An image can speak a thousand words, but how can we use an image to create a visual identity, define a brand and stand out from the competition?
For today’s blog I collaborate with Jemima Willcox; professional photographer and owner of the BlueGate studio, to share her expertise on the importance of photography and the impact it can have on businesses of all industry and size. I will also share my personal views from working within a design company.
So why is photography so important to business?
Whether on the high-street or online, we continuously make opinions on businesses by the way they look. A brand image is powerful for creating a reputation, a loyalty – so that every time someone sees an M they instantly think of the Fast Food chain. Did Mcdonald’s make its fortune by writing informative commercials on the healthy-ness of its burgers, I think not.
Jemima “The way a customer interacts with business is changing, ROI Research shows 44% respondents are more likely to engage with brands if they posted pictures on social media, companies need to understand the power that a visual communication can have for their brand. customer loyalty and bottom line”
The need for a clear visual identity is becoming more important as markets become more competitive and consumers are searching for something that a brand that is different, this is communicated much more quickly in a picture.
So what photos do you post, how do you communicate the right messages?
Working within the design industry, I believe you can find inspiration anywhere, and with open eyes you can find great ideas for posts, from your environment, your workspace, and also researching the images that your customers are likely to respond to.
This can also be transpired onto business literature, posters, flyers, exhibition stands. A good example I can recall was what looked to be a £5 note lying on my floor as I walked into my hall dormitory… as I flipped it over I saw it was nothing but a club flyer, but it certainly got me talking!
Jemima “To get the right impact a concept needs to be considered, a story created. This may be a sketch, a part of the company’s history or may be inspired by another image. It is important that these ideas are well communicated with the finished image”
A great example of good use of imagery is the Harley Davidson Two Lion’s campaign, that use historic trivia to create an iconic message. Czech riders dismantled there bikes during the second world war. and hid them so they were not confiscated by the Nazi’s – a story representing hope and freedom.
But how can we create professional images without having the budget to spend on fancy equipment or photographers?
Yes you often hear it, you pay for what you get – and if you don’t spend then you won’t portray the professional image you would like your brand to carry. It may take time and patience, but it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
Jemima “ An underused resource is the use of volunteer agencies and multi-skilled student photographers, who would jump at the chance to help expand their portfolio’s and get involved with new businesses. Also Contacting other volunteer agencies such as Do-It or VInspired is another avenue to discover undiscovered talent, which in the long run could develop into a very profitable relationship for the business and the photographer.”
There are always risks involved using students with a lack of experience, however they are ambitious, creative and are eager to prove themselves – all characteristics that could bring innovative ideas to the business.
Finally, I asked Jemima her views of Instagram and Pinterest, along with the future trends of photography..
“Out of all the social media platforms, Instagram has become the most popular involved with photography and video to date. I feel that both Pinterest and Instagram can be used as marketing tool for a ‘snapshot’ style of imagery. We do need to take into consideration that the vast amount of images uploaded to Instagram are taken using a smartphone. Businesses need to consider the quality of the images for which medium they intend to use. Smartphones have the resolution capacity but not so much when it comes to using a professional digital SLR with interchangeable lenses.
Pinterest from my point of view can be used more of a visual branding tool. By creating the right visual content and then posting it, the hope is that a user with many followers pins it to their account, so it can create a high amount of traffic to where the content was from. Another benefit of Pinterest is the ability to create personalised content for your customer, so that you can point them to a board of resources that have been created just for them and their needs. This then leaves a positive impression on them and makes them feel confident and well treated.”
The next progression of this trend is the use of video, as the use of mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones has overtaken the use of the laptop or the home PC. The popularity of such sites as Vine and Instagram shows how consumers are turning to different mediums to discover new trends.”
Ansel Adams “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”
You can find out more about Jemima and the BlueGate Studio below along with some of Jemima’s lovely photography – I would love to hear your comments and experiences.
Twitter link https://twitter.com/MiniMimiMinion