Training > Branding > Intro

The term 'brand' is one of the most misunderstood words in marketing so don’t be surprised if you struggle with the concept of branding as a business owner. What matters is that you try and understand why it is critical that you have a brand and accept that it takes investment in both time and money to get it right.  It is actually one of the most important investments you will ever make in your business.

Prior to setting up my photography business I worked for the international brand consultancy Lambie Nairn. Before joining them I read a lot of books and papers on this complex word ‘brand’ and didn’t truly understand it until I saw the power of good brand design and communication play out across different markets and sectors.

I believe in branding because I’ve seen it work.  I often hear marketers talk about what makes some brands successful. I can tell you that it is very easy to take a successful brand, pull it apart and say why it works. At the branding agency our job was take flagging brands and revive them, or build brands from scratch.

In the last few years the digital communications revolution has put the consumer in the driving seat. You can’t just ‘buy’ consumer interest anymore you have to actually earn it. The consumer's voice has become louder and much more public – they can instantly publish their experience of a brand, make comparisons and ask people to share their opinions.

Effective branding elevates a business or product from being just one commodity amongst many others (just another photographer), to become something with a unique character and promise.  Something that they find attractive and that makes an immediate, distinct and positive impression on them. That will help them choose you over competing brands based on something other than price.

I have been asked to recommend brand designers many times over the last 5 years – something which I have struggled with because there is a big difference between brand design and graphic design. About a year ago I finally met someone who ‘gets’ it, has plenty of experience and also loves photography.

Andie and I have been working together to help create brands for the businesses that I mentor and have now decided to offer a specific brand development programme for photographers.