What matters more to you when you shop for your next big photography purchase: brand names or the cost? While both of these characteristics are important for very key reasons, every consumer puts one before the other. Is there one that you should be considered first in order to make the right investment in your gear? We’re going to tell you which one you should value more and why in this video.
This video idea actually comes from a question that we received from Don, one of our community members, and one we often receive that is worded in a variety of ways, but here is the gist: “Which is more important brand or price? I often hear that customers sometimes see the price first then the brand while some are drawn into a brand but are taken away from a price.” We’re going to try our best to tackle this question and really appreciate you sending it to us! If you have questions please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can provide you with the right education or links to gear that we recommend!
If you were to take a guess and pick which one I value more, what would it be? Would it surprise you to hear that it’s brand over price? If you’ve taken our Photography Business Training System then you’ll know how much importance I’ve placed on creating a brand that represents you and how clients place weight on that more than anything else. Price is also important, obviously, because if something is priced significantly out of someone’s budget then there isn’t much you can do, but the value must first be established to give you a reason to spend your hard-earned cash on anything. Let’s discuss why brand outweighs price in the eyes of a consumer.
What is a Brand?
Your brand is what you’ve become known for, it’s everything tied and associated with the overall experience that is your product. Let’s look at this in the context of well-known brands: Apple. What does Apple really represent? Some will say good design, generally good reliability, good quality, nice displays, a high demand product that everyone basically has, innovative, etc. These are all the different experiences that we would associate with it, and before somebody actually gets their wallet out to pay for a new iPhone or iMac, this is when the price starts to become more significant for the consumer. That’s when the customer has to weigh ‘what do I want/have to spend’ vs. ‘how much it actually costs’.
Let’s discuss another brand that’s less known for their quality and more known for their inexpensive product that gets the job done: McDonald’s. McDonald’s is known for consistency at an extremely affordable price point. This is an example of a consumer-oriented product, it’s designed for everybody because anyone can afford it. Now, let’s compare that to the previous brand example, Apple. Their products are priced as luxury items, not consumer products. The reason I wanted to bring up these two brands was to help you understand the value they offer to the consumer even though their cost is vastly different. At their respective price points, they propose a distinct value to the consumer.
Why Does Your Photography Brand Matter More Than the Cost of Your Services?
I want you to think of where photography actually falls on the spectrum of consumer-oriented products vs. boutique products. If you answered that it too, like Apple, is a luxury product then you’re absolutely right. In terms of the consumer audience, nobody needs photography because everyone has a camera built into their phones. They don’t need your services so them seeking you out to hire you for the service is a luxury many don’t need but want. This is one of the major issues that photographers make because they price themselves as a value product, like McDonald’s, in an industry that is a luxury or boutique experience. Of course, that isn’t to say that your imagery isn’t part of that experience, but it’s only one part of the overall experience your brand provides. Other components that play into the brand experience are your website, social media content & voice, how you interact with the clients, the client experience once you actually are on the shoot with them, the communication throughout, how comfortable they feel being photographed, how the images are delivered, etc. Your brand has to be something that they want before they’re given the option of prices because if you give them the numbers, that’s all they will focus on and use that to compare to other competitors in your area. This is why I don’t like photographers placing so much emphasis on pricing on their website and instead I recommend, if you must, to include a starting rate so they don’t compare prices.
Establish Your Brand
Establish the value of your service by having a solid product, strong website & logo, and consistent social media. These are all places of information for potential clients to get to know you, your work, and your brand. Conduct initial meetings via the phone, on Zoom, or in-person if possible. This is where you offer the value proposition and give them a glimpse of how they become the hero/heroine as your client. Your job is to create something that they want and value, then attach a price point to it.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to create the photography business of your dreams I highly recommend our Photography Business Training System where we share ALL of our strategies, templates, and workflows that we’ve used over the past decade, to build one of the most profitable photography studios in the world.