Choosing Products to Fit Your Brand | Building a Purposeful Business
Continuing this segment of the website today, as promised! If you missed the last post, Financial Health for the Creative, make sure to click back to that one, too!
Recently, USB Memory Direct contacted me about designing a USB that fits my brand. I mainly use online galleries with download options for delivering files, but every once in a while I do get a special request for a USB from clients who have a harder time understanding that process (I’m not super techie either, so I understand!). With their offer, I thought it was a super cool opportunity to take on the task of translating my brand into a USB design. Branding is extremely important to me–its what’s allowed me to take my business to a whole new level, and being intentional with it is key!
Quickly, let me give you a summary of what a brand is, because I know a lot of people get this mixed up. Is your brand your logo? Is it a color scheme? Yes. And no. Your brand, ultimately, is a message. Think about one of your very favorite brands. What does that business/service make you feel? The best brands in the world have clued into this philosophy, designing their brand (whether they’re selling a product or service) around communicating a message that is core to their WHY , and they make sure everything they do is in line with it. I’m just touching the surface on this, and if you need a good book on this topic, I highly encourage you to check out some of Seth Godin’s work!
I designed my photography brand around communicating the idea of myself as an artist committed to excellence and service. I have always been an artist! From a young age, I remember my hunger to create, from spending hours painting watercolor flowers with my dad to the decade-long dance career that consumed my teen years. This is a huge reason why I chose to keep the words “photography” out of my logo. I told my designer, “I’m a photographer, but ultimately, I’m an artist using the medium of a camera. I know I always have been, and will be, an artist in some way or another.” I also don’t do anything half-heartedly, so I also knew I wanted to build a business that offered exceptional service and an experience to my clients.
So when I choose products, whether for my clients or for marketing materials, I make sure to select them in light of this bigger picture of my brand and this message I’m trying to communicate. “Pretty” is important, but my decisions are about so much more than that. I want my clients to feel quality, intentionality, and artistry when they interact with any of my physical products. Celebrating the beauty of nature is also a core part of my artist persona, so I always vouch for neutral tones and materials. I buy proof boxes (pictured #1) for my clients from the luxury product line, Heirloom Bindery, always in subtle, neutral tones paired with my signature blue silk ribbons. My prints are lined with a thick white border, serving as a canvas that frames my intentionally captured photographs. I thought the natural wood option for these USBs paired with laser engraving of my logo with no color was a great touch. I hope my clients feel how much thought, care, and heart I put into my service when interacting with my products, as that is my ultimate goal! And now I hope I’ve inspired you to think as intentionally about your brand representation, as well. ;)
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