Your Branding is Not Just a Logo
Solid branding goes far beyond your logo... it includes your fonts, colors, voice, underlying message, photography, packaging and customer service, among other things. As a photographer, working with all sorts of companies and professionals, a huge part of what I do deals with branding. Photography is a major part of branding, and plays a crucial part in creating a feel for your business and attracting the right sort of client.
I work with a lot of startup businesses and solopreneurs at different stages of their businesses and with varying budgets to establish imagery that matches and enhances their branding... whether through stock photography or a custom promotional/commercial photo shoot. Cohesively matching your imagery to the aesthetic and message of your branding is essential. In order to do this, my clients need to have solid, streamlined branding already established... or we work on a look for them to incorporate to launch their new branding.
What Nike can Teach You on How Essential Good Branding is to the Success of Your Business
I want to stress how crucial good, solid branding is to the success of your business. Establishing solid, consistent branding is absolutely an integral part of every successful business. Nike would not be what it is today without it's awesome, powerful 'Just do it' branding campaign and killer modern athletic imagery and streamlined look, vision, professionalism and message. Through consistency and state-of-the-art branding, Nike sends a clear message, attracting clients who want to experience a certain feel of innovative, fashion-forward athletic wear.
I invite you to check out Nike's website. Take note of the strong fonts, contrasty colors, clean, professional imagery and overall consistent usage of branding elements throughout the site.
Have you ever walked into a Nike store? How did you feel the moment you walked in the solid glass doors? You were probably engulfed by upbeat, motivational music streaming from their high-end sound system, wooed by ambient lighting, and in awww of the larger-than-life dramatic photographs of gorgeous, muscular athletes in motion. This full experience is Nike's branding. And you were most likely inspired to buy a new pair of sleek runners or a new pair of crazy performance wear that would have the imaginary power to bring out your inner athlete... at top dollar, of course. If you purchased something, you probably enjoyed the feel of being an athletic champion simply by wearing their symbolic 'swoosh'. Nike makes people feel modern, innovative, powerful, hip... all this is the power of good branding.
When it comes to branding, there are many aspects you should think about. If you're just starting out, or wanting to refresh your focus, I thought it would be helpful to give some tips to help guide you through your branding... to help guide you through the overall process of establishing an easy DIY strategy for better branding as a whole for your business/service/venture.
Creating Effective Branding without a Corporate Budget
Chances are, if you're just starting a new business, or working as a solopreneur, you don't have the crazy corporate budget that Nike does for branding. More likely, unless you've set funding aside, you'll settle for DIY branding until you get things off the ground. I highly recommend that you hire a professional branding company as soon as you're able to... a good branding company will do much more than establish a good look... they'll understand your target market and create a look that will attract them. Investing in professional branding is truly worthwhile... even essential.
Until you have the budget and a clear vision of exactly where your business is leading, optimizing your DIY branding is a must. One thing I'd like you to keep in mind while you're going through this process...
Your branding MUST match your price point.
Meaning... do you think Mercedes Benz would allow their dealers to use selfies as their professional headshots, and iPhone photos to advertise their cars? What message would that portray to potential buyers looking to purchase a new car? They'd probably expect to find low-end used car dealership discount prices, not top-of-the-line high-end precision vehicles on a top-dollar sales floor. Mercedes Benz uses only professional, gorgeous photography and branding that they've paid top dollar for, because they're offering top-dollar product and expecting to be compensated accordingly.
So, keeping that in mind, let's get to it...
Here are the 10 easy steps to DIY branding
- Identify your target client
- Choose your 'Tone Words'
- Create a 'Mood Board'
- Pick your Colors
- Choose your Fonts
- Do your Research
- Implement your Personal Style
- Design your Logo
- Be consistent
We'll go over these steps in more detail in each additional segment of this DIY branding series. Following these steps will help guide you through the DIY branding process... it's not easy, but it's SO much easier when you have the steps to guide you.
Love + Wellness,
If you're ready to move forward with your DIY branding, jump to the next step here: DIY Branding in 10 Easy Steps: Part 2 - Identify Your Target Client
Are you ready to jump-start your branding visuals? Head over to the Wellness Stock Shop Photo Store for beautiful, professional, affordable stock photography!