Brand Your Uniqueness Through Photography
Beauty. A snapshot of your new product captured on your smartphone is, well, usually just that, a quick snapshot. But, if the product has beauty, celebrate it. For example, every bottle of luxury brand Scotch whisky from The Macallan is a work of art. Each one is expertly crafted to reflect the incomparable spirit inside. It would be a sin to capture that in a low-resolution, poorly shot photo. Invest in professional quality photography that emphasizes and exposes the magnificence of your offerings. There is no more impressive whisky brand than The Macallan. Their imagery reflects the beauty and allure of their product.
Toughness. If your differentiation is all about durability, ensure the images of your product and features follow suit. Harsher light, grainier textures…they all add to that message. In this brochure design, Wheeled Coach ambulances are positioned genuinely as the brand that is durable, strong and dependable.
Background. Attention spans are getting shorter— all the more reason to avoid distracting your audience with random things in the background. Take the extra effort to unclutter the background so the viewer can focus.
Dust it off. Your product needs to look as ideal as possible. That means no dirt, dust, scratches or imperfections on it. Simply put, if your product is not in the most pristine condition, do not shoot it until it is.
Render it. Some products and technologies are difficult or impossible to capture in photos. Go digital to create the image. We launched a new truck to dealers before the first one rolled off the line. Our client’s engineers provided CAD files, which our digital team turned into a beautiful, digitally rendered (slightly better than real) truck. The “virtual truck” was featured on their website, social media and collateral. It was exciting to compare the real truck to our digital version (the dealers and customers couldn’t tell the difference). In this rendering of a Heil trailer, you can’t help but be moved by its detail and magnificence.
Be accidental. When portraying your people in action, avoid the “mugging for camera” shots with them looking like they know they are part of a photo shoot. It should appear that they did not realize they were on camera, which will provide a natural, appealing appearance.
Take extra. A photo shoot is part science, part art. Do not skimp. If it took 10 attempts to get an excellent shot, try for more in case you capture magic. You can always delete them later.
Uniformity. With executives and employees, it’s important to consider the dress code for the shoot. What does the executive wear? How do the line workers dress? We recommend the plant team wear attire that displays the brand. That could simply be a T-shirt with your logo. When the 121-year-old bakery, Aunt Millie’s, decided to focus on the pride of its employees, it was critical to show their passion as well as their peerless attention to quality and detail.
Keep in mind, no customer likes the idea of a dirty, ragtag gang throwing together their product. They most likely envision a team in lab coats meticulously assembling their piece of art (your product). Help make that vision possible!
Is the camera ready? All the equipment, from the camera to lighting set-up, must function, so check it and look at initial shots to ensure quality. Decades ago, we were at a shoot where the photographer caught an impressive shot showing the product performing an amazing feat. Moments later, after everyone left, he confided he had forgotten to load film in the camera. Fortunately today, with digital cameras, that doesn’t happen, but malfunctions still do, so check.
Your people and product need to be positioned in the most inspiring way. Take the time and the care to celebrate the uniqueness of your team and brand through photography.
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Barry LaBov is founder and CEO of LABOV Marketing Communications and Training. He is a two-time Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year recipient and author of numerous business books, including the upcoming book The Power of Differentiation. Since 1981, LABOV has differentiated and launched products and brands around the world.