What “Brand Building” word do you own?


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute


A recent article about brand building (in Brandweek) got me thinking about the ONE word our customers would use to describe our brand. The Brandweek article shared the results of a study by Alloy Media & Marketing of 1,500 US college students. Students were asked to name brands that evoked feelings of happiness and trust. Clinique came out on top, not surprisingly, given their straightforward product name and subsequent branding of Happy, their best-selling perfume.

But as small business owners, we don’t have the marketing budgets of Clinique, Apple, Coca-Cola and the others named on the list. So is it impossible for us to own a word in our customers’ minds? Definitely not. This can be achieved by good branding, even on a small budget. How? Through CONSISTENCY!

Think of the one word you’d like people to use when describing your business. Write it down.

Is the name of your business consistent with that word or does it evoke something different? For example, if you’re a children and family photographer your name should evoke something different than that of a wedding photographer. Snuggles and Smiles Photography, for example, doesn’t evoke the feelings a customer would want for their elegent wedding photographer. Think hard about what the name of your business does to contribute to your brand.

Do your logo and tagline create an image that is consistent with the word you’ve chosen to describe your business? Always use the same logo and tagline. Make sure your logo and tagline, from the words, fonts, colors and graphic elements, evoke a CONSISTENT feeling with your business name. Snuggles and Smiles, for example, should not use a dark color, gothic font, etc.

From there, your marketing materials whether it be business cards, brochures, price sheets, print ads, etc, should also evoke the same CONSISTENT feeling you are striving to achieve with your business name, logo and tag line. If you’re an upscale business, DO NOT print your business cards on your home printer. DO NOT run XEROX copies of your price menu. Invest in your brand by creating materials CONSISTENT with the one word you want your cusotmers to use to describe your business.

And when your customers come in the door, make sure the experience they have in your business is consistent with everything I just mentioned previously. If your business is Snuggles and Smiles Photography make sure you are kid friendly, have soothing, comfy colors and furnishings in your studio. That your staff are kid friendly and kind with your customers.

So what is that one word that describes your business? We’d love to hear it here! Have a great week! Erin Verbeck, Chief Joy Officer, The Photography Business Institute.

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