Branding 101: The Absolute Basics

What is Branding?

In essence, branding is how you tell the world who you are and what you do. Effective branding tells potential customers what they can expect from you, your products and your services. It differentiates you from other photographers, and is an underlying influence on every action your company takes.

While your branding includes your company name, logo, color palette and tagline, it goes a lot deeper than that - especially in a photography business. Branding is what defines who you are and how you want to be perceived.

Design by Ashley Jones via behance.net 

Brand Identity

Identity: a strong word. We all know what ‘identity’ means in the context of an individual: it’s what makes you who you are. The same strength of that word carries over into your brand identity…

  • What makes your brand what it is? 
  • What do you stand for? 
  • What characteristics and traits does your brand have that draw other people to you?

Just as your identity underpins your actions as an individual, a well-established brand identity has the power to inform everything you have to offer as a brand. From the nature of your customer service, all the way to your finished product, your brand identity will shine through in every aspect of your business. 

Your Ideal Customer

You can’t please everyone all of the time - and you don’t want to! By clearly defining the ‘ideal customer’ for your brand, you’ll be able to carve a niche for your brand that appeals specifically to those people. 

  • Who are your absolute favourite people to work with? 
  • How old are they?
  • What are their personality traits? 
  • Where do they shop? 
  • What sort of fashion catches their eye?

The more specific you are when considering your ideal customers, the easier it will be to create branding that will appeal to them, and bring them to you.

Image by La Rousse Weddings 

Tying it All Together… 

If you haven’t done so before, it’s time to apply these branding ideas to your photography company. Start brainstorming about who you are and how you want to be perceived by others. Who are you, and what sets you apart from other photographers? What connects you to your ideal clients? 

Once you’ve thought of all of the characteristics that describe you and your service, how you would like to be perceived, and who your ideal customer is, start to look for themes. What connections and common threads start to show?

Your branding needs to be the intersection of your brand identity and your ideal client. How do your products and services meet the needs of your perfect audience?

Finally, branding is only effective when it has completely seeped through your whole business. This is called brand consistency. You must be true to your brand in every element of your business, from how you answer emails and interact with clients on your shoots, to how you package your finished photographic product. 

Above design by Cristina Martinez 

 

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