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For those looking to build a cohesive and consistent brand presence.
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I'm Ali Rae and I love building brands.
So let's build that business one blog post at a time.
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let's whip that brand into shape
It’s no secret…branding is one of my favorite things to talk and learn about! I love that each business can have its own unique brand, but I also love learning about how marketing and branding are so intertwined. The same marketing tactics can be used by every business, but their results can vary based off of their brand and/or service/product.
Throughout my time as a business owner and, ahem, nerd, I have consumed an inordinate amount of branding content trying to nail down my own brand and help others do the same as I conduct and prepare them for branding photography sessions.
While I tend to work with clients who have a more personal brand focused around the personality of the business owner, I think it is possible to have a successful brand (and, therefore, branding session) that is based around the business’s values and goals instead of solely the personality of the business owner.
After sifting through tons of content, these are some of the most actionable and poignant pieces relating to branding:
The Ali Rae Haney Blog has an entire section of the blog dedicated to branding! Like I said, I am kind of a nerd when it comes to branding, so this is probably the most dense category of the blog. From diving into where to start when constructing a brand to revamping said brand once it needs a refresh…the blog has it all! Check out some of these particularly good blog posts:
“Where Do I Start?” Series: Branding
Client Experience & Branding
4 Ways to Revamp Your Brand in the Off-Season
Enough shameless self-promotion…I have also had the pleasure of consuming content from others that specialize in branding services, whether it be creating a technical brand or photographing established brands. Here are a few of my other favorite resources.
Abby Grace is a branding photographer for well-established, sales-driven creatives. She has built her business from the ground up, often re-evaluating what she wants her brand to reflect as she pivoted from wedding photography to branding photography. She has a few resources that I love:
Branding Foundations is a course that she offers periodically. I bought this back in 2020 and it was super helpful. She walks you through the very basic pieces of building a brand by identifying “inputs” and “outputs.” She is very big on defining your why so that you can allow that to guide every part of your business!
The Artisan CEO is her podcast. Her goal-driven personality has led her to do a lot of research, similar to me! But she sums up a lot of her branding content in this episode of her podcast, Branding 101. She goes over her “input” and “output” concept in this episode.
Finally, if you’re a brand photographer, Abby Grace’s course, Brand Photography Academy, is one of a kind! When I set out to be a brand photographer, I had a lot of the same ideas that Abby presents in this course, but I was having trouble streamlining them to create a cohesive and consistent workflow. The process she presents in this course is clear and actionable. If you’re looking to relieve yourself from reinventing the brand photography wheel with each new client, this is for you!
Davey Jones hosts the “Brands that Book” podcast. He and his wife are brand and website designers, so they know a thing or twelve about branding! They have some really helpful episodes about technical branding (colors, fonts, etc.) and about the other aspects of branding, such as defining your audience/ideal client. Find a couple of my favorite episodes below:
This podcast has a ton of episodes that are super helpful, especially for service-based business owners. I encourage you to browse through the episode titles to see if you find one that is applicable to where you are in your business.
This is one of the most commonly recommended books when it comes to branding–and for a good reason! It is based around the idea that you as the business owner are not the hero of your brand. Every consumer wants to be the hero, so allow them to be just that through your brand. As a prior English teacher, I really appreciated the “hero’s journey” analogy related to branding. It’s a relatively quick read and definitely worth it!
My nerdiness is really showing now…I created a free case study on Starbucks and how their marketing/branding are intertwined. But brand recognition does not have to be exclusive to only big brands! This case study will take what has worked for a monster of a corporation and give you ways to apply it to your service-based small business. If you’re interested in the freebie, you can grab it here!
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