Today we hear companies referred to as brands rather than just companies. The term reflects a marketing focus and development that’s come of age in the new economy. It’s no longer enough to sell a quality product or service at a fair price. Indeed companies need to create their own identity. They need to target a specific demographic and convey a personality or posture. Brands today need to build familiarity and cultivate customer loyalty.
Branding is just as important for photographers as it is for Fortune 500 companies. You have to do more than hang pretty pictures on the wall, show off your wedding album design, and walk prospects through your pricelist. Your brand is more than just your logo or your website. Your brand is what makes you different from every other photographer out there. Maybe you have a certain editing style with your images that sets you apart. Perhaps your lighting is unique or you might be the studio that specializes in wall art, canvas or custom framing. Maybe your work is concentrated on country weddings or urban chic or you’ve developed a signature look in B&W.
In an industry diluted and damaged by digital-only deliveries, professional wedding albums and prints can actually be your niche. Being the studio who’ll deliver memories in a real and tangible way rather than leaving clients to “DIY it” whenever they get around to it can be a powerful differentiator.
If you’ve not done so, spend some time taking the 10,000 foot view of your business and ask yourself a few questions. What exactly is your brand? What kinds of people do your want to attract?. Be as specific as possible including age, gender, socio-economic position, geographic location, career types, etc. Do the people you attract to your business fit this description? What is your unique selling position? How can you more effectively broadcast your specialty? Are you trying to be all things to all people?
Whatever “it” is, your brand should be something you are passionate about and something that you can concentrate on because ultimately your brand is your promise to your customers that says if they hire you for A, B or C, that they will not be disappointed.