In this guide, we’ll be discussing brand identity tools and how they are used to align your brand and ensure you are not confusing potential customers.
Let’s dive in.
Brand identity tools
When it comes to branding your photography business, it’s important to understand the two components of a brand — corporate image and positioning.
Corporate image is the perception of your company in the minds of your target audience.
Positioning is the process of identifying a target market and creating an image of your product/service that fills your target market’s unfilled need.
Like a lock and key — your product/service is the key, and the lock is the target market’s unfilled need. These two components combined make up your “brand.”
It’s easy to say this on paper, so let’s identify the actual tools that can be used to establish the brand/business identity.
When thinking about all of these tools, it’s important to understand that each of these tools should be in alignment and should all be trying to portray the same brand image.
1. Mission statement
Your mission statement is the first brand identity tool that should be established. If you don’t know what you do/what you stand for, how would you expect others to know?
Elements of a strong mission statement include making it clear what you do, identifying the target audience and focusing on what makes you stand out from the rest.
The mission statement is often the first thing in one’s business plan.
Your name is the second brand identity tool that you need to be aware of.
For most photographers, they pretty much only have two options — either they include their name as their business name or they don’t.
If you choose to not include your name, then the name you choose for your business should reflect the image you are trying to portray and should align with your mission statement.
For example, if in your mission statement you state that you provide light, dreamy edits for wedding couples, then your name should reflect this.
An example business name could be “Captured Moments Photography.”
An example that would not be aligned with your mission statement would be something like “Smiling Headshot Photography.”
Your name should align with the mission statement.
If you have a slogan, then this too should align with the previous brand identity tools.
Going back to the wedding photographer who specializes in light, dreamy edits and photos, you wouldn’t want your slogan to be talking about “moody” photos or anything else besides weddings. If so, it wouldn’t be aligned.
Colors play an important role in your brand as well and you have to make sure the colors you pick convey the same feeling and emotion as the rest of your identity tools.
So for the wedding photographer, you may want to pick colors that represent “light and dreamy” such as whites, yellows, light blues, etc.
Luckily, since we are already photographers, we have knowledge on color theory, so apply that knowledge behind the psychological principles of color and apply it to your own brand identity.
Lastly, the typography and font face you use on your website, on your business cards, etc. should all be aligned to the brand you are trying to portray. For example, take a look at all these different fonts:
Using the example of the wedding photographer, it most likely would not be best to use a typography such as the Monsters Inc. or Snickers typography, and instead opt for something thinner such as the Walt Disney typography.
Putting it together
It’s easy to forget these sometimes — I know I’ve been guilty. But understanding the different tools available to us to establish our brand and the importance of aligning them all together, will ensure we create strong brands for our businesses.