Powerful branding: how do I know what makes my business different?

By: Fiona Humberstone

Date: 23 August 2011

Some people struggle to work out what makes their businesses different. I hope what follows sheds some light on what is an incredibly difficult topic.

I’m going to take the photography industry, if you don’t mind, because it’s a great example. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of photographers on your patch.

How do you stand out? How do you make yourself different? How do you create an engaging, compelling, powerful brand? It’s a great question!

For starters, think about what makes you, you. Are you a perfectionist, intuitive, soulful, detail-focused, creative, flamboyant, hip, quirky, any, all or none of the above? Make a list of what makes you, you. Think about your style of photography, the things you notice, the end result you like to produce and what it’s like to work with you.

Before you start coming out in hives, just relax, I’m going to expand on this some more…

If you wanted to be known for something, what would it be?

Now make a list of five photographers you admire and identify what makes you different. Are things becoming any clearer?

Write down five words that describe your style. Take a long, hard look at the work in your portfolio, does it represent what you described? Be ruthless. Cull anything that’s no longer on brand. Upload new photos if your style has developed (I’d be surprised if it hasn’t, most creatives develop rapidly) and sit back and smile. Job well done.

And finally, take a look at your website and marketing literature. Are the words you’re using supporting your niche? How about the design style and the colours?

Fiona Humberstone is an expert contributor to Marketing Donut and runs her own creative consultancy.

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