A brand by any other name…

Top of the survey when asked ‘What do you want to know about when it comes to your business images?’,  came ‘Clarity of Message’ and ‘Branding’. And as we aim to please today’s blog is a straight forward look at some ideas on those very topics.

A quick disclaimer I’m currently working with the very talented Andy Johnston to drill down my business message and getting a really clear and consistent brand, so don’t take me as the greatest example at the moment. You can judge me at the end of the summer!

This is probably the first tip. Get outside help. It doesn’t have to be a professional (though a trained eye does help). A colleague, team member, mentor, prospective customers, ideal clients are all good to bounce ideas off. I have been known to test things at networking events too.

Then listen to what comes back. We all get bogged down in great ideas, being all things to all people, what we think people want to see. This can lead to our message becoming muddled and our brand getting a bit lost. Another set of constructively critical eyes are incredibly valuable for keeping our brand and message clear.

Next tip colour is great for branding. Here’s a screen grab of an image search for Cancer Research. I drove past a billboard this morning and it struck me how well they use colour. You can see that the colours from the logo in all their visuals, be it diagrams, events, people, research. Small business can do this through clothing, pop-up banners, pens, etc. It doesn’t have to be expensive. A bit of attention to detail is all that’s needed. For example if you are giving a presentation where you are going to be photographed, wear something that features your colours, match your whiteboard markers or PPT to your company colour scheme.

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You can also look at/Google the psychology of colour and what is standard in your area of business, e.g. business training is a dearth of blue/grey stock photography. Clothing, image treatments, lettering all using the same palette. If you come to any of my training sessions through the year I’m may ask you to wear something bright, as this isn’t anything like I want training to look or be. Dull!

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Unfortunately there is no simple answer. It can be a trade off between people making the connection with people through the use of standard industry colours and being lost amongst all your competitors doing the same thing. If you do an image search of ‘Edinburgh Law Firm Logos’ vs ‘Edinburgh Asset Management Logos’ you can see their different approaches.

From colour to people and clarity. If you have a specific target market use them in your images. This ties into last week’s blog on audience. Use people who connect with your target market and don’t use people who will muddy the message. When I think about my audience it’s not about a specific age, gender or industry. It’s about people looking open, engaged, professional, confident and happy. When I share any image promoting my profile pictures I make sure the image says all those things to me.

PPD eventbrite 2018

A similar argument can be made for location. If your audience is very local think about how you can feature that in your images. If you audience isn’t in California, stock images that feature roller-blading under palm trees can make you look inauthentic. The reverse can be true if you sell internationally i.e. looking to small scale, but not always. Think about the strength of the Scottish/UK brand in China.

Last tip for now…there are a million things that contribute to clarity of message and branding so I have to draw the line somewhere. I’m sure it will regularly appear in other blogs in the future and if you need specific help with your business come along to a training session or join the Digital Content Masterclass Facebook group. Where you have the chance to get that outside help I mentioned 😉

So as I was saying last tip…sticking your logo on stuff! One of the easiest ways you can get your branding out there is get your logo in a PNG file and drop it on to all your images. If you’re not sure how to do it for your specific device, app, software ask the internet…Youtube will have the answer!

To recap a brief introduction to clarity of message and branding think; outside feedback, colour, people, location, watermark (logo). Things not covered yet; filters, styles of photography, repetition of composition…and on and on and on. Still lots to cover in the future!

Always love to hear your feedback and questions so ask away!

C x

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Targeting your market

 

Unless your goal is shouting about your business into the void, which I admit is what it feels like at times. You need to think about your audience. What do they want to see? What do you want to tell them? What do you want them to do? What’s stopping them buying from you? When you have an idea of the answers to these questions then you can look at the next step. The pictures!

How do you use images to target your market? Lets have a look at some really simple examples for each of the questions posed above.

What do they want to see?

Take areas of the female market. There is evidence that a large part of this market responds best to images that contain people that they relate to. Meaning people who are of a similar age, earning level and life stage, etc., so high earning, single mums in their late 30s respond best to similar mums. Pictures of married mums in their 20s isn’t going to work as well.

What do you want to tell them?

Your message could be something as simple as you have a higher quality product than your competitor. For example the difference between a traditional butcher versus buying meat from a supermarket. By removing any plastic packaging, placing the meat on a stone/slate block, adding a sprig of herb you can effectively convey that message in a single image.

What do you want them to do?

You want your audience to visit your cafe. Take a picture of a cake put some text with a code next to it and the message, whoever orders a coffee between 10-11am on Saturday with the code gets a free cake. There are few things more engaging than free cake…maybe a puppy eating a cake…but that’s a bit gratuitous 😉

What’s stopping them buying from you?

Mental health related services can struggle with prospective clients being fearful of the entire situation. By using images to tell the step by step process of a visit, from what the front door, reception and room look like, to friendly engaging pictures introducing them to everyone they will meet. Images can reassure prospective clients and get them to book a session.

As you can see with a little thought you can use images to talk to your audience in a much more effective way.

If you have any questions ask away!

C x