Visual branding is something that every business should be thinking about on a daily basis. The need to show the quality and professionalism of your business to resonate with the level of client you would like, is directly affected by the quality of visuals you use on your website, in social media and in any other marketing that you do. Basically using the old saying, "Market to the client you want, not the client you have." Branding is a form of marketing. It tells clients the level of your business in a visual way. Do you want your business to appear to be goofy, sloppy, serious, intense, clean, simple, or casual?
Visual branding is how you want to appear to potential clients. The best way to visually brand your business is to use consistent visuals across all marketing efforts. Using professional commercial photography and videos that have a similar tone and feel is key to getting your message across to potential clients. You wouldn't want to have great product photos throughout your website but then use lesser quality in a print ad. This inconsistency will create a lack of trust and brand recognition.
The two photos I took below, for the internationally distributed brand Invisible Glass, are a good example of how to keep consistency in your visual branding. The first is a product photo and the second is the product in use. Both photos were shot with intentions for different marketing uses. You can see that these aren't the exact same photo, but the feeling is the same. They are both light and bright with similar color tones. This is done by using one location to get multiple images, using similar lighting techniques. For this shoot, I worked with a professional stylist to incorporate the product's branding into the background as well.
Take moment to review your company's visual branding and marketing. Do you get a consistence feeling when you see it? If your marketing assets feel disconnected consider these tips to make sure your business has a good visual presence.
5 Tips to Improve Visual Branding for Business
Plan, plan, plan and plan some more!
Making a plan to determine exactly what you need to create the ideal look and feel for your brand takes time. Consider how you want your brand to appear to the world. What brands do you see that peak your interest and what visuals do they use? Think about every aspect of your brand including the age ranges of people who may be purchasing from you, what colors and tones work for your brand and how many photos and/or videos do you need?
This is something I discuss with clients all the time. I harp on consistency in their visual brand constantly. Like above, the photos are exactly the same but you get a visual sense of consistency by the feeling of each of them. Sometimes you have to have multiple days of shooting in the same location to get enough photos and/or videos to support a visual branding effort across all of your marketing.
Don't forget the details
Hire a stylist and possibly an art director for your photography and video shoots. A marketing director asked me the other day, "what does a stylist do?", to which I responded, they allow the photographer to make better use of their time by setting the scene and keeping an eye on distracting background issues. This allows the photographer to focus on lighting, and the scene/product they are trying to photograph which makes the shoot go more smooth and usually quicker. An art director will keep consistency through the shoot and keep everyone on task to get that consistency.
Hire a professional model
Models know how to position themselves on camera, which makes your product look best. They understand that they are just a prop for your product. This allows your potential clients to focus on the product at hand. They also understand that you are going to make them look good and they don't complain about how they look because it's not usually about them.
Hire a professional photographer and/or videographer
A professional photographer will be able to create a consistent set of visuals for your brand. Working with a professional provides you access to professional equipment and light-shaping tools, and not to mention a keen eye for visuals and creativity. Ask your photographer how they plan to create consistency for your brand. Will they be solely following your suggested shot list or will they be able to bring additional concepts and guide you through this process? Be sure to review their portfolio and ask to see work of similar brand categories.
By the way, I may know a good photographer if you're reading this and looking for one.