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The Importance of Branding

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A solid brand for a company can help drive a business into success by increasing customer base and instilling confidence in a company.  It is more than just a logo.  A brand goes beyond being just an image and provides a company with an identity.  Good brands are memorable, but great brands are iconic.  Without strategic brand recognition, businesses cannot reach their full potential.  This is why it is so important.

Branding has a lot to do with reputation.  A solid brand from a reputable company goes a long way in instilling confidence with consumers.  It also gives its employees confidence in the company.  How a company handles situations and puts itself out in the world says a lot about the entity and also peoples’ perceptions of it.  Brands can be wonderful tools for a company, but if not handled well, can also lead to their demise.  A company with a poor reputation or one that handles a situation poorly, will reflect upon its business and consumers will react unfavorably.

Black Horse Videography has helped several companies develop their brand and created their business logos.  This is the first step in creating a solid brand.  The logo should be something iconic and easy to remember.  If you take a close look at our center chess piece above, you will notice that the bottom of it is actually a camera lens.  The mane is also supposed to give the impression of a film reel.  These subtle nuances leave an impression on consumers and have meaning.

So why is branding so important and what can it do for your company?

BRANDING CREATES RECOGNITION

If people don’t know your company exists, it doesn’t matter how well you do what you do.  Having a solid logo and marketing that logo so that your name and business are in the forefront of peoples’ minds is extremely important.  Think about companies whose logos you don’t need to see the name to know them: McDonalds golden arches, Nike’s swoosh, Facebook’s “F”.  They have done a great job branding everything with their logo and making sure it is recognizable.  Get a solid logo, and get it out there.

BRANDING CREATES TRUST

People are much more likely to visit a store or business whose logo they have seen over and over again.  These companies develop brand authority.  They become seen as the best, even if they aren’t necessarily.  The more people who recognize the brand, the more potential customers will emerge.  Consumers want to have trust in the companies they spend their money with.  Having a solid brand everywhere provides confidence that the business isn’t going anywhere, and trust that they will do a good job.  The message is that the company with the massive brand can be trusted and is the best at what they do.

BRANDING INSPIRES EMPLOYEES

Employees want to know that the company they work for has a mission.  They want to believe in that mission and know that the company is growing and becoming better.  If they truly believe that they can make a difference and help the company reach new heights and that they can play a part in the company’s success, they too will share it and strive for it.

BRANDING IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE TOOL IN ADVERTISING

If you print marketing material, post it online, develop your website or have a video produced for you, branding is crucial.  The first thing we tell any of our commercial clients is to have a solid logo animation to brand their videos.  This provides a polished and professional look.  It creates an authority that the videos consumers are watching are legitimate and worth watching.  They look expensive and make whatever product you sell look official.  Having everything branded with your logo also provides multiple ways for potential customers to see your logo.  The more times they see your logo, the more it is on their mind.

The most successful companies have solid brands.  If you need a brand developed or a logo designed, give us a call and we will be happy to help.

How Much Does Video Production Cost?

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If you’ve ever considered hiring a professional video production company to create your next promotional video or advertisement, I’m sure you’ve asked yourself the most important question…how much will this cost me? The answer to this is not a straight forward one. It depends on a variety of variables. Hopefully we can provide you with some insight in this article.

What are you producing?

Good production companies will ask you a variety of questions before even agreeing to produce your video. It is extremely important to know all about the company and the purpose of the video before producing it. There are companies out there who will take any pay day and produce a video the client might not even be able to use. Many of our clients come to us with this problem. They paid a good chunk of money to have a video produced, and they cannot use the video or do not like it. The goal for us, is to not only create a quality video that suits our clients’ needs, but to create a relationship with our clients so that they come back to us whenever they need video production. Before understanding what it is we are producing and why we are producing it, we cannot offer a price quote. If a video production company isn’t asking questions such as: What is this video for? Who is your target demographic? Where will this be seen? What is your long term goal for this video? etc. we cannot pinpoint what type of video is needed or how to approach the project. Understanding the project goals and objectives is the first step in providing an accurate quote.

Why are some companies much more expensive than others?

When you call various video production companies, you may find that the price fluctuates and some businesses are more expensive than others.  This is due to several reasons but they all boil down to one…QUALITY.  Make sure you look at sample work from video companies before you decide to hire one.  You will be able to see a distinct difference between a company that produces sub-par work and one that is exceptional.  All videos are not created equal.  You may be able to find someone to produce a video for a small amount of money, but will the end product meet your needs?  When hiring a company, be sure to review the work and that the company can produce what you are imagining or asking for.  Professional companies will have a deep knowledge of how to produce quality videos and will also be able to show you samples.  If you don’t like the samples, chances are, you won’t like your end product.

How is the price determined?

Pricing a video is determined by several factors, but it can be boiled down mostly to the amount of time and man power required to create the video.  The cost is generally determined by factoring in Pre-production, Production, Post-production and licensing.  Pre-production refers to the planning stages of the video creation.  It is most often required for the producers of the video to meet with clients, draft story boards or plans, write scripts, prepare the studio space, or any other type pf pre-planning.  During the production period, the company has to have cinematographers film the event or commercial.  This refers to the time spent actually working with actors, talent or filming.  Post-production is the time required to edit the video.  This is many times the most time consuming aspect of production and if animation is required, it can take a long time.  Licensing is also something to consider.  Professional companies will require licensing for certain projects.  This provides the client with permissions to legally use the video in all of its content to advertise and make money.  All of these things combined is how a production company will determine the price of a project.

