Do you have a sticky brand?
A sticky brand is one that people talk about and remember. It’s a brand that has its own unique personality that can’t be replicated.
If you have an established business it could be time to refresh your brand. And if you’re just starting out, don’t rush in and take a slap dash approach to your branding, take a moment to look at the big picture and work out the best direction for your business.
Wherever you’re at in your business, this handy list of key branding elements will give you a clear indication of where you’re at and what you need to focus on.
As you go through the list think about them as they relate to your own business.
Ask yourself if each aspect fits together to enhance your overall brand and reinforces your brand positioning. If not, see where you can make adjustments so they do work together.
Remember, a memorable, meaningful brand is one that feels genuine and includes all of these key branding elements:
1. Identifiable style
This is your photographic style. It includes what you photograph and how you do it. Your style is why people will choose you as their photographer. Take a moment to review your current photographic style. Does it fall in line with how you want your brand to be perceived? Are there any changes you need to make?
2. Clear product focus
The products you offer your clients need to showcase your photography style while at the same time suit your client’s wants and needs.
For example, do you shoot the ‘story’ because you’re shooting with an album in mind, or are you going for that one killer image to hang as wall art?
Take a minute to outline your product focus. Do your current products match up with the way you shoot and what your clients want? If not, what do you need to change?
3. Studio environment
Your studio is also a reflection of your brand. The look and feel of it, and the way it makes clients feel when they enter is all part of the brand experience.
Even if you don’t have a studio, the way you present yourself (how you dress, talk on the phone etc.) will be a reflection of your brand.
Think about what you want your brand to say to your ideal clients and infuse that into the way you present yourself and/or your studio. This comes down to being your true self. Don’t try to be what you think clients will want.
Clients are, after all, just people, and people love to connect on a personal level. If you’re trying to be something you’re not, clients will see through it.
Always be your 100% authentic self.
4. The Experience
The customer service you provide for your clients is what keeps them talking about you to their friends. Provide an experience that creates an emotional bond with your clients. Customer service is a huge opportunity for all service providers to create a fantastic experience.
Nowadays, everything is so automated personal interaction can be almost non-existent. Go the extra mile for your clients. You have the opportunity to set yourself apart from the sea of other photographers by providing a top shelf experience.
Pro Tip: the best opportunity you have to really shine is when something unexpected comes up and needs a fix. Fix it quickly, and with a smile, and it will do wonders for your word of mouth referrals.
5. Cohesive marketing identity
Every touch point for your studio has to have a consistent look and feel. Don’t confuse clients with a brand identity crisis. Keep all of your branding elements consistent, including design, fonts, brand colors, graphics etc.
If you’re launching a new brand and you’ve had an identity package created, make sure you wait until all pieces are ready so you don’t confuse your clients. An “Identity Package” includes all of your marketing pieces from business cards, flyers and brochures to website and social media graphics.
Take a look at your current brand identity – does it all have the same look and feel? Are you using the same logo, color schemes, fonts in all of your promotional material and across your website? If not, make those adjustments now so you don’t confuse clients.
Pro Tip: the best way to make sure you have consistency in a brand is to hire a pro. Graphic designers don’t have to break the bank either. You could do a contra, find a student in art school, or maybe a friend who does it on the side.
To start creating a memorable brand, look at how all of these elements are working together (or not).
Is your brand being received in the way you intended? If you’re too close to your own business and you can’t see the forest for the trees, try asking some past clients or trusted friends and colleagues how they perceive your brand.
Ask them what words they might use to describe your brand. Does it match up with the words you would use yourself to describe your brand?
One of my favorite quotes about branding is from Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room”.
So, a good place to start is to ask yourself, ‘how do I want people to talk about my brand when I’m not around?
Branding can get overwhelming. It encompasses everything we do in our business from blogging to business cards, web graphics to emails, professional bios to our daily tweets and the whole shebang.
That’s why I’ve put together a branding workbook that breaks it all down for you and helps you build a brilliant (& profitable) brand. Grab you free workbook HERE!