Custom brand photography is made up of unique photographs that are taken specifically for your business. These photographs tell a story about who your company is, what your products are, and how your business and products are different from all of the other ones out there. Custom brand photography isn’t an unnecessary expense or something that is just nice to have. In 2018, it is something that is needed to help your business or products stand out and to ensure that your visual content marketing campaigns are not overlooked by consumers. Here is a bit more information on how custom brand photography helps to set you apart from your competitors.
Stock Photos vs Custom Photos
Images are the fastest and strongest way to become instantly recognizable to consumers. Think about what happens as you walk down an aisle in the grocery store for a second. You can usually pick out brands and products without ever once having to read the box to see what the brand is and what item is inside of the box or container. You know what it is thanks to imagery and brand awareness. This is an example of why it is so important to have custom photos, rather than stock photos.
Stock photos can serve multiple purposes, but custom photos are only for your brand. For example, if you go online and search for an image of a hamburger, you may come up with many stock images. But if every hamburger company used stock images, how would customers differentiate what image is your hamburger and what image is a competitor’s hamburger? The short answer is they may not be able to, and in addition to this, they may start to tune out all stock photography, as it all looks the same to them.
Nobody will recognize the individuals or images you use with stock photography. But when you use custom photography, you start to set yourself apart from the crowd and use images that your customers can start to identify and associate with your business.
Your Brand, Defined
You already have a clear definition of what your brand is, who it’s for, its values, and the message and feeling you want it to convey. An effective use of your time is to use your brand definition and apply that to photography, instead of the other way around. You’ll be able to source images quicker by having images supplied to you that are pre-defined to match your brand, instead of having to search for images that meet your brand’s personality.
What this ultimately means is that it is much faster to take images that apply to your brand definition, rather than searching online for stock photos that meet the specifications of what you are looking for. If you run a natural candle company, you can take images that showcase your candles, as well as the natural ingredients in them, helping to tell a story and convey what your product is and why it is unique through the images. Taking this photo is much faster than searching online for a stock photo that conveys this same exact message. The brand definition that is provided to consumers through imagery helps to differentiate your brand from all of the others out there, helping you to stand apart from all of the other companies that sell products similar to yours.
Real People, Not Models
Many stock images use perfect models for the images. Perfect models can be a huge barrier between consumers and brands. Have you ever looked at a dress that you loved and thought that it looked fabulous on the model, but wondered how it would look on your body type? When someone sees a model using a product, it’s sometimes hard to envision themselves using it. However, when they see a real person –that’s not perfect, but they understand– it can be much easier to put themselves in that person’s shoes. Custom brand photography allows you to use real people for your imagery, allowing your customers to see how they would look in that dress or how your product looks in real life, not in a photography studio.
Using real people, not models, not only allows your consumers to envision themselves wearing or using your product, but it also helps to build up trustworthiness with your potential customers. Customers are tired of seeing images of products they are considering buying, only to find out once they have purchased the item, that it doesn’t look like or function like the items in the pictures they saw. When you use custom brand photography, you are able to photograph your products and how they are used in the real world. This helps to ensure that your pictures are authentic and create a clear and honest portrayal of what your product looks like, how it functions, and what tasks it can complete. This makes customers trust you, which in turn, makes them more likely to buy your products both now and in the future.
Custom brand photography may cost more than using stock images and may take a bit more time to get than stock imagery. However, there are many benefits associated with using custom brand photography. It helps you stand out from your competitors and helps to catch the attention of those who are viewing your images. If you are not using custom photography, you could be missing out on your targeted customer’s attention.
- Custom brand photography is a must in 2018.
- Custom photos help to set you apart from your competitors, something that stock photography does not do.
- Custom photos help you to define your brand and gain brand awareness.
- Custom photos use real people, not models, to help build the trust of consumers who view your photos.
Are you in need of help creating your visual brand identity? Then download the infographic: The Who, What and How of Creating a Visual Brand Identity. It contains all of the information you need to start building your visual brand identity today.