How to choose brand imagery to stand out from the crowd

When you are developing your brand, either for a new company, product or reinvigorating an existing brand, imagery is one of the key components to bring the brand to life and resonate with potential customers.

Once you have chosen your logo, typefaces, messaging and colour palette , it’s time to look for visuals which will take all of those elements and bring the brand together to create an engaging and eye-catching approach.

However, choosing the right images can be tricky, and if you get it wrong, your brand could end up looking tacky, unprofessional, or just a copy of all the other companies working in the same space as you, which is the last thing you want.

So here are a few tips to help you make sure you choose the right brand imagery for your business:

Make sure the images reflect the messaging

It can be so easy to pick an image because it looks nice or is unusual, but you need to make sure that the imagery reflects your marketing messaging. It needs to resonate with your potential customers and be relevant to your business and your products.

Make sure your imagery reflects your brand values and how you want to be seen by your customers. Think about the impression the images will create – what kind of reaction are you hoping to get when people see them?

It’s worth doing some market testing before settling on the final versions. Try running the imagery and messaging past a focus group of customers to assess their reactions and see if they come up with the perceptions of your business that you were looking for.

Engage with emotions

Your brand imagery needs to engage your customers on an emotional level so the pictures you choose need to tell a story. Do they make your audience laugh, reminisce, feel nostalgic? There needs to be a reaction beyond just admiring the image chosen.

If you find an image you like but it doesn’t stir any kind of emotional response then it’s not the right image for your business. You need to be memorable and stand out from the crowd and the way to do that is to engage emotionally and create a connection.

Avoid stock photographs

One of the key facets when choosing imagery is that you want to stand out from the crowd and for this reason we would recommend avoiding stock photographs. You can guarantee that someone else in a business similar to yours will also be using them. The image we have selected to accompany this blog is designed to make you feel happy and calm, for example.  (Let us know if it works!)

It is also easy to spot a stock photograph a mile away and some are spot on. Others appear incredibly staged, with little real imagination, so are highly unlikely to engage your customers in any kind of meaningful way. We would recommend holding your own photo shoot if you have the budget, so you have unique imagery for your business. Brief a professional photographer by including the end result you want to achieve – i.e. how you want to make your audience feel, or react.  Don’t be too prescriptive; it dampens professional creativity. The intellectual property will belong to you, providing the photographer agrees to this in writing and you have paid fairly for it.

Avoid posed photographs

While we recommend holding your own photoshoot it’s also important to avoid clichés, so don’t use pictures of fake posed people in an office situation. The more natural the photographs can be the better.

Make sure you include lots of active photos of people engaged in tasks and looking happy. It’s important to include people in the pictures if you want to engage the emotions of your customers, so showing your team in action as an example, or a customer using your product, is a good idea.

By all means opt for concept photography to display a product; for a business brand it’s probably best to stay people-focused to engage.

Hopefully these key tips will help you when it comes to choosing brand imagery which helps your business stand out from the crowd. It needs to be authentic, emotional and match with your messaging.

How can LCM help?

If you’d like help with selecting imagery or any aspect of building your brand, please get in touch with us at LCM and we will be happy to talk through what you are trying to achieve. We will ask you guided questions to find out if you need our kind of input, or if another route is best for you.

Telephone 01489 891870 or email info@lcm.co.uk