Branding: The octopus effect

Yesterday I had an afternoon smoothie break with my friend and founder of Orange County Fashion Association, Julia Tudor.  We were long overdue since I hadn’t seen her since their last fashion week where I showed my line on the runway in November.  Where does the time go?

Anywho, we got to talking about the right mediums to get your brand recognized and to build a buzz.  We went over how much we had spent on advertising with very little results.  But then we got to talking about an event she held during the last fashion week.  The event was a huge collaboration between designers, photographers, and stylists.  They all worked together to create some amazing photos to cross promote all their products and services.  (I featured the event earlier on my blog.)  It was really amazing to see all those people come together for one reason.  To promote each other.

Some may not see the value in this or feel like the competition from this type of event is too much.  But those that can really grasp the concept will have an edge on branding.  To help you better understand I am going to give you a mental picture of what I call the octopus effect (Thanks Julia!  I always saw it as spokes of a wheel but I like octopus so much better).  Picture an octopus.  You are the head and one arm.  That one arm can reach out and grab a certain number of things but it’s limited.  So you find more arms.  The other arms are businesses that compliment yours and have a similar target market.  For example.  I design clothes.  The other arms I have added to my octopus are other complimentary designers, accessory designers, photographers, mom bloggers, family and friends, and sales reps.  I am constantly in contact with these other arms to promote their business and to ask them to promote mine.   The 8 arms of my octopus can reach a lot of more people than my one arm.  You have to get people talking about your brand to spread the word.

One way to do this is a collaborated photo shoot.  I recently did one with My Own Threads (tees), Chickapee Creations (hair pieces), Angela the Four Girl Cookies, Kait Emerson Design (ties) and my ruffle leggings.  This was photographed by Amy Childers Photography.

After the shoot we all worked together to promote each others products that were featured in the shoot.  Spreading awareness about our brands and gaining more sales was the result.  Running a giveaway along with the release of the shoot is another great way to build buzz.

Here is a pic from the collaboration:

This week I challenge you to find some arms to your octopus.  Reach out to promote others and ask them to promote you!

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