Are You Turning Off Your Audience with Your Brand Images?
There are a few things to keep in mind when considering what visuals you want to use for your brand.
First, ponder the adjectives that describe what you want to convey. We call these Brand Attributes. The adjectives you choose should be intentional, true to your brand, and tell your story in visual sections.
Second, once you determine the brand attributes you want to project, you can turn your thoughts to the exact element that visually convey your brand’s story.
We call these Brand Assets: photos, graphics, logos, imagery, and even marketing collateral. The best Brand Assets are polished, professional, and authentic to your message.
Should You Use Stock Images?
Let’s say your brand attributes are:
To choose images that reflect these attributes, keep in mind it’s not only the subject matter that needs to be considered.
Be selective on what you choose by avoiding unrealistic and tacky images. The goal is polished and professional… and that takes thoughtfulness.
Using stock images can be convenient, even cost effective. As I mentioned above, look for those images that accurately depict your brand attributes, reflect the feeling, are realistic, and maybe more subtle.
Avoid using cookie cutter images we all see on the web. Any graphics should be refined versus cartoonish.
For example, take a look at this image. It feels real, doesn’t it?
She looks like a real and trustworthy person enjoying a moment of peace and happiness. She is relatable.
Now in this example, we have a beautiful image, yet we know it is a stock photo that leaves us emotionless.
The silhouetted person at the center of the photo isn’t “real.” There’s disconnect between you being on the beach and this silhouette of a person.
If you’ve got a personal brand, it’s important that your audience makes the emotional connection and put themselves on that beach.
Sometimes you can accomplish feelings or experiences of peacefulness indirectly, such as in the next image.
However, the next couple of graphics lean toward being too literal and tacky.
In our example of photos conveying trustworthiness and support, try to avoid cliché images such as this photo.
Conversely, the image below effectively reveals a sense of trustworthiness through the model’s gentle smile, poised stance, and confident eye contact.
What It’s All About
Choosing your images and graphics is not about being “right” or “wrong.” It’s about context, emotion, and refinement.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself each time you need to choose a new image:
Is this the right context for this image or graphic?
Does is accurately reflect the emotion(s) you want to create?
Is it refined and professional?
- Your Brand (Visual Identity) Tells Your Story - April 10, 2018
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- Are You Turning Off Your Audience with Your Brand Images? - June 19, 2017
"Be you! Authentically you!" Jena Rodriguez