Shoppe Talk ~ Building Your Brand ~ Part Two

September 08, 2010

Shoppe Talk ~ Building Your Brand ~ Part Two by Rebecca Shostak Hi everyone! This time I’d like to start talking about how you can develop your brand visibility. As I reiterated before, the most important thing to remember is to BE CONSISTENT! Consistency of font choice, color, design elements, and logo representation are key elements in developing your brand. It may sound cliche or simplistic, but so many times I see photographers using a different look and feel for their business card, website, blog, and handout materials - this is violating the fundamental rule of branding! To demonstrate, I have made two montages with branding materials available in The Shoppe. The first example is of inconsistent branding. Although this may be an extreme case of inconsistency, it is very clear to see that there is no unifying element within this pack of materials. Here you have a business card, a 5x7 handout, an 8x4 handout, and a square sticker. If you were to distribute these materials together to promote your business, it would be very difficult for clients to associate any one design element with you. Each piece has unique color schemes, font usage, and layout principles. There is no unified message that comes across to represent your business. The result is a hodgepodge collage of design elements that becomes unrecognizable and fails as a brand. Too often I see this kind of inconsistency in small businesses! inconsistent This second collage is an example of extreme brand consistency. If you squint your eyes, you will only see 3 basic colors: orange, tan, and blue. You will also notice the repeated floral element, the blue band on tan, and the same fonts and logo layout used on each piece. This is exactly what you want to begin with in building a brand! If you use Shoppe templates, most of the consistency work is done for you, and you can change the elements as you like to fit your current color scheme. Notice how all of these pieces seem to blend seamlessly together: eden Here are some basic tips to help you build consistency in your brand: -Pick a color scheme and stick to it! Two colors are usually plenty, but if you feel adventurous, try 3 or 3 plus a bright splash color to catch attention (for reference see our “Poison Ivy” boudoir branding pack, which uses various shades of grey and white, with a splash color of magenta) -Use the same logo on EVERYTHING. Business cards, handouts, blog graphics, website graphics, holiday / thank you cards, studio spaces, signs, and even your photo watermark. You never know where your images might end up being displayed, so putting you logo on your publicly viewable images is a must to increase your business visibility. -If you have 2 different businesses within your larger business name, such as a boudoir photography business and a wedding photography business, use the same logo and layout style but perhaps a different graphic element or color scheme. You can differentiate the two sides of the business with color, but still have a unified look and feel using the same fonts, logo style, and layout elements. -Try to use images that you feel most represents your unique style. Less is more - picking a few great images to use over and over in different types of branding materials (such as a 5x7 promo card and a pricing accordion) creates a much better feel of consistency than packing a lot of differently styled images into your pieces. -In everything you do, ask yourself “is this design decision helping to show what my business is all about?” Stay tuned for Friday's installment!!

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