Let your brand has its own story that clients love and believe in. Visual Storytelling.

When we post the picture on Social Media, no matter which platform we use, our task is to attract the customers. Yes, many people engage customers, entertain them but for business, the end goal is to sell, even if it sounds “sales”. So what to post in order to achieve it? There are several types of content. One is the pictures of your products or services with prices and relevant descriptions and links. The other one is entertaining content which gives a sense of joy to your readers but still framed by the main theme of your brand. The third one is info content such as infographics, charts, and tables. The fourth but not the last is Story content which translates the mood and the character of your brand via images of people who are working with you, happy customers, just mood pictures.

The Story content generates a subconscious trust in your customer’s mind and requires a realistic editorial style approach.

When the story is shared through the visuals, the good editorial photographer may create such pictures easily. But when we talk about people without years of experience and are equipped with the smartphone, we need to be clear on some points.

Decide what you are going to shoot.

Make a plan of shooting for the year and try to create maximum content from each location.

Do not try to shoot all at one time.

Plan what you are going to post and what message you will share. Think of these themes to cover: The Team, The Place, The Details (the more, the better), Products, How products are created, People in Action, Customers experience the product, Video testimonials, Events if any related to your business, Outdoor look of location, News related, Behind the Scenes, History (if you have archived photos or old people who were with business since…) and more…

You will need to mix these pictures and post time to time.

Then your timeline may look like this: History photo, Entertaining link, Team, Product, Event, Link to your Blog, Testimonial, Product, How the product is created, Text, People happy with a product, Product…And so on.

The story you tell has to look consistent and relevant to give the customer a reason to buy from you.

I also have another tip for you. Even if your business is very small create a mission and vision for it. Yes, it sometimes sounds too big, but the key is to create an honest mission and a vision which you will follow. Make sure that your team follows it too. Check if your services and products and communication are in sync with mission and vision. The big picture in mind, big hope, the belief, the heart; that makes people respond to it.

Let your brand has its own story that clients love and believe in.

P.S. I love to share my story via my Instagram. And how you do it?

Branding Q and A. Is branding really have to be boring?

Recently I received the question: What do you recommend for creative people like me who get bored and want to switch things up too often?

I think It’s a very good question. This “creative bug” bites every entrepreneur on the beginning.

Creative people.

All top artist and top writers/authors have their own unique and recognisable style. Technically it’s the style which makes their art popular and brings them money. Are they creative? They are. So desire to change or switch things in the business communication mean that there are some other questions and there is something deep is not defined yet in the brand. Branding is much deeper than the all visual communication elements. They just express the idea, cause, promise but also make brand memorable.

We create the visual elements for the brand to achieve several things.

The thing number one is to be memorable. People can remember a limited amount of stuff, and they do not want to overcrowd they head with chaos. They do not see your communication that often as you do. So they didn’t have a chance to get bored with it. At the same time, you need to give them an opportunity to recognise you and remember you, or at least identify you in a fast moving timeline. Here is where repetition and consistency play their role. While creating a brand book branding specialists do understand this “creative bug” issue and try to add a particular type of flexibility to it. The more flexible it is, the most difficult to work with it (check out PwC flexible logo and layout in the newest brand book).

The social media communication is different from the other channels.

It allows you to be more open and communicative. The reason is that you can be here more often than in a newspaper, for example. So here is a recommendation for social media communication.
Four things you need to keep same.

  • Colours a single one or the colour combination (most recognisable element).
  •  Fonts (You can define 2-4 and stick to them. Not that easy as it sounds).
  • Composition, stick to one repeatable composition elements, so people can see that’s it’s your communication.
  • Design / Photography treatment choose 2-3 styles from more official to more casual. Even though it sounds restrictive, it gives you a lot of space to be creative.

And in conclusion, we do create a brand to create and environment for our customers so they will feel comfortable and will be happy to associate themselves with your brand. Eventually, when you brand become recognisable, customers will know what your brand do and what your brand stands for, you can show them a deeper & wider picture. It’s like in a relationship, so let them love your brand first.

 

Brand Driven Photography

How many times you opened a catalogue and didn’t have any desire to purchase something? The pictures seemed fine, but somehow they didn’t raise any emotions. Same happened with many e-commerce sites. They just blindly copy each other and expect sales. Later on, they cry on the Forums and in Facebook Groups that they didn’t sell well. There are several reasons for fewer sales; Poor marketing, an absence of strategy, weak or missing message, and often average or irrelevant photography. Let’s have a look at the photography part.

Photography is a powerful instrument of the experienced marketer. It’s also a language which anyone can understand without words. It’s also a tool to move clients’ emotions in the direction you need.

Here are several photography mistakes that business owners commit –

1. Hire the wrong type of photographer.

Professional Photographers usually have specialisation. They choose to work with one or two directions. For instance, commercial photographers are different from editorial ones. Wedding photographers and food photographers have separate specialities. However, a wedding photographer may shoot events as well. Food photographers often need to know how to shoot interiors, exteriors, and portraits, but they will position themselves as food photographers. Fashion photographers may be excellent in portrait photography, but they may not be aware of how to take a professional landscape shot! There is no rule in it, but you need to know WHY you have hired that photographer and what is his specialisation?

If you require a cutlery or tableware catalogue, you may need product photographer, not a food photographer. And in this case, your brand comes into the picture. Because if you want to portray a particular image in your customer’s mind, you need to start with an idea. What your catalogue is going to tell your clients?

2. Just making good images without an idea behind.

Know what you want to say to your customers. Is your product “Clean, Hygienic, and Easy to maintain”? Or your product is “Comfortable, Friendly to a body, and Made from Eco-friendly materials”? Or your product is “Innovative, Fashionable, and User-friendly”? Choose your own three to five words and ask photographer and art director to follow this idea.

