4 Branding Tips From Australia’s Top Jewellery Designer, Samantha Wills
If there is one thing Australian jewellery designer, Samantha Wills, is very clear about when it comes her eponymous brand, it is this – a brand is not a product.
The founder and creative director of the wildly successful jewellery line told a conference of women entrepreneurs that the Samantha Wills brand is more than her famous Bohemian Bardot Rings.
“A brand is not one item; it is an idea, it is a theory,” she said. “It is how you carry yourself. It is aspirational and inspirational. Your product or service as a business makes up a small sliver of what your brand is but it is not your brand.”
Here is what she has to say about creating a beloved brand with 200,000 Instagram followers and fans that are not just customers but serious collectors of her jewellery.
Tell A Good And Authentic Brand Story
“Anyone can do products. The real value is if you can tell stories. A good brand is a good storyteller, and the best brands in the world tell very good stories. Think of Kate Spade, Ralph Lauren, Tiffany and Taylor Swift. We can all connect to their story.
When I see an opportunity that is relative to our journey or our message or our values, I create a product that I think would work with that. And then I link it to a story. That is where the emotional connection lives.
It is very important that everything about your brand is authentic and told authentically. People can smell a fabricated story from a mile away. We are living in the age of the informed consumer, and the digital age makes everything transparent so the need for authenticity is crucial.”
Your Content Must Translate Onto Mobile
“In a time when 80 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 24 own smart phones, mobile content is absolutely everything. How are you engaging with your fans and followers on a mobile device? If you are not talking about mobile in your business, you need to do that right now. I have seen so many companies with incredible websites but when you click onto their mobile version, you cannot read anything.
Always work from a mobile version backwards. When we were designing our new website, my business partner made it very, very clear that we were not to start with a beautiful desktop design. He told us to cut out the size of a mobile screen on a piece of paper, put it over our desktop design and see for ourselves how most people would be viewing our brand. So we started from there and worked backwards.”
Know Your Followers
“Who are the core consumers who are spending money on you? How are you interacting with them, and how do they respond to engagement? It is not enough to just push content at them. Today’s consumer is very savvy. They do not want to be spoken to; they want to be part of the conversation. So how are you doing that and how is that relevant to your brand?
Knowing your followers is crucial when your brand evolves because you will have to go with that evolution without leaving your core consumers behind. I know what my brand will look like next year but if I start talking about that on Instagram now, I guarantee I will lose half my followers because I am not giving them the information that could take them along on that journey.”
Perception Is Reality
“Think big, act big and most importantly, dream big. Do you own a website? If so, then you are the CEO of your business and your business card should say that. Dreaming big also means dressing for the job you want, not for the job you have. Do not say, “I will invest more in content when I’m bigger.” You need to invest in content now.
Every area of your personal and professional brand needs to look like you have already made it. And when it does, people will look at you and your brand differently.”
Image credit: Samantha Wills
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