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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.”

5 Reasons to have a better brand for a successful business. The reason No. 3

The reason number three is internal. What do you think is more motivating – to work in an average company and do a routine job, or to have a thorough understanding of what you are doing on this planet every single day? Many people want to do something important in life. But let’s face that the big part of our working life is a routine. It doesn’t mean that the job you provide is meaningless, it just seems so.

The first people who fully use these principles to increase their profit are now known as “Unicorns”. Recently, I read an interesting article on how an elder person is perceived as a part of the Unicorn culture” by being an insider, and even though he criticised it a lot, we can use a bright side of it.

  • Motivated workers are valuing their job and trying to do it better than the non-motivated ones.
  • Inspired employees are more creative and grateful.
  • As a result, the overall mood in the office is more peaceful. Obviously, happy people can provide more.
  • Happy, grateful people tempt to get into healthy competitions, to show the best they can do.
  • Motivated people are more loyal to their company.
  • Inspired people network better. Logically a company may grow its presence naturally just by “word of mouth”.

If you ever work with the boss who always yells at you, you know eventually you would leave. You know this company is not your future. You won’t put attention on your routine tasks if the company doesn’t value you.

If your brand can show its values to employees, it does a great job in increasing the revenue of an enterprise. And if the system established is right, people get it on their own. It’s almost an automated system which guides better people to your business.

So reason No 3. Having a better brand means to create a bunch of super motivated, loyal people who also convert the world around into your customers. Good brand means — healthy, happy, emotionally satisfied team. Because when buyers are purchasing your products, they choose your brand’s values, moods and promises and not just any other thing in the market.

Check all 5 reasons to have a better brand:

No. 1 “Branding helps you create a unique impression and gives you a chance to be memorable.”
No. 2 “The brand is in sharing the values and attracting like-minded people to your products and services.”
No. 3 “Good brand motivates your team and customers”
No. 4 “Branding helps you advertise effectively &creates a connection between the product and the customer.”
No. 5 “Brand adds value to your business”

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?

5 Reasons to have a better brand for successful business. The reason No 2

Brand doesn’t only make you different than competitors. It also allows you to share you values and ideas and become much more than just a regular product or service.

Our example here will be more than obvious – Apple. Personally, I met many people who can’t imagine their life without Apple products. They speak about Android devices in rather a petty manner. As if they have all world and you, the little android holder has only a handle from the door to this world. Well, it may sound pathetic, but these people give a huge advantage to some smart marketers.

Check it out. iPhones and Macs share typical aesthetic which defines a minimalistic style in design for a few generations. Guess what these people buy? Yes, my friend, I believe you guess right. They buy other stuff in same minimalistic style. Means you can target them if your product or service share similar values like Apple.

You can define other groups of people that love other brands dearly. And you will find that they share similar values like the brands they like.

Usually, it makes the promotional planning a lot easier. If your target group prefers Mercedes, check their campaign. If they love Karl Lagerfeld, see what values Karl Lagerfeld promotes.

Eventually, you will create your values which your tribe will follow, but just for a start, follow the leaders and their tribe and get fast results from research they have already done.

So the reason No 2.

The brand is in sharing the values and attracting like-minded people to your products and services.

Check all 5 reasons to have a better brand:

No. 1 “Branding helps you create a unique impression and gives you a chance to be memorable.”
No. 2 “The brand is in sharing the values and attracting like-minded people to your products and services.”
No. 3 “Good brand motivates your team and customers”
No. 4 “Branding helps you advertise effectively &creates a connection between the product and the customer.”
No. 5 “Brand adds value to your business”

This big mistake in SMS marketing may cost you clients.

SMS marketing is very popular today. First of all, it’s relatively affordable. On the other hand, it can make miracles if you have an excellent database of numbers. Unlike online tools, SMS marketing also works especially well for local businesses. However, many business owners take it as granted. They think this way: “Well, I paid, let’s send something.” But like any other marketing tool, this one requires research and strategy.

Almost all people have a mobile phone today. What can be easier than just sending them an SMS and they will all race to buy from you, is that what you think? Well, let’s face the truth, most of the phone users ignore advertising news. And if you do not craft your messages wisely, if you do not use copywriting tricks to engage the prospect, then it won’t work.

You need to research when your target audience may need your product. Let’s say you have a restaurant, then send your SMS two hours or even one hour before lunch. The message has to be relevant and attractive, propose some combos, discount, or special event. Avoid uncommonly, strange words short forms. Your prospects may not get what were you trying to say. Give a link if relevant to the audience.

But here is the big mistake in SMS marketing which may cost you, clients. And here is the live story.

