Especially in today’s challenging economy, brand image plays a key role in building both awareness and customer loyalty. Marketing firms like ours are asked to do more with less budget, and find more creative ways to build brands through multiple channels – especially social media. But the key to our team’s success often lies beyond budgetary constraints to focus on the core values and relevancy of the brand itself.
How do we help our clients position themselves as a “gotta-have-it” brand? There’s no single key to success, but one important element is building a library of images that can be used across all channels – including television, print campaigns, direct mail, tradeshows and key social networks.
The right photographs, graphics and illustrations have always been a key feature of any brand’s success. In today’s economy, however, building a library of images for any brand has often been put aside as an “extra” that isn’t required at this time – and that’s a mistake that doesn’t need to be made. Here are a few considerations you might think about when building a library of images for your business or product:
1. Make sure the images you choose support your brand’s positioning. If you’re not precisely clear on what the position is in your customer’s thoughts, take the time to find out before you buy or design any images for your campaign. Once you’ve discovered how your brand is percieved, selecting the right photographs, or better yet – having them shot specificially for your needs, is a wise investment to build a library you can work with throughout the year.
2. Work constantly to build your library of images. Keeping your messaging fresh and interesting is key to staying relevant in this current economy. Consider incorporating images that convey a bit of humor, hope and humanity. Connecting with your customer’s sense of struggle to buy your product may just be the thing that motivates them to make the purchase.
3. Target your images to specific markets. Not all images will work for all audiences – and you need to consider what will resonate with every specific target market. Don’t assume that one campaign will catch the attention of different market segments.
4. Invest in custom imagery – it’s worth it. So many clients assume that custom photography is going to be too expensive. Far from it – great photography can be acquired today at very reasonable prices from a pool of incredibly talented photographers. And once you’ve secured the rights to your photos with your provider, you can rest assured that your using them won’t require additional licensing fees as with many stock photography sources. More importantly, you’ll be sure your images are yours alone – and won’t be used by your competitor.
As b-to-b marketers make the case for spending money on custom photography, they should consider the history of the brand. It is important for all companies, large and small alike, to carve out the best imagery for their brand. It’s even more important that well-known brands rich in history, such as AT&T, Nike, or American Express, rely on custom versus stock imagery to create the right connections. These companies simply have more to lose by making a poor decision around photography.
5. Once you’ve built your library – keep it organized and secure. Be sure to create back-up copies of all your images, and catalog them in a way that helps you find what your looking for with key search words.
Certainly, every brand is struggling to maintain existing customers while connecting to new prospects. With a bit of planning, you can build the kind of brand resonance to do both today – and one cost effective way to do that is by building and organizing your digital assets.
What have you done that’s been successful in this area? What challenges have you faced in building your digital assets that could be a help to others trying to do the same?