The Art of Defining Successful Brand Attributes

Question: What’s the best process for identifying and defining my unique brand attributes?

Before you decide how to define and identify you brand’s attributes, you have to understand the meaning of a “brand.”

Close your eyes and think of great brands. Apple, MAC cosmetics, Disney, Starbucks … what do they all have in common in the consumer market? Each of these brands has not only created a quality product but a quality personal experience. It’s not only important to have a successful logo treatment, it’s important to create a complete brand – a complete experience.

Start with your logo treatment. In a recent article, Adweek showed the value of a memorable logo and what each logo said to a 5-year-old. You have to question whether the 5-year-old remembered the logos because of the experiences she had at those places, and in this article that seems to be the answer. The test toddler mentions experiences with the logos she remembers.

That is the first step in branding. How can the artists take the logo to the experience? The first experience would be your marketing and the website you are trying to get viewers to visit. If your e-promo or mailer creates a good or pleasant experience, then you have started that first part of the branding experience.

But what takes the branding experience further? Why have some artists been able to create that higher level of branding with just a simple logo?

In the following examples of successful artist agents, their logos are not groundbreaking – but what they represent can be. Once again, close your eyes: What do you think of when you see these brands?


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Logo and Experience:

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I chose these three companies because I’ve personally worked with each of them and the experience was topnotch. Why did I call these people first when I had a campaign? Because I knew they not only had great talent, but the experience of working with them was always professional. They not only created a brand of quality, they created an experience.

Many independent artists have created that branding experience as well. Some are generally well known and some are known well in their markets. So when you ask the question “what is the process of identifying and defining your unique attributes,” think about the big picture – not a type treatment, but the experience a client has when working with you.

Be the kind of company and artist that clients think of, when they close their eyes, as topnotch. Be the company they trust and know will deliver a great shoot and great artwork. That’s successful branding!

About Suzanne

Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators all over the world, and is also a partner in the Creative Collision video series featured on Agency Access’ blog, The Lab. Suzanne has been heavily involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, giving her the opportunity to work with some of the most established artists in the business. She founded the art buying department at The Martin Agency in 1988 and left in 1999. She has also worked for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and smaller agencies and companies. Suzanne Sease Productions

Related Articles:

1. Expertise, Process and Quality are All Part of Differentiation

2. Style, Consistency Are Big Parts of Appropriate Branding

3. Artist Branding: Avoiding Mistakes, Making Connections

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