How to use corporate photography to create your brand

Posted on Dec 1st 2014

Corporate photography can be used to create, reinforce and strengthen your brand, but only if it is used to full effect and with some thought. The use of colours, styles, focus and props can all help to create a brand your audience can both relate to and empathise with. This post looks at some of the key factors to consider when using photography to create your brand.

If you are thinking of creating an advertising campaign or producing some stock images for you website or catalogue, it is important you consider your brand and the role it plays in your corporate photography.

Here are some key steps to help you build and strengthen your brand in your target markets mind – with very little extra effort!

Brand attributes

The most important part of any brand is its attributes. Brand attributes are the core values or the essence of your brand such as the physical characteristics and personality traits of your brand. To identify the main attributes of your brand, try brainstorming them with your colleagues. Imagine your brand as an actual person – what would they like or dislike? How would you describe this person to a stranger?

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Brand attributes image

Once you have your brand attributes in mind, try to filter them into all elements of your marketing and communications mix, especially your visual communications. They should be your starting point for all creative projects that represent your brand as this will create consistence and a familiarity with your brand in the minds of your target market. The goal is to create a familiarity and an empathy with your brand and what it stands for – and photography is a perfect way of achieving this.

Have a plan

This is really the next step once you have your established brand attributes mapped out. Having a plan for your photography needs and uses is critical when creating a brand your target market can relate to.

Planning your corporate and advertising photography will also give your photographer a clearer idea of what you are trying to achieve and what message or brand attributes you are looking to convey. The better you can communicate this with your photographer, the more creative they can be within your brief, often creating innovative and inspiring shots you never thought possible.

Know how you are going to use your photography

Depending on how you are going to use your corporate photography will impact the type of brand you end up creating. For example, if you are looking to run an outdoor marketing and advertising campaign and you want to convey your brands hard-wearing, outgoing strength, it would be no good at all displaying your images in a shopping centre. This means your photography will need to avoid lots of detail and work on a very large scale.

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Know how you are going to use your photography image

Equally, using your images on your website is great, but not if they were intended for an outdoor campaign as they would give your brand a confused and unclear image in your audiences mind.

Make sure your photography plan takes your brand attributes and your marketing objectives into account to avoid brand dislocation.

Use of props

Depending on what image you are looking to create or what reaction you are hoping to stimulate with your corporate photography, the use of props and locations can really help to ‘set the scene’ in the audiences mind.

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Use of props image

For example, we recently took some shots of Boots Sultan© Sun Lotion and we added some sand as an interesting background to show the product in ‘action’. The important brand attribute we wanted to highlight for this product was that it was fun because the product is for kids. For this reason we showed a sandcastle and spade in the background to subtly create the element of fun in the product.

Know your style

Many of your brand attributes will suggest a particular style for your brand. This could be sophistication, playful or serious – whatever your particular brands style, it is essential you bring this out in your corporate photography.

Black and white photographs can help to create an old fashioned brand with the attributes of nostalgia and tradition. Equally, prime colours on a white background can help to create a bold, adventurous brand.

The style of your brand will also impact on the setting, props and scenarios used in your photography. 

Summary

Building a brand takes time and effort and understanding your brand and how you want people to see it can be a real challenge but your corporate photography can help you make real inroads. Building a brand takes a lifetime but some clever, coordinated photography choices can help you create a brand you can be proud of.