Keeping your brand image consistent speak volumes to your customers. For the last 6 month I’ve been working with an incredible client that has offices spread across the south eastern United States. They came to us wanting great imagery, but also be genuine while representing each of the unique office locations. As a photographer I’m looking at each location to try and make the best visuals possible. This client’s offices were drastically different in each location, but we needed to keep consistency with the visuals. In order to keep the look, in one of the locations we had to shoot very tight in order to keep focus on the subjects and not show the surrounding areas of the space.
How is your company using imagery and visuals to communicate your brand story? And, are these conveying the brand image you want people to associate with you? These elements can play a large role in cementing a positive or negative picture in your current and potential clients’ minds.
Great photos that are relevant, consistent and tie in with who you are and the products and services you offer can work with other elements, like design and messaging, to tell an engaging, impactful story. The wrong images, or ones that just don’t quite fit, can indeed have the exact opposite effect. In a Social Media Examiner report, 32 percent of marketers say visual images are the single most important form of content.
So, what can you do to ensure your brand image fits your goals, audience, reputation, and products and services? We’ll go into detail below about how custom brand photography can help, but at a high level, you will want to:
Define your brand position and messaging
Determine what makes your company and its offerings unique and positions you above competitors
Develop your brand story and how you can communicate it to your audience
Determine which elements, like custom photography, can best tell your story across multiple channels
Create an emotional connection and enable clients to visualize how your products or services can help them
Be consistent and relevant in all communications
Define who you are and what you want to communicate to clients
Start with your brand position and messaging. What is your company all about? How does it help clients in their everyday businesses or solve their pain points? What do you want potential clients to know about you? Maybe you want to convey trust, professionalism, authority, fun, edginess or something else completely.
More than likely, you are not going to be able to simply hunt down stock photos that precisely communicate what you want to say about your brand. And in this case, you run the risk of using the same photos other companies (or worse yet, competitors) are using in their advertising and creative. On the other hand, custom photography is a great option that is unique to you and can work with your marketing campaigns and messaging to tell the story you want to tell and how you want to tell it — to your target audience and across all channels.
Build your brand story and decide how you will communicate it
So, what is your brand story and what does it say about you? It is partially about the narrative you build and communicate, but much of it also is based on how your clients view your brand. Some elements you can control, but of utmost importance is how your audience perceives you and your products and services. Keep in mind, it is critical to determine how you will communicate your story, via what channels, and how clients will interpret it. And within that, you will need to consider the creative elements and messaging that need to be included in these communications.
Make a plan for the specific content elements that can best tell your story
According to Dr. John J. Medina's Brain Rule Rundown: “We are incredible at remembering pictures. Hear a piece of information, and three days later you'll remember 10% of it. Add a picture and you'll remember 65%.” Not only do you need to have a strong headline and messaging, but also the marketing creative design and photos need to complement and strengthen what you are trying to communicate to current and potential clients about your brand. This combination will not only help you gain your audience’s attention, but it will also assist in engaging them with your brand in a positive way and make you memorable.
Use custom commercial photography to paint a clear picture in clients’ minds
Create an emotional connection and enable clients to visualize who you are and what your products or services can do for them. Let photos show them what is possible and how clients can benefit from working with you. Sometimes you only have one shot; it is that first impression, how it makes them feel about your company and if they would consider doing business with you. Of course, it is also important for all creative elements to work together to ensure you are adequately conveying the same message across all channels, as mixed messages can hurt your credibility and work against you.
Be genuine and relevant in all communications
Use custom brand photos to convey trust and authenticity. Images that match your brand and highlight your offerings in a positive light signal to clients that you are a professional, reputable company and better position you against competitors. According to Stakla, “the vast majority of consumers (86 percent) said authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support.”
Consistent branding, including custom photography and relevant messaging, when used to communicate a story will also help in keeping you top of mind for your target audience. By telling an engaging narrative with memorable visuals, people are more likely to remember your company and what you do. Start the conversation with them and support it throughout the client journey, always reinforcing your story and brand image.
Custom commercial photography can also be valuable for your content marketing. In fact, the Content Marketing Institute found that 56 percent of B2B marketers use photos or illustrations in their content marketing efforts. Images can work together with other content to strengthen communications delivered through email, social media, blogs, magazines, websites, events, webinars, in-person presentations, and more. Again, images can reinforce your brand with not only current clients but also with potential new ones, as well.
Learn more about how custom brand photography can help your company
Are you ready to explore the next steps and find out how custom commercial photography can help you tell your brand story? Contact Brett Winter Lemon online or at 540-529-3876 to talk about your company’s specific needs.
The key to any strong brand is to be consistent. That's how you keep your customers understanding what you do and who you really are as a company. Great photography is awesome, but if it's not in line with the brand it's doing no good at all. Here are some images for one company. Can you see one that doesn't fit?
Welcome to 2018! Why not have a new content and imagery to brand your business? Commercial and corporate photography can sometimes be tricky to navigate as a business owner or marketing department. Here are 5 easy tips to understanding what to look for in a corporate photographer.
1. Does your brand match the style of the photographer?
- Not every project is the right fit for every photographer. And the first person to understand that should be the photographer. If they try and promise the world and act like they can do anything... well they probably can't and you might not get the style and direction that you need to brand your business in the way that you want.
2. What is the experience and background of the photographer?
- This is an obvious thing, but sometimes and can be trickier than you think. Let's take for example A pharmaceutical company. There might be a need for CEO portraits as well as working in the labs all the way down to the manufacturing. Does the photographer have the experience to handle themselves in front of the CEO of a Fortune 500 company as well as the hourly employee? It's not always about the photography, but about business culture.
3. Are the deliverables priced accordingly to the project?
- No two projects are ever going to be the same so why should the price? There's a value for both the corporation and the photographer and both parties should understand that. The scope of the work and the usage of rights is the main priority for being able to price a job accordingly.
4. Is the photographer adding value to your brand?
- Is the photographer learning about the business and trying to understand the best solution for maintaining the businesses visual brand? Are they asking questions and giving suggestions on different ways to approach the scope of the work? The photographer should always have the companies budget at their best interest. The photographer should want to create a relationship with the company, not just milk the budget out.
5. Do you get along?
- Simple as that. If the photographer can't have composure in very situation they shouldn't be on the job. It's a delicate dance to work with marketing and creatives to achieve a goal. Bottom line is the client, business and product come first. The goal is always to meet their needs.