“Humans use brands to project who we want to be in the world, how we want people to perceive us, and how we want to communicate what we feel about ourselves and our place in society.” Debbie Millman
‘Branding’ or ‘brand design’ can be interpreted in many ways and the way to go about it can also be accomplished in many different ways. In this short blog article I am going to briefly look at what branding is, what it might mean to a creative business and how to prepare for a branding project to best ‘brand’ your business.
Firstly, branding is not a physical or visual object or a logo, branding is the conceptual idea which lies behind and underpins the logo or name of a business. You have to look at what you are now, where you have come from when you started your business and where you want it to go in the future. The logo is only the visual representation of what lies beneath. To accomplish good branding you need to look at who you are and what you are about, what you do and why you do it, what values you hold, what is important to you, what unique qualities you can give to your clients, what makes you different to others and how you best communicate to your customers to encourage them to trust you and essentially buy into your services and brand.
If you are a wedding photographer you might want to think about the couples that you have photographed… when did you really connect with them? When did you do your best work? Which couples and shoots made you feel happiest and in your element? How did you make the couples feel and how do you want to make them feel? What are your favourite images and why? What was the feedback your clients gave you, did you connect with a certain couple more than other ones and would you want to ‘brand’ your business to attract the type of client you bonded with most? These are the type of questions that when answered honestly you will be able translate into your brand and through its visual representation attract more of the type of clients and business that you want.
It is important to understand that just having a logo will not in itself make your target clients want to book you. You will need to define exactly what your business is about and what makes your target clients tick so that with the aid of a professional designer this can be translated into your brand and the design of the various visual elements of your business such as website, paperwork, promotional material etc. The branding will also need to have a good life span so it is important to ask yourself where you want to be in 2/3 years and what you want to accomplish over that time.
Further reading about branding; Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits by Debbie Millman
Wally Olins: http://wallyolins.com