Branding – Rule One
The first and most important rule in the establishment of your brand is “who is it for.”
So often portrait clients will select the image they like the best. Their opinion is the last one that matters! The job of your business portrait is not to polish your ego.
The only measure of the success of your business portrait is its ROI (return on investment). Are your best clients coming in more often and spending more money than usual? Are you seeing an increase in the number of your ideal client?
To get a yes to both these questions, who does your portrait need to speak to? What’s the message it needs to send them?
I don’t even want to touch a camera until we have come to an understanding of what our goal is and how we will accomplish it. Determining the brand requires identifying the product or service, the ideal client base and the benefit or solved problem gained by the buyer.
The reason your business exists is…
What problem is your business solving for a potential client? What is the cost to them if they don’t solve that problem? Why is your solution better than any other answer? How will they feel after their problem is solved?
The people with this problem are…
The people with this problem are your potential clients. In all likelihood, only 10 percent of them are your “ideal” clients. Exactly how do your ideal clients differ from the potential clients? How do you focus the message of your brand to that 10 percent?
Almost time to get the camera
Armed with this information I am almost ready to get the camera and create your branded image. But, not quite.
What should this image look like?
Goal one is to get the attention of that 10 percent that are your ideal clients, instead of everyone with this problem. Now that you have their attention, how do you want them to feel? What feeling would make them want to deal with you? What do they need to know about you that will reinforce their desire to do business with you?
Now where is my camera?
Marlen is an artist. Her medium is pottery. Although she makes several of the same pieces each year, each is unique and one of a kind. The method of firing the clay largely impacts the one of a kind characteristics of her clay creations. As I watched her work I could see the level of concentration in expression and the skill in her hands. I watched as “birds” were fired and noticed their individuality as they were cleaned. As she took a tea break there was a look of peace, pride and satisfaction; a look unique to artists deeply connected to their trade and their art. I think the following images sum up what I observed and Marlen’s brand.