient. Create shopping list/recipe cards that people can buy or print out. Encourage customers  to send pictures of  their recipes to get a coupon code and feature the dishes on the site
  4. Help them out in a branded way:– Trace the origins of the spices through a tour of the cities they came from – give advice about the best hotels and must-sees around the country


Other engagement ideas:

-          Create branded postcards and send them randomly to people on your list – just as a thank you

-          A line of digital/real cookbooks

-        Reviews of cookware

-      Guest chef features and restaurant reviews


See? Way more than your garden variety mailing list and website combo right? There is SO much more you can do and she wouldn't need that many resources to do a lot of these.

Do you sell/make something? Ask yourself these questions:

How can I help people experience it? How can I SHOW them why this product is so awesome?

What is the story? How can I leverage the story to do something bigger?

How can I help make their life easier in an unexpected way?

What does my target market need that I don't provide directly but can help them out with?

Why will people love it?


Next up…. Coaches! Coming soon!




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