How complicated is your project?

There are simple projects, and there are much more robust ones.  To paint this picture, I will describe two examples.  The first is a simple project.  Imagine a self-made, popular, local car salesman who produces hundreds of short commercials.  This may just be him (or her) talking about how great the dealership is in front of a car.  These commercials are cheap, and they look just that…cheap.  There is no production value to them.  They can be produced with a camera and a tripod.  There is relatively no editing involved.  The contrast to this would be a Superbowl commercial.  These take time to produce, may take multiple days to film and take many hours to edit and produce.  These commercials take much more time to create, therefore they are more expensive.  We produce many commercials for clients and one thing that sets them apart from other videos is that we take great care in our productions.  One of the things we do to separate ourselves is we do a great deal of graphic design and animation in our videos (as appropriate).  The animation process is extremely time consuming and can become expensive.  The complexity of the project also has an affect on price.

Licensing?

Any legitimate video production company should have a conversation with their clients about licensing.  This is important because it protects the company and the client from any legal issues that may arise.  There have been many documented instances of people being sued for use of music that has not been licensed.  This can cause unwanted legal trouble or even fines of great magnitude.  Beware of any company that doesn’t provide licensing to music and provide that documentation.  You should also be provided a license to use the video you are contracting for monetary gain.  Understand that the person or company who records an image OWNS that image.  Just because you hired the company to create your video does not mean that you own the images.  The images must be licensed for use by the creator of those images.  If you don’t have a license to use the video, you technically have no rights to it.  Be sure to obtain the proper licensing to any video you will be publishing so you can avoid any legal troubles that may arise.

How much does video production cost?

In returning to the original question of “how much does video production cost”, the answer is…it depends.  What you want to produce will determine the cost.  The more detailed or complicated a project is, the more it will cost.  The reason why you might want to spend more, is because an expensive and elegant commercial will reflect on the company it represents.  When you see cheap advertisements, it reflects upon the company as being cheap.  The tendency is to believe that the company’s products are cheap and/or the services are lesser quality.  Think about what it is you want, and then find a company who can produce it for you in a way that meets your needs.

Wedding Photography Buffalo

Should I Hire a Videographer for My Wedding?

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This is a question we hear all the time “Should I hire a videographer for my wedding?” If you are on the fence about hiring a videographer for your wedding day, this article is a must-read. We won’t tell you that you should or shouldn’t but we will rather give you some insight that will help you drive your decision. When it boils down to it, you have to do what’s right for you. So the big question becomes “is wedding videography right for me?” Let’s look at a few insights.

Video production is a relatively new phenomenon in the grand scheme of history. It wasn’t until this past decade that video equipment reached a point in technology where it is portable and produced quality images. Today’s equipment is light-years beyond what it was when your parents or grandparents got married. The videos are much different. They are cinematic and tell a story as opposed to Uncle Bob putting a tape recording camera on a tripod in the back of the church. Now you can get very high quality videos. Photography used to rule the day as well. Before video, it was all about photography. The paradigm is now changing and people haven’t quite caught up to it yet. We are embedded in the custom of hiring a photographer without video, but that’s because video wasn’t a good product in the past. Videos are much better QUALITY than they were in the past.

One of the biggest regrets that we hear over and over again from people who watch our videos is that they regret not getting a videographer. You can read all about this on the Knot or Weddingwire from numerous people who have written about this but the fact remains, it is the number one regret from modern brides. In most cases we find that brides decide much too late in the game that they do want a video, but they have already spent their budget on flowers, chair covers and other items for their wedding. We also find that the only reason most people who do not get a video for their wedding is that they didn’t want to spend the money. Let’s be honest though; if I told you our services were free, would you hire us? The answer is always a resounding YES, but we understand that a budget is set and people cannot always live outside their means. There is VALUE in having a wedding video. If it were FREE, everyone would do it.

Before I got into the wedding video business, I hired a guy I know to film our wedding. I paid him $800 for this video and needless to say we got what we paid for. The video is not very good quality and the audio is far from professional. This video is actually what spring-loaded me into starting Black Horse Videography. The funny thing is, however, that I am extremely grateful I have this $800 video. My Grandfather gave a speech at my wedding. My Grandmother danced with me and told me that she loved me. My wife’s uncle got to share a dance with her. All of these people have passed away (shortly after our wedding) and are no longer with us. Their memory will always live on in that video. Having A video is much better than having NO video.

On your wedding day there will be a lot of people in attendance. There will be many things happening all around you. The day will go by in a blink. There are many things you will not see or experience. Without a video, you will never see your bride’s maids walk down the aisle before you. You won’t see the tears roll down your Husband-to-be’s face as he waits for you in anticipation. You will not see what he is doing before your ceremony or he – you. You won’t remember what was said during the speeches or any other sentimental things that happen. This is why we feel it is important to have a video. Without a videographer, you are left to stress about remembering everything and soak in as much as you can, because the day will fly by. Videographers can offer PEACE OF MIND on your wedding day.

In the end, you will only have two things left after your wedding. You will not have the chair covers, ice sculptures or flowers. You will not remember what was said or how the food you paid for tasted. You will not remember what songs the DJ played on the dance floor. The only two things you will have left after your wedding day are PHOTOS and VIDEO. If you don’t think video is right for you, there is nothing wrong with that. Hopefully this post will help you make an educated decision and help you weigh the value of a wedding video. The paradigm, however, has shifted and where video was once an added extra that people paid for only if they had extra money in their budget, is now becoming the first priority for many modern brides.