Most Important 1st Branding Step: Brand Audit & Competitor Analysis
Updated: Mar 28, 2021
Not positive what your niche or unique offering is? Feel like you are drowning in a saturated market? Feeling lost on how to create a brand, and how to CHECK whether you have positioned yourself for success in your local market? I know exactly how you feel, and this one step can maximize your efforts (and budget!), speed your growth, win over potential clients, and stand out from the crowd. Read how INK Photo Haus can help below...
Brand Audit and Consultation
Step 1 in creating an effective social media management system begins BEFORE your photo session takes place! It terrifies me when I see a business struggling and see them go straight to a personal branding or small business branding photography session. I'm a huge believer in checking in with where your business is currently situated in your local market. Once we are clear on WHY a client should choose you over the competition, the rest of our strategy will start to fall into place.
I am a 100% believer that this step is often overlooked, but is critical to our strategy (regardless of which service you are investing in).
For instance, imagine that you are opening a cupcake shop and name it something adorable like "Sprinkles" and build an adorable website with the belief that your strengths are your quality ingredients, customer service, and lovely pink and white polka dot branding. You open and find that you just aren't getting the new clients that you'd hoped for. Let's say that you hire me to do a Competitor Analysis and find the following: 1). There are 5 cupcake shops in your town. They are named adorable names like Sweet Stuff, Frosted, The Cupcake Shop, Cuppy Cakes, and Angel Cakes 2). They all have a cute website, similar to yours (though we'll identify the highs and lows from each. We'll avoid the lows and include all of the highs later). 3). They all mention that clients should come to them for quality ingredients, great cupcakes, and great customer service. 4) Their branding colors are white/pink, white/teal, white/red, white/pink stripes, and pink/red. 5). Their prices, flavors, specials and packaging all are nearly identical to yours. You aren't standing out because you've branded yourself as a practical twinsie with all of your existing competition!! This info wouldn't be discouraging though... it would be a golden roadmap. Rather than essentially copy what ALL of your competitors are doing, why not zig while they are zagging?? I would host a brainstorming session where we look for all of the places that you could DITCH YOUR COMPETITION and get into a lane all by yourself. When we finish, your brand will be diversified, the messaging that we need to convey with our branding photography session would be clarified, and suddenly you are making major progress. You roll up your sleeves to show the tattoos you'd been hiding, paint the inside of your cupcake shop dark red, crank amazing music that will scare all of the minivan drivers away, exchange all of your vanilla recipes for boozy versions, and decide to only open late nights Thurs - Sat for date nights and the bar crowd. You are a completely different species from those competitors now... they don't even register on your radar anymore and you have a loyal following who would cry if you ever closed shop.
If you had hired another brand photographer, you likely would have ended up with some adorable branding photos of you holding cupcakes against a white background, and looking depressingly EXACTLY LIKE the photos that those 5 competitors also took during their branding sessions. You'd have posted them and wondered why you got no increase in business from them. Noooo. If your brand is not clear, don't waste money on branding photography to document the un-clarity! Eeeek. Usually you have to stumble through this process alone, or pay thousands to a marketing firm to map these strategies out for you and give you a concrete, actionable, step-by-step plan (and then bring this plan to the branding photographer for your photos! More time, more stress, much more expense - ugh). I am MORE affordable, MORE invested in you, and MORE effective because I offer these services in-house. Let's get your brand crystal clear before we do anything else. INK Photo Haus is truly unique in offering comprehensive branding services and offering a comprehensive audit to make sure that you are spending your budget on the services that will get you the biggest ROI. Let's kick your branding into high gear...