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June 3rd, 2014

Creating a Brand Strategy

Posted by liveBooks

Your company’s brand is one of its most valuable assets. It represents the core of who you are and why you do what you do. It’s about the promise you make to your customers to provide a product or service, to do so with consistency and quality, and to do it better than your competitors.

To build a successful creative business it takes more than artistic vision and talent. The reality is that you are a small business owner and as such you need to understand business. For many of us that’s not the fun part – but it can be!

If you have a brand then you need a brand strategy, a plan to manage your brand’s reputation in the marketplace. Here are some guidelines for crafting one in order to make the most effective use of your brand.

Brand concept on chalkboard

Define Your Brand

A lot of us rush ahead with a great idea and never get around to establishing a distinct identity and a clear purpose. At some point, it becomes necessary to define who you are before you’re defined by the competition. That means knowing the answers to the following questions:

  • What is our company’s mission?
    State clearly and concisely who you serve, what you do and what differentiates you.
  • What benefits and features do we offer our customers?
    Outline specifically what your products or services can do and why your customers need them.
  • Who is our ideal client?
    Write down the key characteristics of your ideal client. The more you can define this person or entity the easier it will be to figure out who your target market is and attract the right clientele.
  • How do we want customers to think about our business?
    What is important is that you don’t attempt to be perceived as one thing and then deliver an experience that does not coincide with the perception you want to create.
  • What key messages do we want to convey to them?
    This can go beyond your products or services and include education and personal citizenship initiatives. Including philanthropic contributions and involvement in your community are great ways to help build your brand.
  • What makes us different from everyone else?
    For example, maybe you want to be known as an experienced, dependable business.  Maybe your enterprise is focused on offering cutting-edge alternate solutions. Do you see yourself as high-cost and high-quality or low-cost and high-value?  All these considerations go into defining your brand.  Write a brand bio to outline how you want to be viewed and include how do you give back to your customers and community.
  • What is your call to action?

Define specifically what you want your customers and potential customers to do.

Promise and Deliver

Businesses live and die by the brand promises they make. If you consistently deliver, your brand and your reputation are strengthened in your customers eyes. That creates customer loyalty – and then your customers will become your brand advocates recommending your products and services to everyone.

Have a Consistent Look and Feel

Yes, your logo does have a place in your brand strategy. Your logo should evoke a set of desired thoughts and feelings in your customers, but effective branding only starts with an eye-catching logo. The look and feel you choose for all of your marketing materials should appeal to your target audience. More importantly, you must present yourself consistently across the board – online and in print.

Integrate Your Brand Into Everything You Do

Everything related to your business, from your artistic style and the work you produce to advertising and fulfillment, should be part of your overall brand strategy. Whether it’s direct mail, email or social media updates, every customer experience is an opportunity to reinforce your brand promise.

Posted in Marketing

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