I recently came across a colleague named Lisa Zaccaria who specializes in the visuals of branding. I asked her to do a guest blog. And here it is.
What is the name of your business? LisArt Studio – Creativity in Full Bloom –
What is the website address for your business? www.lisartstudio.com
Why did you want to start your own business?
I was tired of being an employee and wanted to use my passions for creating stunning art and graphics to be used as successful marketing tools. I realized also that my greatest desire was to bring forth inspiration and transformation to the world around me through the power of the creative process. This abstract idea became a tangible reality when I realized that there is a huge market of people that need authentic branding and this has given me the courage to consider going full time and seriously investing in myself to become more business savvy.
What is branding?
I view branding as being the expression of all the elements that make up the perception and then the experience your customers have with the essence of your product or service. It’s not just your logo or your colour choices, it’s every element and detail that make up how your customers are attracted your business, experience it, recognize it again.
What do you see as the biggest blunders people make with their branding?
The biggest mistakes beginning entrepreneurs make with their branding is to not hire a professional and go through a coaching process that helps them reveal their unique essence.
They tend to think small and not be clear about their target market. This leads them to look at what other other professionals in their field are doing and imitating them. Or take a “do it yourself approach” and look amateurish and “cheap”.
At the same time, getting started, if one does not have the funds to hire a professional, is still better than not taking action at all.
The professional you choose to hire should be in tune to the level of success you want to ultimately take your business to. The sooner you can “look the part” and “talk the talk” the sooner you will attract the perfect customers and keep them coming back for more.
Why are the images and graphics so important?
Visuals that truly represent the values you want to be known for by your target market will be your calling card to attract your perfect customers.
When these images/words/graphics clearly express your essence and your mission, marketing becomes simpler. It helps you fulfill your purpose sooner and with less effort.
what is the relationship between branding and art?
Art for me has always been a way to express something beyond what it is, a medium to communicate nonverbally an intangible essence of an idea. Branding seems to be the opposite at times where you have a name, a symbol, an icon that represent a product or a service. But when the two can be beautifully integrated for the expression of a specific mission or purpose, there is a certain magic and magnetic force that attracts and inspires curiousity, interaction and ultimately a loyal customer.
what is the relationship between branding and authenticity?
Can a brand be inauthentic? yes, and if it is so, it does not match our expectation. We feel cheated if it looks better than it really is, or confused when we see something of value devalued by it’s below standard image. On the other hand, when a brand authentically represents a product or a service, we feel drawn to it, proud of it, and in tune with what it says about us when we interact with it, we can never get enough…
how do you make sure that a brand is authentic?
I need to take it apart, find it’s core, it’s “seed” as I call it, it’s reason for existing, it’s passion, it’s mission, it’s purpose for wanting to grow and become… and then ask all the appropriate questions about it’s image, it’s service, it’s interactions, the words chosen to express the essence to their target market. Do they match? Do they inspire? Do they “bloomingly” express what the seed of that flower wanted to become? If so it’s authentic! :-)
Can you share three case studies of brands you find remarkable (your own or others – with commentary)
Remarkable brands I have had the honor to work on are:
1. Sparda Deleon – www.spardadeleon.com
Sparda Deleon is a very talented hip-hop artist who was struggling to find his image a few years ago when we first met.
His music speaks about the power of transforming pain into glory through a path of faith and creativity. His artist name and purpose gave me the vision of a lion, so we went for a photo shoot at the NYC Library on 42nd st where there are some powerful looking lion statues.
While we were at this location our conversations ran deep into why Sparda has devoted his life to creating music, and his reasons gave me chills, he is on a mission to inspire with his story and help the youth in his neighborhood. I sensed his leadership and started coaching him to sit on the lion as if it was his throne and he was about to “roar” his music to the world.
The resulting pictures were more powerful than words, the calm yet powerful lion as an alter ego of the artist made it inevitable that that a star was born. The image of this first CD put Sparda Deleon on a path to the top both in his mindset and in the perception of his peers. He has become unstoppable ever since.
An italian Dancer/Choreographer that teaches very creative movement classes and needed to attract more customers.
Lorella Rapisarda is an extremely creative Choreographer, Dance Teacher and Certified Movement Analyst (CMA) that creates performances that inspire transformation and workshops that alter your perception of what is possible. Her knowledge and studies about movement make her work very communicative and liberating. She was looking for images to promote her performances and workshops.
I approached every project with her as centered around her body moving in unusual ways and therefore creating an imaginary world around her. One of my favorite images is “Inviting your Dragons for Tea” where she is pouring some tea for a very intimidating dragon that swirls around her, this image represents the power of creativity that needs to be expressed otherwise it will “eat you alive”.
Powerful, simple, artistic, bold, gentle, elegant… it creates curiosity, don’t you want to know more about her?
3. Shirley Ann – http://shop.yourdestinyiscalling.com/
It’s about the power of her mothers legacy and the need for all mothers to water their plants (children) daily with love, care and wisdom. I intuitively picked up on the deep connection with her mother which she lost at the tender age of 11 and imagined their conversation continuing through time and space in a flower garden where new flowers and the flowers of all past seasons coexist.
In the front cover her mother is behind her, always by her side, even if she is faded in the image of an old photograph. Shirley Ann is giving her mothers spirit new life with this book and with the present life she chooses to live, powerfully positive and impacting parents and “parents to be” with the direct honesty that can supply the necessary courage and hope for a better tomorrow.
These are the thoughts that inspired this book cover and the flowers are also printed in the worksheet pages throughout the book as a reminder or the eternal garden where we all have a voice if only one cares to listen.
To check out more of Lisa’s work go to: www.lisartstudio.com
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