Admittedly, neither one of those terms sounds particularly appealing at first, but they really just stand for the accumulation of several strategic decisions and making them part of how you do business. What main trait to you want to be associated with? What makes you different from everyone else? This is the key message to communicate through branding.
A fashionable term for doing so easily is storytelling: Communicating through stories forces you to be concise, and to avoid corporate lingua that alienates customers. Instead of listing your services and offering, you can put it into words – describing how you have helped a customer in the past or going into the details of a typical day. Think of a story as a self-contained unit of information: One that reveals something about the character of your business. Over time, these stories make up what a customer thinks about you and the way you relate to them.
Photos are a great way of supporting your stories – they’re just as concise as a good story and have the added benefit of communicating at a glance. Photos can underline your messaging, making it clearer what parts are most important and what the core message is.
This doesn’t mean you have to shoot your own pictures or pay a photographer to do it: There are already lots of pictures out there that you can make use of, and it’s a matter of picking the right ones that work with your story. There are just a few thinks to keep in mind when choosing pictures, and we’ve summarized them below.
Photos evoke emotions, and when telling stories, you should be clear what kind of emotions you want to spark. Happiness? Calmness? Trustworthiness? All those are great, but make sure not to use overly perfect pictures that aren’t credible: You want photos to show something realistic and relatable. Skip the overly happy families and white teeth and instead opt for real human interaction, lively backgrounds, and credible smiles.
There’s a tendency to shy away from showing actual products or services – marketing of the past years has emphasized happy customers and positive brand interaction to such a degree that the product is often hidden. Storytelling is naturally suited to emphasize what you are providing in an empathetic way. Selling coffee? Why not show the region it comes from. Working in IT? Show the fascination of technology. Talk about why your offering is tailored to the individual customer, for example, and show a photo that has hands doing work. This is easy to identify with and makes the story much easier to follow.
Remember the goal
Your business quite naturally has its very own character – because you are operating it and shaping the way it works and interacts with the world around it. Don’t lose sight of what you’re trying to achieve: A positive association through a compelling story that says as much about yourself as it does about your offering.
About the author:
This article was written by EyeEm. EyeEm builds technology to showcase the best images from the world’s leading photo community. They reinvent the way brands and agencies license authentic, royalty-free images and share all revenue with the creators. EyeEm is home to 18 million photographers across 150 countries.