Developing a Brand Statement – Discovery

Excerpt from “No Plastic Sleeves: The Complete Portfolio Guide for Photographers and Designers”, Chapter Two: Branding.

“You now have to decide what ‘image’ you want for your brand. Image means personality.” – David Ogilvy, Founder Ogilvy & Mather, Infamous Advertiser

Defining Your Own Brand Attributes
A good place to start thinking about your own brand statement is by reflecting on the work you’ve done, the person you are, and the creative professional you want to be. In order to do this, there are some key questions that you should ask yourself. Write down the answers that you come up. Trust yourself and listen to your intuition throughout this process. You should also think about getting the opinions of others whom you trust. Ask colleagues, faculty, clients, fellow designers, photographers, artists, etc., how they would characterize the work you do and the creative person they perceive you to be. Ultimately, you want to focus in on descriptive key words — adjectives and adverbs that can begin to define your own unique brand statement.

Reflect on Your Work
Ask yourself some key questions:
● What kind of work do you like to do?
● What kind of work do you do best?
● Was there a particular project that you really enjoyed working on?
● How would you define your talents and skill set?
● How would you describe the styles, forms, and concepts with which you prefer to work?
● How would others describe your talents and the work you do? (If you don’t know, ask.)
● What does your body of work say about you?
● Is there something missing from your body of work that you think you need?

Reflect on Yourself and Interests
Ask yourself some key questions:
● How would you describe yourself as a creative professional?
● How would you describe yourself in general – your personality, work ethic, beliefs, etc.?
● How would others describe you? (If you don’t know, ask.)
● Are these qualities communicated through any of the pieces you’ve worked on?
● What do you have to offer a company or client?
● What types of experiences engage you?
● What do you find most interesting about the world around you?
● What do you find most interesting about photography, art, and/or design?
● Whose work influences, attracts, and inspires you? Why?

Reflect on Your Future
Ask yourself some key questions:
● What kind of work do you want to do?
● What kind of creative do you want to be?
● Are you doing the kinds of things now that you want to be doing in the future?
● I f not, how can you position yourself to get to where you want to be?
● What kind of company or client do you want to work for?
● What kind of company would fit your lifestyle? Are there compromises you are willing or not willing to make (travel, moving to a different location, long hours, etc.)?
● Where do you see yourself in one, two, or five years?
● Is there someone in the field who you admire? Would want to emulate? Why? How did they get to where they are?

This is your opportunity to invent yourself for the first time, or reinvent yourself all over again. Think about where you’d like to be two years from now. How about five or ten years? People change jobs and even careers often throughout their lifetime. Now is the time to think about what you want out of your career.

“By defining what you show based on what you truly are and what you want to do, you create a self-selection process: you are not for everyone. You are different. Be courageous enough to show that you see in a way no one else does.” — Doug Menuez, Photographer, Editorial Photo – See full article here

Coming Up Next: How to write your “Brand Statement”

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