Building your brand
Your brand isn’t the same as your niche. While your niche is how you fit into the market, your brand is how you communicate your market position and values to prospective buyers. Let’s use our budget-friendly wedding photographer example again.
Who are you, as a brand?
Within their community, this photographer is known for being the reliable, cost-efficient choice for capturing couples’ special days. She’s at every backyard wedding, every short-notice and second marriage, and vow renewals for couples who want something small, but special. She doesn’t book a ton of clients looking for extensive packages or those having their receptions at the ultra-luxe reception hall in town; her bread and butter is smaller, more intimate gatherings. That’s her brand.
Think of your brand as your business’ personality. Every brand you interact with has one: Taco Bell’s is irreverent and a bit edgy, Starbucks’ is sophisticated and fits your on-the-go lifestyle, Subaru is built for the outdoors and able to take on whatever nature throws your way, and Target is friendly, affordable, and a quirky kind of chic.
Ask yourself the following questions to determine your brand:
- What is my price range?
- Who is my target customer?
- What services do I provide?
- What perks do I offer alongside those services?
- How do my offer and price range compare with the competition?
- What are my business’ values?
- How am I different from my competitors?
- What kind of experience can a client expect when they interact with me?
Developing your brand identity
To filter out the couples who aren’t the right fit and attract the couples who are, our photographer developed a brand identity. Your brand identity is the collection of design choices you make to communicate your brand, such as:
- Your logo
- Your brand colors
- Your brand voice
- Your brand name and tagline
We subconsciously associate certain colors and shapes with specific emotions and traits. For example, red typically communicates passion, urgency, and even anger while blue tends to communicate calmness. Similarly, circles tend to feel “friendlier” than squares and triangles, which tend to feel reliable and full of action, respectively.
Successful brands use these associations to develop their brand identities. For our hypothetical photographer, a circular logo might be the best choice because it communicates friendliness and openness, rather than exclusivity. Similarly, she might opt for light, friendly colors like lemon yellow and pastel pink; delicate colors that feel appropriate for wedding photography, but not as heavy and formal as navy, silver, or black.