21st March 2019
Continuing our series on the benefits of the professional development programmes at Cockpit Arts, this post looks at branding and marketing.
We see the surge in the number of people setting up craft businesses in recent years as a positive, but a more crowded marketplace means it’s vital that makers both understand marketing channels and differentiate themselves with a clear brand identity. As the only creative business incubator for craftspeople in the UK, Cockpit Arts offers makers plenty of support with marketing and branding. Makers benefit both from one-to-one sessions with our team and workshops as part of the London Creative Network (LCN) programme.
Jeweller Michelle Fernandez explains how the support she’s received from Cockpit Arts has encouraged her to focus on “my work’s place in the market, pinpointing who my customers are, and knowing how to connect with them more effectively both in person and via social media.” She also added: “Practical talks tackling issues of time management or finance are balanced by workshops exploring more elusive aspects, such as how to convey your core values through your work and everything that supports that aim, from the product photos you take, to the wording you use.”
Tying down core company values and brand personality is essential for a strong, consistent brand message, which helps makers reach and engage the right audience. Fflur Owen, who creates hand-sculpted leather pieces, comments: “I have managed to nail down the message I want my brand to say about me and my work. This was very useful when going about creating and designing logos and marketing information.”
Cockpit Arts based ceramicist Tessa Eastman states, “I can see my progress as I’m now much more confident at self-promotion. I’m aware of the variety of tools I can use and I’ve learnt what my core values are and how to communicate these clearly to clients.”
Sarah Herriot, a jeweller based at Cockpit Arts, claims that after the programme she understands how to make better use of her website as well as “how to drive traffic to it and maintain connections.”
Marketing a craft business involves exploring opportunities as well as pitching and selling. According to the following makers, these are areas they got a lot of support with on the programme.
Cockpit Arts based textile designer Olivia Holland says, “I have learnt about how to manage production, how to approach and pitch to buyers, how to be confident when selling and how to best market my brand and get myself seen – and much more!”
Furniture maker Robert Brain said, “Refining my values as a business has been key. It has allowed me to be clear in how I communicate about my business and having clarity about what opportunities to pursue now and which to put on hold.”
And jeweller Emma Farquharson has put some clear goals in place, “Based on the information I’ve acquired on the programme, within the next year I will have re-worked my website and approached five new outlets to sell the distinctive work with which I want my jewellery to be associated.”
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Top – Ties by Olivia J Holland, photo by Jamie Trounce; middle – Fflur Owen in her Cockpit Arts studio, photo by Jamie Trounce; ring by Sarah Herriot, photo by Full Focus Photography