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Brand me branded
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Philip Banks
Je Ne Sais Quoi


Joined: 20 Jun 2005
Posts: 9925
Location: UK Portgordon, Scotland

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:48 am    Post subject: Brand me branded Reply with quote

So SICK of this "my brand" thing.

One day a week in my previous life my company allowed me to lecture undergraduates in law, marketing and economics. I was paid by the college. The course was titled "The organisation in its environment". Every element of a business was deconstructed and put into context. At the end of the course students would be able to see how Dave LLC fitted, legally, financially and economically in the market and the market perception of Dave LLC. The course was designed to build a weak company in order to give the students problems to solve. The end result would be that Dave LLC would become Pretty Much Bulletproof International.

Forgive the dreary background notes. But, with the above in mind.

I KNOW that as a voiceover I am NOT a brand. Never allow the ill-informed to tell you that you are!
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Mike Harrison
The Gates of Troy


Joined: 03 Nov 2007
Posts: 1708
Location: Equidistant from New York City and Philadelphia, along the NJ Shore

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the same "experts" who are trying to tell us that we must somehow brand ourselves are from the same school as those who have convinced retailers and other entities that conduct business with the public that they need to ask their customers to fill out a performance survey questionnaire following each and every interaction, whether having made a purchase or a request of customer service.

Can you imagine the result if we were to ask our clients to participate in a "How Did I Do?" survey after each job?

Too many "experts" in my view.
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Mike
Business narration like nobody's business℠
The first step, they say, is admitting it: I am an O.A.V. And proud of it.
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Tre M.
Backstage Pass


Joined: 01 Nov 2017
Posts: 411
Location: Florida, the cold part.

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know folks paying TONS of cash to find their brand.

It may work for them, or not. I think marketing is more important, getting in the faces who make decisions. Now, I ask, are they, the check writers and way makers looking at websites of VO for a specific "brand"?
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Bish
Triple G


Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Posts: 3356
Location: Lost in the cultural wasteland of Long Island

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a problem when someone who has been panning/mining for gold with limited success, then decides that selling the tools is a better way to make money. The biggest deception is that they are doing it for the "betterment of the community" or "giving something back". They are not. They have adapted their business model from selling VO, to selling tools or services to other VOs... selling a dream of the success that they themselves failed to achieve.

The "community" is in a feeding frenzy that revolves around short-cuts and tricks to give themselves a market advantage. This is not a new concept... apart from the well-documented gold-rush phenomenon, the whole "self-help" book explosion pandered to this need (aka promoted self-doubt)... and the only people to benefit from this were the authors and publishers of these so-called self-help books.

One of the biggest issues to me is the fact that there are good coaches, demo producers, marketing & branding experts, etc. out there, but they are getting buried under a pile of charlatans and opportunists who just want to get their hands into an insecure VO's pocket. It's becoming increasingly difficult for a VO (who feels the need for this sort of thing) to sort out the wheat from the chaff.

... and, as has been said, I am not a brand. I am a self-employed voice actor offering bespoke services to my clients. I do alright. The vast majority of my business comes from referrals... and repeat business from happy clients. I suspect that most working pros here have the same experiences without resorting to plastering Daily Dave: The Twenty-Four Hour Voiceover King over everything.
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Lee Gordon
A Zillion


Joined: 25 Jul 2008
Posts: 6334
Location: West Hartford, CT

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe for most of us, our "brand" is our name. Period. Every once in a while, someone is fortunate enough to land on a word or phrase that so perfectly describes what sets them apart that it does become an effective brand. Doug Turkel's "UNnouncer" is the perfect example of that. And Chris Mezzolesta's "Voiceatile" is, too, even if you're not familiar its built-in inside joke. But not everybody is fortunate enough to have something that concisely and effectively tells their story. On my business cards and elsewhere, I have "Voice President of the United States," but other than hinting I'm a voice from the USA, it doesn't really say much about me, so I don't consider it a brand, just a conversation starter.
It could be argued that "International Voiceoverist" is Philip's brand, but really, it's his name and reputation. For my brand, I'm thinking of "One in a Million" (which really is a bastardization of "One of a Million"). Alternatively, I'm considering ".83333333" (which is the mathematically reduced version of "a dime a dozen").
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Bruce
Boardmeister


Joined: 06 Jun 2005
Posts: 6538
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would argue, mildly, that there are a few people in our business who's names have become brands, but not by marketing. Just by being unique and good. I'm thinking of all those talents that producers want us to resemble such as Sam Elliot or Morgan Freeman. "We're looking for the snark of Dennis Leary."

My experience is, and as I'm seeing summarized above, the trick is to win the occasional audition or get a referral, and then do such good work that the client comes back again and again. It beats the hard work and expense of coming up with a name or a "phrase that pays" and the headache/heartache of not seeing glowing results.

This is for the rank and file who are making a decent living. When you hit a certain height you can get big time agents to market you, but even then few ever become a "brand". They match voices to products.

A few years ago we had this discussion that you must have a brand. I went to VoiceBank (RIP) and tracked down the web pages of 200 working talents on the top agency lists. How many had a clearly defined brand or branding statement? One. Beau Weaver.

B
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I'm not a Zoo, but over the years I've played one on radio/TV.
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Jack Daniel
Contributore Level V


Joined: 23 Jun 2016
Posts: 180
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In these cases, I tend to look at those at the top of the heap and ask myself, "Are they doing X?" I see none of these folks "branding" themselves. They are just really, really good at what they do.
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Jack Daniel
Contributore Level V


Joined: 23 Jun 2016
Posts: 180
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

...and now I see that Bruce just put it perfectly while I was posting.
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Jack Daniel
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Dan-O
14th Avenue


Joined: 17 Jan 2005
Posts: 1427

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Riding off of Jack's post...

About 15 years ago, I watched a Tony Robbins motivational video given to some company that was willing to shell out the bucks to hear him repeat things others had said before him. And that was his lesson. Search out what the best are doing and do that yourself. It's called "modeling."

The vast majority of the talent I looked up to in promo, trailer, and narration have a simple site, a few videos to show off some cool work, and links to their agents. The work speaks for itself.

In short, aim to be one of the greats and the rest will fall into place.
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Philip Banks
Je Ne Sais Quoi


Joined: 20 Jun 2005
Posts: 9925
Location: UK Portgordon, Scotland

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I grate!
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Deirdre
Czarina Emeritus


Joined: 10 Nov 2004
Posts: 12793
Location: East Jesus, Maine

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So true. 😈

I kid! I kid!
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Philip Banks
Je Ne Sais Quoi


Joined: 20 Jun 2005
Posts: 9925
Location: UK Portgordon, Scotland

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Innit tho'
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Deirdre
Czarina Emeritus


Joined: 10 Nov 2004
Posts: 12793
Location: East Jesus, Maine

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Only on people who don't know when to pre-ignore the Britishness.
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iannyc
Been Here Awhile


Joined: 04 Oct 2016
Posts: 208
Location: Brooklyn, NYC

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ugh Ive definitely gotten caught up in this nonsense

But questionó someone CAN just go to 5err and get someone pretty good for dirt cheapó isnt part of being successful in this business creating a story in the buyers mind about why youre better and working with you is worth it for reasons that are beyond the material commodity of services rendered? If that makes sense Gasp
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Philip Banks
Je Ne Sais Quoi


Joined: 20 Jun 2005
Posts: 9925
Location: UK Portgordon, Scotland

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are people out there who do care about "the difference". In order to have them find me, you or ....

Missing something?

"Philip, give away your knowledge!"

No, not any more. Hah!

Find my coaching services at www.HOWMUCH4VOcoaching!com
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