Why is imagery important in branding?

Your brand image is much, much more than your logo.  Your imagery is what defines your business, product, or service.  More importantly, it’s what will trigger an association with your business when your customers see it.  This is why imagery is so important in branding.

What’s the difference between imagery and a logo?

Of course, your logo is important.  It is the best known representation of your business and, designed properly, your logo will be able to stand on its own to represent your company, product, or service.

However, your imagery is more of an overarching concept of the way you communicate your overall brand.

It may include your logo.  It’ll definitely follow very similar aesthetics to your brand.  However, it’s more than your logo.  This is why imagery is so important in branding.

Your imagery is what communicates what you want to be known for in a graphic/pictorial way in your ads, your brochures, your social media feeds and on your website so that when people see something of yours, they instantly know it’s yours.  As a result, it’ll catapult you right back to the front of their minds so you reclaim pole position in their purchasing decisions.

How do you create imagery that will support your branding?

The first step is to work out what you want to look like. 

In today’s crowded and competitive market, you are almost certainly competing directly with – at the very least – one other business.  Your imagery will help you extend your competitive advantage …

… as long as it communicates, supports and enhances your offer. 

To make sure it does you need to make sure your imagery addresses:

  • Who your customers are
  • What’s important to your customers
  • What your customers want from you
  • What sets you apart from your competitors
  • Your brand guidelines (your colour palette, typography, style, and tone of voice)
  • Your core values

It may sound a little counterintuitive given that if your brand imagery is going to have the desired effect, it will need to be totally unique to you, but during the creative process it never hurts to take a look at successful brand imagery.

Great imagery didn’t become great overnight or by accident. 

It is the result of hard work so there are always lessons to learn.  What makes it good?  What makes it stand out?  Why does it speak to you?  These answers will be invaluable to your own creative process, even if it’s just for confirmation or reassurance.

How will your imagery deliver a return on the cost of creating it?

It’s really easy to think of your imagery as just another expense.  After all your logo looks great, your stationary looks great, and your website looks great so why bother about (and pay for) another series of pictures? 

The reality is the images that support your brand really do matter because:

1. Your imagery will make a positive impression

First impressions last forever.  If the imagery you’re using in your marketing materials and on your social media channels is sharp, individual and – of course – instantly recognisable, the first impression you make will instantly be more powerful.

2. Consistent imagery increases brand recognition

Logos create brand recognition (after all we can all spot an Apple device, an Adidas trainer or a can of Coke from a distance) but backing that up with instantly recognisable imagery will massively increase your audience’s ability to pick out your brand.

This could involve the type of imagery you use, the concepts your imagery is designed to convey, your colour palette or the creation of a particular style of graphics but it should say one thing – it’s YOU!

3. Your imagery proves your attention to detail

I remember a story someone used in a training session a long time ago.  They asked us what we’d think if we got onto an aircraft and saw that the tray table was dirty.  Would we trust the airline to keep their aircraft in top working order if they couldn’t even manage to wipe their tables between flights?

Whilst it’s admittedly not going to lead to as dramatic a conclusion as a poorly cared for aeroplane engine, your use of imagery tells a similar story. 

Cobbling together any old pictures (or worse still not using any imagery at all) will not convince your audience that you invest the highest level of care into everything you do.    

4. Strong imagery builds credibility

The more ways you can use imagery to underline your proposition and reinforce your core brand values, the stronger your market’s association with your brand will become. 

With imagery your audience doesn’t have to invest a lot in terms of time or effort.  There’s no copy to read, there’s no video to watch – you just see the image and get the point in one quick hit.

As long as the underlying themes hit the spot, your message will permeate and your credibility as your customers’ first choice will strengthen.

We can help you develop more striking brand imagery, images that will really emphasise who you are and what you stand for in every format, from your website to your social media tiles and infographics and motion graphics.  If you’d like to find out how, please get in touch today so we can find a time to talk. 

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