In a time before Pinterest, Dering Hall and LuxDeco, the interior designer was everything. Benefitting from trade accounts and insider knowledge, they were the go-to for those seeking luxury home improvements – their services a necessity. The explosion of the internet and online mood-boarding, however, have given the consumer a better idea of what they can do for themselves. This narrows the field of interior design, and creates a more difficult landscape for those launching a new brand.
It is widely believed that new businesses fail for one of two reasons – lack of demand and lack of cash flow. Whilst amazing schools such as KLC School of Design teach their students how to become interior designers, many graduates in creative fields do not know the fundamentals of making a business work. At Camberyard, we believe building and launching a new business is similar to designing a home. Just as a house built with four kitchens, one bedroom and no bathrooms would be deemed a failure, launching your brand without a business plan is unlikely to succeed.
Instead of jumping ahead, think back to your initial design. Just as you would when fulfilling a client’s brief, have you worked out the key elements of your plan? Do you know what you want it to look like? Have you aligned your vision with your goals?
It can be difficult to know where to start, so when launching your interior design studio, keep these points in mind:
CREATING YOUR BRAND
You know you want to launch your own brand. Now you must consider:
- What will you be known for?
- How do your ideas compare to your competitors’?
- What unique characteristics will you bring to your business?
- What will your business do for you?
You cannot launch a successful brand if you don’t have a detailed vision and an idea of where it will take you. Do your research and take your time; you’ll be glad you put the groundwork in.
YOUR BRAND NAME, LOGO AND MATERIALS ARE IMPORTANT
The first thing potential clients will see when they hear about you is your name, logo or marketing material. Therefore, it is important to ensure everything you put out there accurately reflects your fledgling brand, and creates the feeling you want to convey. When looking at your branding, remember to ‘Think Globally and Act Locally’ – you want to be easily recognised on a wider scale, but you also want to build a reputation in your home environment. Choosing a name that fits, and that you won’t easily tire of, is a process that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Remember, you will be known by this name, so it needs to be one you are happy with! If you plan on expanding your services, don’t choose a name that limits you. Adding ‘interior design’ to your brand name, for example, might put the brakes on any future endeavours outside the field.
When it comes to designing your logo and marketing materials, unless you are comfortable creating them yourself, always work with a professional. There are places within a new business where corners can be cut – this is not one of them.
Create your name, logo and marketing materials – and you have a brand! To form an integrated, easily recognisable overall look, your branding should be consistent across all your materials. And as your brand develops, it is important to stay true to your original branding. The moment your branding becomes confused, your client becomes confused. And if a client doesn’t know who you are, or understand where you’re coming from, they aren’t going to stay to see what happens next. Hard work and consistency breed success, so decide exactly who you are going to be when you launch your brand, and do everything you can to make it happen!