The Power of Photo Branding

Photography is an often overlooked step in building a great brand. Here's why you should make it a priority.

Thinking Outside The Mark

We've talked a lot about branding in these pages. We've spilled a lot of ink talking about how the essence of brands extends beyond logos and taglines. We've even developed resources like our Brand Manager's Toolkit and others. Today, I want to talk about the role photography plays in your brand expression.

Surprisingly, it's an often overlooked element of a brand system, perhaps for many reasons. The biggest reason might be quite simple. People still tend to think of "brands" as logos. Historically, this is true, but for your purposes and mine, we'll need to think outside a simple mark and focus on a complete reputation.

A logo doesn't do the job of telling the world who you are.

As I type this, it seems very clear this is not the case, but we still hear it from marketers, time and time again – when they talk about "rebranding," they so often emphasize logo design.

Importantly, all brands (and logos) live within context. While a symbol can be a great identifier, it does little to tell stories about your customer context, product-market fit, or company style. Photography can help create this context for your customers – the context that helps your customers visualize what you do by converting it from written ideas to a visual experience.

The spaces, moments, and personality.

Stock images are the standard go-to. No one prefers them, but we all find ourselves using them anyway. Even immediately after a brand manager says, "We want NO stock images," sometimes the budget decides for them. To be fair, there are many great stock photos out there if you are selective. But someone else is using those same ones. It can be difficult to establish the reputation you want when the context of that reputation is not clear. In the long run, the savings can cost you.

Recently, we created the brand system for Patch Development. Even in the most modest projects, photography that is unique to your brand can make a difference, and this project is no exception.

Building For the Future
Patch Development is reshaping commercial real estate with a simple yet powerful approach: integrity-driven projects that just make sense.

View the Work

We captured architectural images, lifestyle, office shots, and corporate profiles.

When it comes to most companies, what makes one different from another? In most cases, it's in the nuances. The textures, the spaces, and the unique personalities. It takes more than a logo to share these ideas.

Capturing these spaces, moments, and personalities, for some companies, might be the difference between standing out as a unique organization and blending in. You can't trust a logo and a stock image to tell your customers who you are, and why they should choose you over other options. You'll need to invite them into your personalized, unique context. Most importantly, the biggest real estate of your brand – that is, your ads, your website, and sales materials – is often occupied largely by photography. That's a lot of space on the stage that is your brand image. And you should never give that to someone else.

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