Well hello there, how you doing? You got clean pants on? Good for you! And if not that’s okay as well, we live in strange times and however you are getting by is all cool! Up until a bat in a wet market in Wuhan ruined it for everyone, I was happily doing my job shooting people for a living. I should probably introduce myself, I’m Jenny and I am a photographer and proud owner of JB Moments Photography. Now, in lockdown I have plenty of time to navel gaze so when Jill reached out to see if I wanted to do a guest blog for Kuka Studios I was like, hell yeah!
In marketing 101 we are taught that having a brand is important. We talk about Coca Cola, Ford and Apple as huge brands that we identify (or not) with. But when we get down to it for our business, what is a brand?
Seth Godin defines, “A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one service over another.” Put another way a brand is an experience.
When I was dreaming about leaving my dreary banking career to pursue my passion of photography I asked myself these three questions:
- What does my brand do?
- What three words best describe my brand?
- What experiences can I create around my brand?
What do I do?
That’s simple, right? Take photos. Well, yes but if you take a little time to really think about your answer to this question you can think about it in the following ways:
- Do I help solve a problem? (e.g. travel agent solves complicated travel plans for customers).
- Do I help people achieve something? (e.g. a hairdresser helps their clients achieve a new look).
- Do I diminish fears? (e.g. Kuka Studios takes away the fear of online marketing for their clients).
So with that in mind I capture people’s moments in a way that makes them smile (I help to achieve something).
Three little words
The words that you chose are a reflection of you, not just your business. Back to my dreary bank role and I got my co-workers involved. I gave them a selection of my images and lots of descriptive words and asked them to each pick the three words that best described my work. I ranked all the responses and got my top three. It was an interesting exercise and it came up with the words that I still use today: Fun, Contemporary and Romantic.
If you don’t have the luxury of a captive audience then ask yourself: who are you trying to attract?; how do you want your audience to feel?; what impression do you want associated with your brand? Then try out your words on friends and family. you’ll know when they feel right.
When you understand what your brand does, and focus on what you stand for, you can create experiences. Then you can create a consistent message on social media, your website, customer communications, etc.
Some of the experiences I’ve created for my clients include: prep guides to get the best out of the session, super quick turnaround of images, free gifts with certain shoots, etc.
Before developing my brand on social media and with clients I first needed a website and a logo. I fundamentally believe these are your shop window and are worth getting right. I tried to design my own logo, it sucked! And yes there are a whole host of apps that will design a logo for you but they are bland and generic and look the same as everybody else. Likewise you can set up your own generic website but I personally believe the investment in a design studio like Kuka is worth its weight in gold (and btw it’s nowhere near as expensive as you think it will be).
Having my brand definition and key words already defined made a huge difference when I first met Jill and Harry the brains and beauty behind Kuka Studios. I knew I didn’t want a traditional wedding style website with lots of white backgrounds and flowing script fonts (not that there is anything wrong with that but I’m not solely a wedding photographer and it doesn’t reflect my personality/brand). Kuka smashed it (and no they haven’t paid me to say that). My logo is so me and my brand, I still love it 3 years on and I have it plastered on literally everything! Likewise whilst the pages on my website have evolved and changed, the bold colours, font and style don’t and they are also reflected in any social media posting I do. I do a lot of work for the University of Stirling and the first thing they said to me was, “we loved your website, it’s so different, fun and feels like you are chatting to a friend.” Yes, that’s what we want!
If you have your brand description, key words and experiences but need images either of your product or personal branding or both get in touch, I’d love to shoot you 🙂