Businesses seek to develop an image that is worthy of trust and inspiration. A strong image represents a message or a story that can be conveyed, yet understood at a glance. Within seconds, a thousand words are told. The successful visualization strategies that has been used by major brands such as Apple, Pepsi, Coke and Nike have seen the impact and influence that they can generate when they develop powerful images. For decades, digital agencies in Melbourne have witnessed brands like these and as a result, invest millions into developing images and visuals that people can identify with. The visuals that a brand creates, ultimately contributes to the overall image of the business – from their products and services, to their day to day operations such as employee management and their impact on the world socially, economically and environmentally.
The psychological process that goes into developing these images impact marketing campaigns, customer profiles, brand profiles and business interaction over the long term. Below, we discuss the factors that businesses need to consider when developing visuals for their business.
Harness the power of visuals
Images are a powerful tool. They speak a thousand words and can force a person to act on impulse. An image is universal in that it isn’t restricted by language barriers and can be open to interpretation or recognition. Good images will be able to tell a story or convey a message that will inspire or motivate the viewer.
The importance of visuals use on the web
The Internet is dominated by the use of images. For any business that has a presence on the web, there is a need to incorporate a strong visualization strategy into their web commerce efforts. Be it maintaining brand communication synergy across the web marketing efforts, or improving the website aesthetics that will aid in improving customer engagement and action.
The visual image of your existing and potential customers will be a result of what others say about your business, not you!
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com has said, “Your brand is what other people say when you aren’t in the room”. People will continue to share the brand story and image that you have built around your business. It is important to leave potential and existing customers with the desired image that you want them to have of your business.
Probably one of the greatest leaders in visuals is Apple. Former CEO Steve Jobs has said a few of the following inspirational quotes when it comes to design.
Design isn’t just what it looks like and feels like, design is how it works.
Innovation distinguishes between being a leader and a follower.
Across Apple’s products, website and in-store experience, the visuals are prominent and captivating. From the sleek modern design of their computers and gadgets, to their web interface that encourages people to interact with their products – these factors play an integral role in the consumer purchase decision.
Furthermore, Nike, which is one of the leading global brands, thrives on visual, design and performance across their products and customer experience. If you look at Nike’s marketing efforts, the visuals instantly promotes a message of ‘champions’ that is also backed by design and innovation in sports technology across an array of sporting disciplines. This is clear when you visit their website, their flagship stores, watch their commercials and their advertising campaigns.
Nike has also gone a step further by providing data visualization with their mobile applications and their technology gadgets. The visualization of people’s sporting performance helps their customers to thrive on a sense of excellence that other brands cannot leverage. The core value of the Nike brand is winning, and this is the visual that they promote and want their audience to emulate. Thus giving Nike a heightened sense of value with their products and brands.
Areas where businesses can improve their visuals to add value to their business include:
Improving the visuals on their website
The website needs to sell the ideas, concepts, products, services and the experience to the web visitor. This ranges from the choice of web design, through to content and images. The website needs to illustrate your story and captivate your desired audience.
In addition to the website, the product design needs to sell value to the customer. From the shape, the packaging, the size and the product finishing, whether you are providing it online or offline is important with making a visual impact to the end customer.
Leveraging the emerging platforms in social media can create further visual impact for the company. Leveraging platforms such as blogs, microblogs (Twitter, Tumblr), collage boards (Pinterest), social engagement networks (Facebook, LinkedIn) and videos (Youtube).
There is an opportunity for businesses to improve their visual presence through the use of mobile applications. The design and user experience can shape the perception of the brand and potentially spur referrals for the app and an expert status for the business.
Showcasing digital content
There are a variety of ways to showcase your content on the web, however data visualization, slideshow presentations, videos and images are the types of content that gain a large amount of engagement. Depending on the audience, you will need to customize and illustrate the content in the way that the audience desires. For example, if the audience desires a whitepaper, then illustrating the content through formatting, storytelling and revelation will be essential to driving the content’s success. If it is a photographic image, it will need to inspire the audience emotionally. If it is a meme, it will need to reveal humor. The content style will be subject to the audience.
Businesses must make an active decision to invest in high quality visuals!
Interesting visuals will make a huge impact across areas where people will be interacting with your business. Therefore, businesses need to invest resources into creating, curating or purchasing strong visual content that will impact their targeted audience. If it looks cheap, it will probably come across cheap and deter the trust in your business and brand. The minimum benchmark should be that your visuals look professional and leave a strong and credible impact on your audience.
Businesses must leverage the use of visuals to add value to their brand and captivate their desired audience. Identifying the business image you wish to project and understanding the values of your target audience will allow you to employ attractive visuals that will facilitate the achievement of your business goals.
Jason Soultan is the founder and director of Soul Digital, a digital marketing agency in Melbourne, specializing in digital strategy, web design and web development. He is passionate about helping businesses build and enhance their online presence as well as writing useful content that resonates with business owners.