Creating a stand-out visual brand for your small business is vital in today’s competitive market.
Images are just as important as words when it comes to promoting your small business, and making shareable content is key.
Small businesses should think about their ‘visual brand’ early on.
What is a visual brand?
Visual branding is not just your name, your logo, or your website. It is the experience your brand’s look and feel brings to the customer – a visual brand needs to embody the experience.
Part of creating a great visual brand is consistency and having every touchpoint in the business follow the image guidelines.
Small businesses don’t have the budgets of large companies for advertising and marketing, but smart image choices are a great way of connecting your strategy with creativity.
Your images should mesh the analytical and logical parts of your company with the emotional and visual elements.
Emotional connection builds loyalty and love for a brand, and can be evoked through images.
1. Find your inspiration.
It is important to know what sort of visual identity you want to create for your business.
Gather inspiration from photos on the internet, magazines, or even your own personal photo gallery. This will make your search for the right images much easier.
Take some time to look at what your competitors are doing. Not just what service they offer or their pricing policy, but what images they are using to talk about themselves.
Be aware of what works in your area of business and build on that for your own brand. However do not replicate, be different – it could be in composition, photographic technique, viewpoint, or crop that can make your images look different.
3. Be relevant and clear.
Find a visual language (messaging) that is relevant to you and that represents your brand clearly. Don’t overcomplicate it. If you are drawn to it, your customers will probably be drawn to it too.
4. Keep consistent.
Be consistent in everything you visualise. You will get bored of it long before your audience will. Stay with it and it will be memorable for years to come, helping you build loyalty.
5. Find an emotional connection.
Images are the easiest way to do this. Authenticity is key, a genuine message builds trust and connection. Tell your personal story through images.
Use humour if that works for your brand, think about the people you are representing in your images and what roles they are playing.
Are they the types of people your audience will want to see? After all, we like looking at other people like us. This is key.