In our effort to maintain transparency and show our process as a concrete example I thought I would tackle this little subject of branding vs. brand identity. I have mentioned before that in my ‘real’ life what I do is branding/brand direction. Since my babe has arrived I haven’t been taking on many projects because it is an intense process and I don’t have the time right now. It is something that is always on the forefront of my mind though and I am very happy that we have been able to utilize this skill set in even a small way in our Foto Rx business (there’s a cheeky medical theme that I hope has been obvious). I think it has really set a tone and framework to come up with brilliant ideas with the always brilliant Michelle, such as this ‘eye chart’ that she designed for our ‘shop doc’s’ (get it ‘doc’s’?) I have to say I thought it was pure genius on Michelle’s part. I did want to speak to the concept of branding versus identity today, because I think that as branding becomes more part of the every day vernacular it seems to be losing it’s meaning and is being used to describe brand identity (logo’s/packaging). This quote from brand guru/modern marketing Godfather Seth Godin really hits the nail on the head:
Spend 10,000 times as much time and money on your brand as you spend on your logo.
Your logo is a referent, a symbol, a reminder of your brand.
But your brand is a story, a set of emotions and expectations and a stand-in for how we think and feel about what you do.
I think defining brand as ‘your story’ is an accessible way to go about building your brand (whether it be a physical product, a blog, your services). There’s much intensity that goes into creating a brand, the visuals are only one aspect (and yes, I believe they play a very, very important role) but there’s also knowing your market. Do you know who your audience is? Hint it can’t be everyone in the world. Try smaller strokes when defining who you want to reach. Michelle and I repeat ‘focus’ often, we like the word for it’s double entendre but it has helped us really hone in on our brand and our potential clients. When starting a business it’s so hard to get in the frame of mind of ‘big picture’, especially with the immediacy of the internet, you could easily create a buzz, but the idea here (we hope) is to maintain that excitement and sustain that desire for your brand. So ‘focus’, a nice one word mantra.
I hope this has helped anyone that is either in the nascent stages of building their new business or even those that may be feeling like they are floundering with their existing one and wondering why they aren’t as successful as maybe someone with a similar business model. You can do this, we believe in you! Do you need to hire a big brand consultant to get you there? Probably not for a small part-time business, there are plenty of great free resources available at your fingertips on this subject on the interwebs. I highly suggest any of Seth Godin’s books, I can’t stress enough though how important it is to do a little research on this subject if you do want to build a successful brand (and I do believe it’s possible).
If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, I am happy to help!
P.S. This ‘Shop doc’s’ set was originally given away for free when you signed up for our mailing list in March. Every month we launch a new free set. If you want some free premium Photoshop actions than we highly suggest you join the club here.
Miss Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.