3. Be consistent.

When we make promotional materials for our brand, we start feeling like there are too many of brand colours around, or there are too many of the same style pics, and we tempt to be creative and change all of it. Please remember this statement! “While you see all your materials on a daily basis, your customers can see your advertisements or catalogues once in a week or even month. Give them a chance to remember you, be very consistent, convey your core values all the time; it’s crucial.”

Powerful Brand Driven Photography builds a reliable connection between your buyer and your product/company. Stronger connection — More trust; More trust — More purchases. When your clients are happy to be associated with your brand, they are tempted to share an experience with their colleagues, friends, and family. And, one day they become the ambassadors of your brand, that moment your business starts growing faster because there is no stronger medium than the “word of mouth.”

How to find inspiration for design when you need it?

I want to inspire you with this post. Many years ago, one incredibly talented designer (a lawyer by training) gave me good advice. It was my first job, I had just finished twelve-year training in art and design, but I didn’t have enough practice and confidence yet.

One day, I was feeling frustrated with the project. We had to accomplish an interactive CD. Our boss approved the design and flew to New York for some branding conference. The client didn’t like the idea and we had to create something new on our own. So, Constantine (my super talented colleague, I mentioned before) said, you need to observe all professional designers from these three magazines. Just watch. You can spend hours watching the same magazine if you seek inspiration. And believe me, you will find a solution. And in one or two years, your design will become better, or maybe even better than the ones mentioned by these magazines.

Here are three magazines he suggested. This trio is an immortal classic. The collections of such magazines are cherished and carefully preserved in most of the leading agencies in the world. And with the internet in your pocket, you can be inspired anytime, anywhere.

Lürzer’s Archive

A bit of their history from about page: “Lürzer’s Archive, the important creative resource for advertising professionals worldwide, has offered an established set of inspirational tools since 1984. Lürzer’s Archive magazine; Lürzer’s Archive 200 Best Specials; the Lürzer’s Archive website, plus our wide range of apps.”

Print

Here is how they present themselves: “Founded in 1940, Print seeks to build a dialogue about the design by detailing the intersections of art and culture. Rather than focusing on the how-to of design, the experts who write for Print cover the why—why the world of design looks the way it does, how it has evolved, and why the way it looks matters.”

HOW

They present the magazine this way: “Founded in 1985, the HOW brand began its life as a print magazine. Today, the brand still includes an award-winning design magazine but has grown to encompass a host of products and events including several design competitions, HOW U’s online design courses, design books and more. Whether you work for a design firm, for an in-house creative department or yourself, it’s our mission to serve the business, creativity and technology needs of graphic designers.”

The freedom of the mind and Inspiration are vital elements of the creative process and successful brand. Be blessed 🙂

Brand vs Personal Branding

Recently grabbed some random course on branding and jumped. Everything was so messed up. “The brand is you,” says the branding “expert”. Really? The girl who teaches this didn’t know what the brand is. The lessons are free and many people will learn this “truth”.

Do you want to know what is a brand and what is the difference between personal branding and branding for business? Let’s assume that you do 🙂

In a case of Personal Branding, People become brands. This practice helps them create a better connection, find more business or better jobs. But Personal Branding, when “You are the brand”, always based on the particular person behind. This concept is also called self-packaging.

On the other hand, a Company Brand is a promise which you share with your customers. The value, philosophy, style, qualities, experiences represent a single company. The brand forms an image in a client’s mind. People refer to this image any time they see your identity elements (such as a logo) on your promo materials. For example, when they see the Nike logo, they may automatically think “sport, dynamic, young”. So the Brand is a promise and the image in a customer’s mind. It’s not you, he or she. Every single person has his own image of the brand in mind. The only way you can control it is by providing consistent quality of your goods and relevant messages through various information channels. The primary goal is to create a connection between identity elements, logo, style, and your company products or services.

So, as you see while Your Personal Brand is You. The company Brand is a whole system and maybe not you at all.

Next time we will talk about who or what is going to become a Brand. You? Your Biz? Your Product?

Who to Brand. You? Your Biz? Your Product?

That happens quite often. Once the Business starts working, the owner decides to establish the brand. It’s a big responsibility; that means the stronger your business, the better experience you can deliver to your clients. And, here are three branding ways to choose.

The first way is to Transform You into a Brand.

Name your site with your name and promote your photos on every banner or poster you share. That works well for artists, dancers, Stylists, and Photographers or any other creative entrepreneur whose product depends on the creator’s personality.
There are pros and cons. If you are not comfortable with the publicity, it may be a bad idea. If you want to sell this business sooner or later, it might be difficult, but not impossible. A bright side – you don’t need to create much, the ready-made persona is already here. With some polishing and adjustments towards Leadership and Personal Branding – all is done.
Examples: Marina Abramovich, Picasso, Karl Lagerfeld

Second is to brand your company.

Creating a Brand for your business means to create a promise to your customers. The Product Quality, Presentation, Promotion Material all follow the particular rules to deliver a consistent and recognisable result. Once the buyer experiences the product, it also gets a set of information which goes with it and creates a connection between clients’ emotions and the brand.
There are pros and cons as well. It’s a tough job to create a very complex system which promotes your business even when you’re asleep. The brand has its value, it adds to the cost of the company if you want to sell it. You can delegate the work to other people as the enterprise isn’t associated with a particular person.
Examples: Disney, Lego, Samsung

The third way is to brand your Product

If your company has many products, you may like to brand products. Just like Unilever has Dove, Knorr, Lipton, Surf and many others. Their products, even compete sometimes, but it benefits the main company nevertheless. So if you have a broad range of goods, you may like to choose this method of branding.

After all, it’s all about the three “How”s. How are you going to present yourself, How you are going to attract clients, How you are going to make them buy your products or services?