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Old July 29th, 2014, 11:20 AM   #1
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Combining Religion And Your Brand

Hey guys,

I'm in the process of creating a business (I hate calling it a business, it's much smaller than that) for my off time videography endeavors. These endeavors I hope to range from wedding videography to promos for local (real) businesses and the occasional short film that I may shoot for fun.

In terms of a name for the company I was considering "Shober Studios." Shober (pronounced shover) is Hebrew for the present tense verb "breaking." Without getting into specifics this has some relation to religion. In addition, I was considering putting a small minimalist religious symbol in my brand as well.

In addition to my "business" I was interested in creating a youtube channel that shows my content + what I learned from each video I shot to show people specifically what resources I research and the process that it takes to get from A to B. My purpose for this channel would be for my viewers to grow with me in a film making sense and a religious sense as well.

Many of you are professional videographers with phenomenal insight. So, I was curious of your opinion in regards to my ideas. Would I alienate possible clientele? Is it too subtle to even notice?

Thanks for your time,
Scott
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Old July 29th, 2014, 11:28 AM   #2
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Re: Combining Religion And Your Brand

It can go both ways really ...

It will work with the small minority of that religion whilst the majority may be put off and go elsewhere.

I personally wouldn't bring religion in to it and keep it neutral for the sake of business.
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Old July 29th, 2014, 08:18 PM   #3
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Re: Combining Religion And Your Brand

Not sure about in your area but over here Jewish weddings are a lucrative market but a firmly closed shop unless you are "one of the community" ...Their attitude is that we look after our own first. Based on that and if you want to give Jewish clients priority (and there are no doubt plenty in your community who would prefer to use a community based video guy) then you really have a niche market! Exploit it and serve it well and then others that want your services outside the community are unlikely to connect to the name so as long as your work is up to par, you have no issues using the name.

This is all based on the fact that you ARE Jewish and are part of the jewish community and didn't happen to like the name. Niche markets are actually pretty lucrative and your outside competition is eliminated.

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Old July 30th, 2014, 04:03 PM   #4
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Re: Combining Religion And Your Brand

I agree and disagree with James Manford. Yes, you draw some clients by being open about your religion, and will simultaneously alienate clientele by being open about your religion. You've already stated this is a side business, not your main income, so you have great flexibility. The key question, then, is "which clients do you want?" Those that are biased against your faith or those that embrace who you are?

Just be open, honest, and transparent and everything else falls into place.
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Old July 30th, 2014, 04:34 PM   #5
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Re: Combining Religion And Your Brand

Thank you all for the variety of responses. This is exactly what I needed. I spoke with my wife and she offered some insight similar to what Kevin is suggesting. If I market myself as believing in a certain religion, my clientele will be limited to those who tolerate it, or those who believe in it and filter out those who do not tolerate/believe in it.

For a variety of reasons this is a good and bad thing from a religious stand point, but I digress as this thread is about the business POV. Again, thank you all.
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Old July 30th, 2014, 04:46 PM   #6
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Re: Combining Religion And Your Brand

How about a compromise?

Choose a company name that would be acceptable (or non-offensive) to clients but actively market yourself to particular groups. It would be the same as having distinct marketing plans for, say, corporate, commercial or non-profits clients. The goal would be to make your skills and services known to groups with different needs with the end result of you getting hired.

John
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Old July 30th, 2014, 04:51 PM   #7
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Re: Combining Religion And Your Brand

Hey John,

That's kind of what I was going for with the name "Shober Studios." At first, you might just think that's a last name and would only ever figure out that it has religious connotation if you inquired about the name. Heck, it might even be too subtle. If I just straight up translated it to "Broken Studios" that doesn't even mean a whole lot either, because the Hebrew doesn't translate well to English.
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Old July 31st, 2014, 04:46 AM   #8
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Re: Combining Religion And Your Brand

