You may have signed into Etsy, recently, and cried the same cry the rest of us have, at some point, over the last few week: ‘Where is my shop banner??!!’. For some, the banner is simply quintessential mark of being an Etsy shop. Others feel it’s an important part of their shop branding. Whether Etsy decides to stick with the trial ‘banner-free’ layout or not, the testing alone is stirring up trouble for a lot of Etsy sellers.
And that’s not Etsy’s fault.
While we all love having a big, personalized sign on our shop just like a brick-and-mortar store, you have to ask yourself this: If a brick and mortar store’s sign fell, or a light broke and it had to be taken down for repair, would their entire shop lose branding? Nope. If Kohl’s, Target, Victoria Secret, or Old Navy didn’t have a sign on the front, I can almost guarantee you would still know the store on sight.
As Etsy sellers, we don’t want to be Old Navy. That’s why we make handmade items. However, we can take many of the principles of branding and marketing and apply them to our work as well. And, we should, if we expect to be successful.
When Etsy takes away the shop banner, what are we left with? Photos. And our product photos are exactly where the majority of our branding should be in an online shopping platform. They should stand out in such a way that people not only want to click on them, but so your products are recognized right in the search function, or even on Pinterest, before the customer ever makes it into your (potentially banner-less) shop.
Lets take a look at some Etsy sellers who are getting branding right – even on a budget!
Jessica at Twisted Tree Occasions has stuck with the popular white background a lot of sellers use on Etsy. Many feel this is necessary in order to land on a front-page treasury, but you can absolutely have a successful Etsy shop without the treasuries and front-page listing. This background works well, however, for Jessica’s products. She helps her photos stand out from others in the ‘search’ pages by adding brightly colored string to each of her photos which, in turn, brings a cohesive look to her shop as a whole. (Sidenote: Jessica also has great branding in her original shop, Twisted Tree Supplies, where you can find adorable labels, tags, packaging, and findings!)
Lisa from ElainaDesignStudios is one of thousands of jewelry sellers on Etsy. It’s easy for your photos and shop to get lost in the Etsy jewelry world. Lisa uses vintage books and the same patterned backdrop in her photos, but not in all of them. In some photos, you can’t see the backdrop. In others, she doesn’t use books. However, you can spot her photos in a search and, once you click on her shop, the photos all work together well while providing different elements of interest.
KJ, from Lit & Co., is one of my favorite sellers who has moved away from the standard white backgrounds. Not only do the photos stand out in a search because they are bold and different, but KJ uses the product packaging right in the branding of her store. This is an excellent, smart move for many reasons: 1) It’s hard for someone to claim your products as theirs and steal your photos. 2) Branding, branding, branding! 3) You’re saving time and money and 4) Customers on Etsy LOVE cute packaging, so you’re showing them a selling point of your products while bringing together the branding and look of your shop.
Kass, from The Seed Supply, also uses super cute packaging and logos in her product photography. The packaging in these photos pull triple duty – 1) They bring together the aesthetic of the shop as a whole. 2) They bring the shop name and sometimes logo into the shop itself – useful if the photos are posted elsewhere OR if Etsy banners disappear completely and 3) They show customers how cute and useful the seed packaging is – no more drawers full of little envelopes! The branding for The Seed Supply is the same across the board – Kass uses the same fonts, photo filters, and lighting in her Pinterest photos, Facebook photos, and on the store website!
So there you have it – branding, without an Etsy banner!