Tips for Florist Branding
If I were to ask you who your ideal client is, how would you respond? A lot of folks reply with saccharine platitudes about serving all people, all styles, and all budgets. But the unfortunate reality is that we can’t be everything to everyone. It is doing the clients a disservice when we try to serve all styles at any price point. One of the best things you can do for your business and your clients is to niche down early and identify who your true ideal client is.
In addition to my work in the Wedding Industry, by day I am a marketing manager and have had years of experience in sales. Even still, I’ll be the first to admit I made the mistake of not properly defining my audience, not in one, but two of my businesses!
In 2008, I opened a custom wedding gown design company. I was arguably pretty young, and it was my first actual entrepreneurial effort. I would make anything the clients asked. I was always scrambling to accommodate their budgets and desired design details, whether they were feasible or not. I had the skills and a high standard for the work I delivered, so what suffered at the end of the day was my paycheck and my satisfaction with the business. I wasn’t designing gowns that were truly my style either. I found myself dreading the work, and I dreaded the client consults and deliveries as well. I didn't feel good about the process, and that made me question my talents and skills, wondering if I even deserved to make a real living as a designer.
After I closed up shop on the gown business, I vowed only ever to do work that I felt aligned with my values and aesthetic. When it came time to start the branding and preliminary work for my Wedding Planning business, this value was front and center. My second mistake was that I did not consider the budgets of my hypothetical future clients. I wanted to be accessible and help people who were planning DIY weddings. The problem was that I ended up undervaluing my work again. I quickly learned that a rebrand away from budget-focused, DIY clients was going to be necessary if I ever wanted to have a viable business and livable income. I loved the work I was doing and my clients, but still could not afford to live on planning alone.
So in 2017, I sat down and thought hard about my ideal clients and the direction I needed to take my brand. I applied everything I knew about marketing and target audience and actually began walking the walk, instead of just talking the talk.
Who is your brand speaking to?
The first thing you should do if you feel you are not reaching the right people with your brand is to ask who those people are. What are their personalities like? What do they do for fun? Where do they hang out on weekends? What is their job? What music do they listen to? Where do they live? Dig deep and create a mental picture of your ideal client, their aesthetic, and their values.
Do you identify with your ideal client? You certainly do not have to, but you will have a far easier time relating to them and speaking to them if you feel connected and understand their lifestyle and needs. We are not necessarily our ideal client. Often we share personality traits or aesthetics, but there could be other details that are different, such as age, household income, and lifestyle.
Now put yourself in their shoes. How would your ideal client react to your current branding and marketing messages? Be honest with yourself. You need to make sure that your ideal client identifies with and responds positively to your branding.