An article from the site Entrepreneur.com defines the word “Branding” as follows:
The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.
It goes on further to break down this concept:
Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.
I agree 100% with the statement/definition above. Of course we normally think of branding when it comes to actual companies and products but you may be surprised to know that this concept also applies to modeling.
The definition of branding doesn’t apply literally in all aspects when it comes to modeling. For example, you don’t have to create a logo for yourself as a model. You can and it’d probably be pretty cool but it’s not mandatory.
However, the philosophy behind the idea of branding definitely goes hand-in-hand in the sense that as a model you want people to recognize your name, who you are, what you represent and what potential clients can expect from working with you.
In essence: by dealing with you, what are they going to get? Will they like the end results? Will they come back? Will they recommend you to others in their network?
Many models build their brand using their names and is the easiest way to do so. How would we even know who the most famous models were if it weren’t for their names? The Kate Mosses, Giseles, Tyras, Naomi Campbells, etc, etc…these are models that have created empires for themselves based on their name recognition as it relates to their modeling careers.
Think about it: even people who hate the modeling world or those who don’t keep up with it in any way, shape or form would recognize the women above as models just because of the prevalence of their names over the years.
The good news is you don’t have to be a supermodel to be a brand. Once you decide you want to become a professional model you’ll want to start critically thinking about how you want to approach things, what you want to do, the goals you want to set, what you stand for, etc.
Speaking for myself, I use my name heavily in relation to my brand. When you think of “Dania Denise,” what do you automatically think of? Most people would automatically say: model, blogger, actor, coach, pageant winner or entrepreneur. That’s pretty accurate in terms of what I do and, while basic, it gets the point across. You don’t have to guess what any of those things actually are, hence, making it clear what I do within the entertainment industry and making it easier to match me up with potential clients.
Just like a traditional business uses branding, models need to make sure they understand what type of experience they are providing to those that want to work with them. I would hope you aim to be branded as a model who is professional, reliable, easy to work with, diverse, etc.
When people work with you and those branding ideals are displayed, they’ll know you stand by your brand identity/reputation. That is what will keep them coming back and motivate positive word of mouth among the industry.
I pride myself on the fact that I have a good reputation within my respective networking circles. Nothing makes me happier than knowing when I reach out to people about projects, they’re more than happy to jump on board because they know (based on my branding and consistency with results) that anything my name is on or associated with means they’re going to be treated well, professionally, their time will be respected and we’ll produce the highest quality end results that will benefit everyone. And THAT is what drives my branding to continue to be at its best at all times.
If you set your branding to high standards and can uphold them, you’ll attract like-minded clients, networking contacts and quality opportunities. Do the opposite and you’ll also get the flip side of those results.
There is more to branding in modeling than one post can cover, which is why I’ll be breaking this up into a mini series of blog posts to tackle specific areas in more detail and hopefully provide a blueprint of sorts for how you can create your own brand successfully and effectively.
Stay tuned for Part 2!