"Broken Studios" does not sound to me to be an ideal name for a company - leave it as "Shober".
There are some very successful companies with unlikely names, but it is a risk.
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Old July 31st, 2014, 12:51 PM   #9
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Re: Combining Religion And Your Brand

Another option, used by wedding videographers who also want to serve the corporate world, is to use two separate names (as I understand, the corporate world has no love for wedding videographers).
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Old July 31st, 2014, 12:56 PM   #10
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Re: Combining Religion And Your Brand

Hey Ervin,

Do you have an example of this? How would that work out for having a website? Would you have two separate websites for each market?
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Old July 31st, 2014, 01:25 PM   #11
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Re: Combining Religion And Your Brand

Yes, two separate websites.

I don't have an example - this is just what I read on this forum. You may want to ask in the wedding subsection.
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Old July 31st, 2014, 03:40 PM   #12
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Re: Combining Religion And Your Brand

There is a local home builder that advertises on the radio and each ad finishes with "XYZ Homes, a Christian builder". Follow your own convictions in this area.

My concern would be confusion with the name being pronounced different than it is spelled. If you're keeping the "business" really small, big deal. If it takes off and you are advertising all over, it will be confusing. People might hear "Shover" and do a web search and not find "Shober" studios. If you are marketing to Jewish clientele mainly, then perhaps they "get it". Up to you in the end.

Thanks

Jeff
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Old August 1st, 2014, 07:58 AM   #13
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Re: Combining Religion And Your Brand

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott James Walter View Post
Would I alienate possible clientele?
Absolutely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott James Walter View Post
Is it too subtle to even notice?
Nope.
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Old August 1st, 2014, 10:31 AM   #14
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Re: Combining Religion And Your Brand

Hey Jeff,

That's some really sound advice. My mentality with planning this out has been to plan for something that is bigger than I intend. So, you bring up a really good point in that people who might not hear the word pronounced would think the name is different than what it truly is.

Hey Bruce,

Out of curiosity, if I hadn't made this post, and you were a client and I came to you talking about my company and what I could offer, how you know that the name "Shober Studios" was related to religion? I feel as though even the most curious of people (the ones who translate it) still won't even know that it has religious connotation unless I directly explain it.

Just to clear something up, I am not Jewish, but I love 'em all the same!
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Old August 6th, 2014, 01:03 PM   #15
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Re: Combining Religion And Your Brand

My 2 cents (keeping in mind I'm in Canada and in GENERAL terms we are more quiet around religion than our neighbours to the south in the US):

I've always found it "creepy" in some way I can't entirely explain ANY TIME someone tries to "hide" an affiliation in their signage or logo - it always seems like some kind of "secret handshake" or something that I'm not privvy to.

Whether the Star of David, the "Jesus Fish" or in the case of something less obvious, some icon from a Secret Society/Society With Secrets I just find obscure and/or polarizing insignia put me off dealing with a business.

Of course, this does not apply (in my mind) to whatever symbols and regalia one chooses to display in their establishment that are part-and-parcel to their faith or affiliation. Christian? Cross on the wall, no problem. Jewish? The ceramic symbol, on the doorframe, cool. Member of the Fraternal Order of Griffons? Giant marauding stuffed birdlike raptor creature above your desk, sure... um... it IS stuffed right???

Again, just my thoughts on what goes through my mind when evaluating a service provider.

As well, I'd be concerned about appropriating someone's culture. Here in Canada it is a big deal right now, especially amongst our First Nations (the term we use for our indigenous peoples). I wouldn't consider using the sideways white Moebius Strip on a blue background (which is the symbol of our Metis or "mixed blood" people descended from the indigenous peoples and the non-indigenous settlers) even in solidarity. Different symbols mean different things though: the Rainbow Flag can be displayed by businesses that are openly accepting of the GLBT community (please, let's NOT turn this into a discussion of political correctness!) even if the owners/operators don't identify with that group.

In this day and age, I think relationships matter. If you want a certain segment to do business with them, network with them.

<steps down off soapbox>
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