In today's interconnected world, the premise of brand-building gets increasingly broader and more hazy. You may be familiar with the term "brand," but do you know what it takes to build one?
Building a brand is a journey of self-awareness, conviction, and finding yourself in your business. Whether you're a CEO, a marketing expert, a freelancer, or even a regular joe, if you want to make an impact, you need to get your branding right.
Every business name and logo you see today is a product of labor-intensive branding.
The business card you received at that executive function didn’t just appear out of thin air. Someone put immense thought and heart into its design before deciding to hand it out for the world to see.
As an entrepreneur, building a brand for your business is a never-ending effort. But know this: The companies that invest in establishing great brands have a substantial competitive edge.
While the rewards are sweet, the journey to get there rarely is. But we want to change that.
Branding can be fun, quick, and easy with #BrandInMinutes
With our Brand Plan, it’s simpler than ever to #BrandInMinutes with our collection of professional branding templates and tools to help you launch the brand you’ve dreamt of for so long.
The only way to understand the impact of having a #BrandInMinutes is to take a dive into the stories of entrepreneurs who have had to make it happen on their own.
And Eunsook Choi of Forgano is the perfect example of this.
We spoke to Eunsook about her journey in building her brand for Forgano.
Hopefully, her inspiring story can motivate new entrepreneurs, such as you, to take the leap and get your businesses out there.
1. Tell us about your business.
As a nurse, I have sincere empathy for the nurses who survived this unpredictable pandemic. For many of them, 2020 was their first year in the profession.
At my hospital, I worked in the COVID ICU when the virus first came to the United States in March of 2020, so I was able to see the chaos firsthand and the huge responsibility that was placed on our shoulders.
Needless to say, they have been through a lot. I felt a purpose in my heart to bring a gift to these nurses. Something they could get excited about.
And so I brought them a new line of trendy nursing shoes that they could match with their scrubs and express their personality. In other words, I was motivated by something bigger than myself.
Flashy cars and fancy boats are nice, but as an entrepreneur, they are not enough to win your heart and get you through those difficult times.
I have been a nurse for 13 years, and I had no background in business and entrepreneurship. My mother has been running her clothing shop for 40 years in the same location and is doing great, but she did not teach me how to run a small business.
Therefore, every step to making my new nursing shoe brand has been challenging.
From making ideas, identifying target audiences, contacting manufacturers, setting up 3PL, and running social media accounts — I had to think about things I never thought about or been interested in my life. I was just a normal girl who liked to go shopping or explore restaurants, so I have been learning every day since I started my business.
After I made detailed ideas about my business, I did it all step by step. I set up my budget as self-funding and found the right deal with a manufacturer. I was not aware how tough and complex it was. I was ignorant at that time.
If I knew it was this hard, I would not start a business. However, I have set up my products and got pre-orders. I am so proud of myself for doing this.
2. How did you go about building a brand for your business?
When I was making my logo design, I asked a freelancer on Fiverr for help. He charged me $10 and made multiple styles, and those were great. However, I did not like any of the designs for my business, plus the only difference they had was the font.
Therefore, I decided to make the logo design myself. I searched online and found this website Looka. The only reason I made my logos on this website was because it was the first one in my search list. I tried multiple fonts, styles, and colors. I also added a ‘cross’ in ‘O,’ so it represents a healthcare-related business.
I liked the logo I made, but when it came to making a ‘thank you card’, I requested a freelancer in Fiverr again because I already had card ideas in detail and images. I just did not have special Photoshop skills. It turned out great, and I printed a ‘thank you card’ and put it in my shoe boxes.
The logo-making process took a couple of weeks, and it took longer than I expected. It was not a waste of time, but I needed to try a freelancer, and I also needed to make it myself since I did not like what the freelancer did.
If I had someone who fully understood and had high skills in design and charged reasonable prices, it would be a much easier and faster process.
3. In your opinion, how important is it for a business to build a credible brand?
It’s not enough to say how important it is to build a credible brand. It is necessary and the most fundamental element.
As an e-commerce business, a customer's first impression is the branding, which includes logos, website, and products. Since customers can’t experience or try it in person, they assume the product’s quality and credibility from the branding.
I particularly like this brand, Nom Nom, which is a dog food brand.
We can understand the brand identity by the brand name, which sounds like eating, and it’s fun and cute. When we visit the website, we can see many adorable dogs eating the brand’s food, and they all look happy.
In my opinion, this brand shows its brand clearly through branding.
4. How did you get your first customers?
I am still in the pre-order stage and my products have just been shipped in LA and will be delivered to my warehouse in Indiana soon. I am very introverted, so it was very difficult to tell people that I started my business.
I had a lot of fears, like what if they told me my products are bad or said something negative about myself since I have a full-time job, so I might look like I'm not focused on my current job.
Even though I had those fears, I told my friends and co-workers and asked them to share my story. They were very excited. It meant a lot to me, and some already pre-ordered my products and gave a lot of compliments.
They share my business on their social media and promote my products for me. I was so impressed by how people are very supportive and help each other. I also work very hard and sometimes work overtime at my hospital, so my co-workers also did not judge me or look at me as a neglectful employee.
Now I am working with micro-influencers and nano-influencers on social media with details like engagement rates, posting, ambassador activities, etc. Promotions will also start May 6th since that’s National Nursing Week, so I am going to promote and get more exposure.
I have many plans in terms of marketing, but I am still in the starting stages. I don’t have much to say, but I am very happy that I opened my business to my friends, even though it was just the first step that I had to overcome.
5. What are your future plans with respect to building your business?
I make nursing shoes for young nurses and nursing students specifically. Our shoes are well designed for these audiences and are comfortable for long work shifts in the healthcare environment.
My goals are to develop my brand as fun and adorable hospital work gear like shoes, bags, and so on for these future nurses. New grad nurses could match them with their scrubs and express their personality.
Therefore, Forgano is creating a new fashion culture for the healthcare employees who work on the front line to work hard while feeling cool.
Over To You
Branding has no exact formula to it, but we do know there are a few key characteristics impactful brands have in common.
And it might be tempting to look at the successful businesses and say, “I’ll take that brand, please!” But what makes a brand work is how it speaks to you.
What makes your business authentically you? Businesses that manage to be true to who they are, what they do, and why they do it are able to create lasting, evolving connections with their audiences. This authenticity is the core of your branding.
What are you waiting for? Shine bright and #BrandInMinutes today!