Direct Selling: Picture Perfect
Ask yourself this—if you were to cover up your name or logo on the pages of your catalog, Web site or direct mail piece, would your audience still know it was you who sent it? To further your brand, your photography should accomplish the following five goals:
1. Create desire. You want people to buy your products, so you must show them off in the most desirable way. The right lighting and props can create the right mood and make your products appear more attractive. Just don’t overdo it. Lighting that is too dramatic or props that are distracting will take focus away from what you’re selling.
2. Be consistent. You will get tired of your photography long before your customers do. That’s a fact. Resist the urge to experiment with different styles or looks. Consistency is the key to building a brand, and photography is no exception. Just imagine if Pottery Barn decided to alter its photographic style on a whim every now and then. It might keep its art directors creatively challenged, but it would only create confusion among its loyal customers. Find a style that is uniquely yours and stick with it.
3. Be distinctive. So many companies want to imitate the market leader. They assume that if it works for the leader then it should work for them. All that does is help the leader by reinforcing its brand. If you want to help yourself, take this advice—when the market leader zigs, you should zag.
4. Reflect the personality of the brand. This allows you to put a face on what is otherwise an inanimate object, increasing the likelihood that the audience will identify and connect with the product on a personal and emotional level. If your brand is fun and playful, your photography should be fun and playful. If your company’s image is upscale and refined, your photography should reflect that. Think of it in terms of a real person. When you think of James Bond, you picture him wearing a tuxedo. Who or what does your brand look like?