The third and final post written by Ecole Chocolat graduate Brooke Willis of B Cocoa Artisan Chocolates! In this three part series, Brooke has shared the story of developing a brand identity for her chocolate business, including naming her business and designing her logo. If you missed the first two posts in the series, click here to read Part 1 and Part 2! And now, Brooke tells the story of designing her website, and her tips to DIY and save yourself some money!
Building Your Website
by Brooke Willis
I am NOT web savvy, I was strictly a print girl back in my design days, so I held off on my website for a very long time. I also didn’t have a big budget so I slowly added to each part my company as it grew and as demand increased. When I had enough people asking for my website, I finally caved. I knew that I needed a good collection of quality photos of my products or else it would have been a waste of my time to begin a website. Hiring a photographer can be expensive and if you have a decent camera you can set up a tiny tabletop studio in your kitchen and take them yourself. I kept and still keep my costs down by photographing my own chocolate and I do this every time I create a new batch or flavor so I can constantly update my photos.
A simple design rule to remember when setting up a shot is to photograph in odd groups. Three chocolate truffles or two with one cut in half to make a visual representation of three shapes always balances better than two. It’s just a simple design rule I use with my photos. Also, white always photographs well and clean, you can also remove the background for other designs later if you keep it a solid white background. I use my white cutting board for my white background and a white plate for my base and I photograph everything in front of my window over my kitchen sink with my basic DSLR camera. Nothing fancy here! And the joy of technology today is that programs like iPhoto and other simple editing software allow you to make edits to your photos that can help them appear more professional. And, once again, if you take advantage of the monthly Adobe Photoshop option you can edit your photos using professional software.
After I had some quality images, I built my website myself over a weekend using a free website builder. There are many “free” web design sites and I found it was a lot easier than I expected and I also think that the time I took to understand and develop my brand help speed up the website development process. I used www.wix.com to develop my site. I also decided to shorten my name for the web address because I kept messing up the spelling of my site when I would type in bcocoaartisanchocolate.com. It was way too long of a name so I settled on taking the “artisan” out to make for and easier web address for others to type.
I have saved thousands of dollars on design and branding because I took time and consideration when creating B Cocoa and this has made my modest, home-based chocolate business appear professional and consistent with every order.
There are a lot of great websites and companies that helped me save money developing B Cocoa and am always open to answer questions or to pass on what I’ve learned in the design process for B Cocoa, best of luck to all my chocolate friends!
Thank you so much to Brooke for sharing the story of creating her brand and all of her expertise!
How did you create the brand identity for your chocolate business? Did you do any of the design work yourself? Tell us about it in the comments!