Time to Rebrand?
To rebrand, or not to rebrand… that is the question! Why it might make sense to rebrand your Volume Photography business.
Okay, you are considering becoming a “volume” photographer, but you are concerned about the impression that might make on your past and current clientele. After all, you have worked, maybe for years, to develop a reputation as a high quality studio or boutique-style photographer, or a creative lifestyle photographer. You’ve always thought low-volume and high end. Volume was a concept you didn’t accept. You’ve always wanted to provide your clients with lots of one-to-one attention, the most creative photography possible, and get paid well for doing it.
For many of you, a boutique style of photography has made you what you are; and helped you build a following and a strong local reputation. The last thing you would want to do is to confuse this side of your business with the high volume side of photography that is based more on the quantity of customers you handle rather than your individual input in any one of them. You might question whether the boutique side of photography and the volume side can coexist together. The good news is that it not only can, but does successfully work for many high-end photographers in the country.
It’s a fact that some of the biggest names in photography today; names you would recognize from magazines, convention presentations and workshops have not only their studio business traditionally built at a high level, but also a high-volume business that they operate under a different brand name. In some cases it’s a totally different name for their volume division, and sometimes it’s a co–branded name that incorporates the new high-volume brand with the tagline; something like “Tri-County Sports Photography – a division of Elegance Studios.” If the high-end market has been good to you, we would suggest that you take one of the approaches above as you begin your high-volume side of the business.
However, if your current boutique studio business has not been as successful as you had hoped, perhaps a fresh start is appropriate for you. If the low volume, traditional Studio business is not paying the bills, you owe it to yourself and your family to consider how profitable high volume promotions can change your business and your life. In this case, a change of business name is recommended to provide you with that fresh start.
IMPORTANT! Please remember that it is not in your best interest to incorporate your first or last name in the name of your new brand. If you do, it will diminish the value of your business later on if you intend to sell it in the future to finance your lifestyle and your retirement. A far better name to brand with would be one that is more specific to the type of photography you intend to do (i.e. “Tri-County Sports Photography” “Class-Mates School Photography” etc) , or to provide a local or regional association with your business based on your geography, (i.e. “Western States School Photography” or “Bay Area Sports Photography” etc)
There is one additional advantage in rebranding your business that we hope, for most of you, is not a requirement. We have seen examples over the years of creative, well-meaning photographers who have started a business with all the best intentions, but for whatever reason it has not been successful. Perhaps you started your business too early; before you got all the business and photography education you needed. Perhaps you provided less than professional results for one of your clients who summarily blacklisted you on Facebook and social media; and this has negatively impacted your business. Perhaps something negative has happened personally in your life that has impacted your business and local reputation. Whatever has been holding you back, rebranding yourself under a new business name might help you leave these problems behind and provide a fresh start.
While there are many resources online and in magazines providing tips on branding and rebranding yourself, some of you might find it more productive to work with a branding consultant or agency to help you grow your new volume photography division. Marathon Press is one of those companies. They have a long reputation in the photography industry; helping photographers to create and grow their brand. Be sure to check them out as a resource if you find yourself struggling with the rebranding for your volume photography business. www.marathonpress.com.