It was on Saturday; the day you want to sleep a little bit longer to rest after a hard working week. You have your plans to relax and morning coffee at about 9 or 10 am. Perhaps on Friday night, you had a real party or so, because you knew “tomorrow is a weekend” and you could take your time. But, someone smart decided that sending SMS for their company is super important to increase the sales. Somebody put an automatic update. And. TADAM! I got a compelling brand message from Dunkin’ Donuts, which informed me that I can claim my reward points. Great information, isn’t it? Except one thing, I got it at 6:08 am on Saturday Morning.

This big mistake in SMS marketing may cost you clients.

Was this information urgent? No. Was this information relevant to the time of the day? No. Did it make me buy more? No. (It pissed me off.) And there is nothing rational in pissed off customers. The SMS may look like a small thing, but when you send thousands of them, it costs money. Imagine you pay money to lose customers. Does it sound like an investment? No. And here is the sad truth. Dunkin’ Donuts is a significant player and the loss of a client or even hundred customers may not be a big deal. They can afford not to give a damn and send the SMS all night long. But if you have a small business the irrelevant, promotional SMS at 6 am can cost you the customers. (That’s relevant to the other annoying promotional activity as well)

Unfortunately, such mistakes may happen because of the SMS provider. And here is another sad truth, your customer doesn’t want to know who was that a-hole who woke him up at 6 am on Saturday. It’s only your loss not provider’s one. (Just put attention on such cases).

So here is the advice. When you send promotional SMS, think of these points.

  • What your are customers doing right now?
  • How is your message going to increase the sales?
  • Treat your customer as human, as if he is you or your friend.

In conclusion, let me say. It can work. Being more dedicated to your marketing, and not leaving everything on marketing team can be a good strategy when the business is at the starting point.

Wish your business many happy customers and inspiration for good messages. Cheers 🙂

All you need to know about your Target Audience.

Target Audience is a core theme of any promotion, advertising campaign and of course, business strategy. It’s a particular group of people within the specific target market which is going to buy your product and listen to your advertising messages.

To sell successfully, we need to find these people. And surely we will start with an idea and imagination. Imagine your ideal customer who is this person and why is he or she going to purchase your products or services?

Not all consumers are the same. Some people will prefer to buy your goods and others will not. Some will love to buy from you but will not be able to afford it. So your main criteria, as always, is the capability and zeal to spend some money for your stuff.

Business needs to recognise what problem their product or service solves, or what demands it meets, to set the “target audience” .

And now let’s create our ideal customer.

The First level of understanding is Demographics.

  • What is the age of your TA?
  • What is TA gender (he, she, other)?
  • What ethnic/cultural/religious group your TA belongs to?
  • What is their income level?
  • Are they single or married or divorced?
  • Do they have children or do they support elders in the family?
  • What are they doing for a living?
  • What type of education they got?

Geographic Sub Level

  • Where are your customers located?

The answers will allow you to understand who is your target audience on a very basic level.

The Second level is Psychographics
This level is a bit deeper and requires some field work. Some marketers recommend following your customer to understand what they do during the day. (I think you can start with a few questions before you become a detective) –

  • What values your TA shares?
  • What interest and hobbies it has?
  • What type of lifestyle it has? (this is important to understand that we are dealing with real lifestyle and not the social media one. A lifestyle is defined in three main sections – activities, interests, and opinions).
  • What books or magazines they read?
  • Which sites they visit?
  • Whom do they vote for during election?

The third level is Behavioral. Dig deeper.

  • What makes them buy?
  • Who influences them?
  • What type of purchase do they love – online or offline?
  • Also, where do they read and how do they consume information?
  • How do they spend the day? (For example, people who drive the car to work will not be able to read a newspaper during this time, but will be able to get some audio information. On the other hand, the person who reaches the work by metro has plenty of time for reading, but may prefer listening to something on headphones instead).

A deep analysis of this level will help you get how to reach your customers.

Moving Forward

The moment you create a portrait of your ideal customer and research on it in real life, start asking them questions. Analyse the market. Do they like to buy your products if no why, if yes when? You may find out that your imaginary target audience has nothing to do with your product and you could make more money with a better targeting.

Once upon a time, we were working with the bra company which primarily sold one type of bra to teenagers for over twenty years. The product was very old-fashioned and we doubted that teenagers would buy anything like this. So we did a research and found out that product is doing pretty well. Except we were right, for the last 20 years, very few teenagers got it as a gift. The main buyers were ladies over the age of sixty. They did love cotton fabric, great range of sizes and super affordable prize. Could the client make better if he advertised to this group?

Want more? Read how to find your target audience.