25 Jan Brand Refinement – Imagery & Photography
So what is so important about brand imagery and photography anyway?
Well a picture really can paint a thousand words and if that’s the case and you’re using the wrong picture, you can undo everything that you’ve been trying to build up pretty quickly if you’re using the wrong type or bad quality imagery.
For example, if you’re trying to build trust and be seen as an approachable and friendly small business, then stuffy corporate looking stock images are going to completely detract from that image you’re trying to portray to your ideal customers.
Unfortunately investing in photography and imagery that complements and fits your brand style and really inspires and speaks to your customers is something that many small businesses leave till last or don’t put much thought into and it can really harm all the hard work that you’ve put into the rest of your branding.
There’s nothing worse than coming across stock photos which you’ve used on someone else’s site, it cheapens your brand and can even make you stand out for all the wrong reasons!
With many people, visual imagery sticks in their minds, you want it to stick for the right reasons, not the wrong ones.
In this fast moving and highly visual world we’re living in, social media pushes millions of people to websites, galleries, portfolios and blogs and bombards us with a crazy amount of imagery. Businesses, large or small, can’t afford not to invest in brand-focussed imagery and photography unless they want to risk being overlooked entirely and start losing touch with their ideal target market.
Is your imagery reflecting your personality?
These days it’s more important than ever to be authentic online, especially when you’re a small business as this sets you apart from larger and somewhat soulless organisations.
If you’re a mum-entrepreneur who manages to get work done with 2 toddlers and a baby to look after (I’m impressed if that’s you and you do!) then perhaps some of your imagery should reflect that – you ‘juggling the motherload’ and nailing it! I know I’d be impressed.
If you’re a bit quirky and kooky with a great sense of humour then don’t have stuffy photos of you trying to look your most professional version of yourself. Have fun and poke your tongue out, screw up your face in a funny way, let your expressions show! This is what people will get when they deal with you so don’t hide that – prepare them for it.
If you offer a consulting service based from home then try harder to reflect how you do what you do to stand out from the crowd. Don’t be tempted to use stock photography of boardrooms or meeting rooms with beautiful models acting like they’re ‘doing business’ if this isn’t how you actually operate.
Is your imagery in marketing materials losing you sales?
Are your leaflets and brochures up to scratch? Are they of high quality and are they eye-catching and enticing your ideal customers? Or are they letting you down because they’re badly sized, pixelated or not the right colours? Are you losing customers because your marketing material is devaluing your product or service?
If you find yourself thinking ‘mmmmm it’s not that great’ or ‘It’ll have to do’ then it probably won’t do what you need it to and will be doing your brand more harm than good.
You want to be using striking imagery that really captures your target markets imagination, so understanding who they are and what they’re into will really help you make the right choices. You need to use bold colours and interesting compositions to avoid people chucking your marketing material in the bin or clicking away from your page.
These days you only get one chance to engage people, you literally have a few seconds! Enticing and powerful high quality images will help draw them in.
Are you standing out from the crowd?
Do an audit of your brand imagery, is it painting a true picture of who you are and what you’re about?
Think about your brand and your personal values and keep them in mind when looking for inspiration for your imagery.
Consider investing in a professional photographer who understands your brand values and so you can have photos that will showcase your potential and give you a headstart over your competitors. Re-shooting all your main promotional images of you and your business for use on your website, promotional material and your ads could be all you need to refine your brand for 2016 and help take you to the next level!
However, you’ll get what you put in! Remember that the brief for your photographer is extremely important so make sure you take the time to think about and clearly communicate what you’re wanting to achieve – your brand’s values, objectives and ideal customers etc… otherwise you’ll risk losing that competitive edge.