Let’s try to count how many branded images you’ve already seen today. We bet you have already seen a Facebook-branded ad, a billboard on the way to the office, a logo on a pen, a branded photo in an email. We may not remember all the branded images, but our subconscious mind processes all the information. And while the text is not always remembered, visual details can remain in memory for a long time, especially those that stand out with a certain combination of colors, or an interesting image used as a logo.
Brand imagery is what makes the brand recognizable without further ado. Therefore, every company needs to think about how to develop a brand image. How to create a brand imagery strategy? In this article, you will find tips on how to develop a brand image on a professional level to win the attention and loyalty of your audience.
What is Brand Image, and Why Is It Needed?
The brand image is formed from images, graphics, fonts used on the website, and other branded elements used on the packaging, in an office, and so on. What is the essence of branding images in business? This seemingly simple visual can perform the following important tasks:
- Telling compelling stories wrapped into the brand imagery can help your brand better convey your values and develop trusting relations with the audience.
- The uniqueness of the image is an opportunity to stand out from your competitors.
- It has long been known that our brain remembers pictures much better than words. Therefore, visualization can identify your brand and be an attention grabber.
But you should also understand that today the brand imagery and using the right pictures can help in SEO promotion. Yes, there is a need to think about startup SEO promotion features when developing your brand identity. Surely, it should match your future company’s niche and the direction of activity, to help users develop a subconscious connection between the brand and its visual style.
For example, your brand imagery will appear in your blog and social media, along with your posts on guest posting platforms such as linksmanagement.com. That’s why it should be recognizable since it will be an additional tool to attract an audience and help them form a holistic impression of your brand.
For this reason, every business owner should seriously think about creating a brand image and choose the appropriate visuals to use across the marketing channels. How to do it? Below you will find tips to help you.
Where to Find Pictures for a Brand Imagery?
When it comes to building the brand image, business owners must decide how they want to get visual material. Someone is willing to pay money to develop unique visual content, while others can’t afford professional branding, but need to develop their brand image as well. There is a way out of this situation, and below you will consider different options for how you can find images for your brand.
Where to get free professional visuals to create branding pictures? When creating a brand image, many brands decide to use stock photos. The fastest way to find the right image is to use the photobanks platforms. They have millions of files in libraries, efficient search algorithms with many filters, plus specially selected collections. Usually, to download an image, you need to buy a monthly subscription for $50-$100, but there are options available with a price per image of $1.
When buying files on photo banks, you can be calm about copyright issues, since all images are sold there under a standard license, which gives you the right to use them for media, print, and promotional purposes. Therefore, with a limited budget, photobanks can be a real salvation for business.
Pay attention: Many photobanks periodically send out free files. This is a good way to add them to your image collection for free.
Use Free Photo Stocks
On free photo stocks, the choice will be much more modest, and this will affect the search time for the desired image. But the files are free on such platforms. Before using a file, make sure that the site, blog, or stock that offers free files does not violate copyright.
Pay attention: A free photo downloaded from stock can be a good mockup to customize the image and achieve uniqueness or place your logo.
Collaborate With Photographers
This is the most time-consuming and resource-intensive option, but it has its advantages. You can spend a lot of time searching for the author, making contacts, and producing the shoot, but the result is bespoke and unique images.
Pay attention: this is one of the most effective ways to create the visual material that will shape the image of the brand as a whole.
How to Search for a Photo?
Now let’s talk about how to find exactly the image you need for your project. The main secret of effective search is to put the concept of the image into words and to know how to use search categories on photo banks.
Whichever platform you choose, your image search always starts with keywords that describe the idea behind your photo or vector. The most common mistake in finding an image for a website is to use article or project keywords instead of thinking of a separate description for the image.
What to Look For When Choosing the Brand Imagery?
It’s good when there is a clear theme that needs to be illustrated. It is more difficult when the image can be anything, like a background for text, a visualization for content, or a photo for promotional material. How to make a choice of theme, style, and object? You will find general tips that will help you to create an ultimate checklist for selecting images.
There are a number of stereotyped images in stock photography that have been widely used for a long time and have become boring. Surely you have seen such images in magazines and advertisements as a laughing woman with a salad, businessmen shaking hands, a happy family, and kids that are popular all around the world.
There are several criteria by which you can define a cliche:
- unnatural bright light:
- simulated emotions:
- models that look at the camera.
Try not to use such photos as they don’t look so professional. What is more, such images are not able to attract the attention of the target audience. You also can edit them to make them more suitable for your aims.
Get Inspiration from Other Brands
As one more option, you can find the best picture branding example with the help of worldwide leaders from various areas. Why not look for interesting ideas from your competitors? And steal like an artist. There is nothing wrong with looking to the leaders in your industry and inheriting those who do quality and awesome pics.
What’s more, there is no need to borrow the whole thing! Just take the main idea of the illustration as a basis and add something unique, something yours.
Follow the Trends
Visual culture, photography, the design have their own trends that change every year. Therefore, in this case, it is worth following the leaders beyond your industry. Analyze, what Apple, Gucci, and so on choose. You will be surprised, but you can find something in common between companies that produce completely different products and services. But such companies are one of the first to implement all the trends, and this is a great opportunity to be aware of what is relevant today.
Select Images with People Carefully
The human brain is very accurate at recognizing emotions. Therefore, with the help of the right emotions, the model, posture, and appearance are able to most accurately reflect the essence of the brand. Therefore, it is necessary to determine what you need in order to properly position your brand. It can be calmness, joy, surprise, vigor, and so on. This core emotion is a starting point when you need to select pics with people.
How to Use Brand Image Efficiently?
In order for the visual components to work correctly, you must follow some rules. In this case, you can get the most out of the brand image. How to do it? Use the following tips.
Determine Optimal Points of Contact
You need to make a list of all the platforms, both online and offline that you will use to promote your brand. Below you will find a sample list of points that you may find useful:
- profile photo and covers for social media.
- visual content for publications.
- brand watermarks for your Google Invoice templates and other official documents.
- images for websites and mobile apps.
- material for decorations for shops or offices.
- material for online and offline advertising (for instance, flyers).
Analyze what content gets the most response from the audience and intensify the work with those elements that are most beneficial because they can bring maximum benefit to your business.
Remember about Unity of Style
Regardless of the places where you will post images, it is worth remembering the rule of a single style. All your images should be done in the same style in order to evoke the same emotions in the target audience. Integrity is a good tool to get your brand remembered and recognized faster.
Create a Brand Book for Staff
Creating and approving a brand book is a good opportunity to develop and follow a single style. The essence of the brand book is that it sets the rules regarding the style of the brand. Here you can describe in detail what fonts, colors, and branded elements you will use across your marketing channels. A brand book is the main guide for your designers and marketing specialist, which helps them develop a single vision and better convey your marketing message using visual means.
Creating a brand image requires not only creativity but also rationality. Following trends for the sake of trends has never been a winning idea, so your main task is to develop and convey your brand identity using visual tools. While creating a brand image with the help of top professionals is pretty costly, there are still some budget-saving tips you can get started with.