Do you know why people hire you? It’s not just because they can afford you. It’s not because you have the best gear. People are hiring you (or not hiring you) because they connect (or don’t connect) with your brand. To put it simply, they are pickin’ up what your puttin’ down. So the question is, what are you putting’ down? Maybe a spicier way to say that is, what conversation is your brand having behind your back?
Your Logo is Not Your Brand
Maybe you’ve heard this before, but it is something I see more and more online every day and comes up a lot in the photo community. People get a new logo and call it a “rebrand.” They may have gone through an honest rebrand, but chances are they are buying into the lie that getting a new logo or new website for that matter is a rebrand. You’re doing yourself a huge disservice by believing this lie and missing a massive opportunity for understanding why the right customers aren’t connecting with you. I love how Seth Godin defines this ubiquitous buzzword. He defines brand as “the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” This may be big news to you, so take a breath and say it with me…My logo is not my brand!
Your Brand is About How People Feel
Customer experience has much more to do with your brand than design does. Design is necessary, but it won’t save you from poor customer service, unclear communication, or unmet expectations. Perhaps the best thing you can do right now to understand your brand is to conduct a survey of past customers. Here’s a list of questions to get you started “Understanding Customer Experience”
A Good Brand Should Turn People Off
‘Say What!?’ How many friends do you have that are ‘Nikon’, ‘Android’, or ‘Coke’ people? When it comes to down to a purchase decision, your customers have to choose. Brand is the x-factor for understanding why people chose one product over another. Your brand is the reason people like or dislike your work. Ultimately, it the reason people choose to/not to pay for your product or service and the reason they do/don’t refer you to their friends.
Clarity is King
In light of our new understanding of brand, let’s talk about clarity. Every blog, message, headline, email, photo you associate with your business is sending a message. Being clear and consistent is the best way to take responsibility for the message you’re sending. Everything we do as business owners should be filtered through a set of brand guidelines to determine whether or not