By Katie Mientka

Say “Cheese!” Brand imagery can help you reach your audience not only on an intellectual level, but on an emotional level. And this is where exceptional results live.

The Power of Images

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. It can inspire, anger, uplift, sadden, perplex, motivate, and awe instantaneously.

Our brains can process complete images in just 13 milliseconds.[1] We process pictures 60,000 times faster than we do text.[2] Sometimes, if you want to make a statement, you don’t need to say a single word. Let your brand imagery do the talking for you.

Sell the Sizzle, Not the Steak

Today’s consumers are arguably the most educated in history. We have access to reams of information — both digital and physical reams of print — on companies, services, and products. When we need to buy something, whether appliances or fixtures or linens, we research. But our decisions come down to emotion.

According to Harvard’s Gerald Zaltman, 95% of our purchase decision-making process takes place subconsciously. In other words, we buy based on emotion and then justify it with logic. Research also shows that the emotional response an ad elicits is far more influential on our decision to purchase than the ad’s content.[3]

What does your subconscious have to say about this elegant home’s outdoor lighting?

Images evoke a stronger emotional response than words.[1] Integrating them into your marketing initiatives is an effective way to reach potential and current customers on a deeper level — on their subconscious decision-making level!

Does it work? Consider this:

  • Text articles with accompanying images receive 94% more views.
  • Including a photo and video in a press release boosts views by over 45%.
  • When an image appears in local searches, 60% of consumers are more likely to consider or contact that business.
  • 67% of consumers say the quality of a product image is “very important” in their purchase decision — more important than product-specific details, descriptions, and ratings and reviews.[2]

The keyword here is quality.

What Are Your Brand Images Saying?

What makes for great brand photos? Effective marketing images are:

  • High-quality. Now’s not the time to try to channel Ansel Adams with your iPhone. Hire a professional photographer. The initial output is worth it as you’ll have images you can use across channels and that will represent your brand successfully.
  • Up-to-date. Photos should look (and feel) vibrant and energetic. They should be now. Old stock imagery does not create the emotional response you need in your audience.
  • Limit Stock Photos: Speaking of stock images, try to limit their use. Consumers are good at picking out these canned photos and may have seen them on other sites. The point of your marketing endeavors is to differentiate your brand. Use your own or your vendors’ photos whenever possible to keep things original and authentic. When you use stock photos, be sure they fit your brand.
  • Aligned with your brand identity. Your images must convey your brand, mission, vision, and purpose. It’s not about taking a great shot of a beautiful house or tub or range (though, yes, do that! In our industry, these photos are both inspirational and aspirational). It’s about illustrating your brand and bringing your anchor statement to life.
  • Your brand imagery should be consistent across all channels and across the photos themselves. When you choose a style that captures your brand identity, customers are able to recognize you immediately.
  • In some way: maybe it sparks inspiration in a homeowner who wants to remodel. Maybe it strikes a chord with someone who has always wanted to build their dream house. Maybe it creates a sense of joy in someone looking for the perfect fixture or faucet.

Whatever reaction you’re shooting for, make sure you hit your target by knowing what your customers want and partnering with a professional to make it happen.

Are you reaching your customers on a personal, emotional level? Let your brand imagery help you connect — and achieve your business-building goals. Contact Haven Media today for help overcoming the frustrations of marketing and reaching the right audience.