Branding your business involves so many things. Your website design and all the content within, how you address the public or other businesses. The colours you choose for your marketing material, your interaction with community, who you choose to sponsor for fundraising efforts and so much more.
Part of that is the photography you use for your marketing. We see thousands of images of all sorts each and every day. Some of which are business related, including those on television, the internet, brochures, newspaper etc. The reason that these images exist is to inform people. We learn from these images. We absorb information and quickly process this information as something useful to us or not. These images cause us to form an opinion and impression of the subject within.
As a potential client takes the time to search websites for information on a product of interest, they are scanning potentially hundreds of images. Even before they see the product they find the most interesting. They are aware of your company's branding. They get a feel for the character of your employees, your managers, your technicians as they peruse the "Meet our Staff" page of your site.
What impression do those photos produce? How is this impression impacting them subconsciously as they decide wether or not they like your business? Are there other factors that mould the general impression of your business?
One way to get a better idea is to launch a blind poll.
I recently did a study to get an idea of what people are really thinking about those staff photos.
I posted 4 images on the site www.photofeeler.com. It provides unbiased feedback from the general public worldwide. People can rate the image in 3 categories: competency, likability, and influence. They can also leave comments with more personal, descriptive feedback.
The results are amazing. It reveals what people truly think. Comments and ratings are completely anonymous, so there's no holding back.
The first two images below are images that I shot personally for business people to use for self promotion. The last two were pulled from publicly available websites. Check out those numbers.
These are actual numbers from random visitors to the site. The average number of votes is 67 per photograph.
Notice that the lower two images have significantly lower numbers than the top two. The gentleman who isn't even looking at the camera received very low numbers. He's not connecting with the customers. It shows 1)that he doesn't really care and 2)that the "photographer" doesn't care, and 3)that the business doesn't care either giving that they posted such a terrible representation of their business.
Below that, the image with the worst numbers show a poorly composed, unlit photo in front of a distracting graphic. We can't see the person's eyes, and even though he is a technician, he is wearing a dirty work shirt. Further pulling down the image of this business.
What are these numbers telling us? Well, they are telling us that the manner in which these people are photographed plays a big part in the public's opinion. It also gives us an idea of where the businesses branding efforts are failing.
Can you afford to let your branding slip in this day of fierce competition? Every time you speak to the public (or other businesses), send out a mailer, email a prospect etc. your brand is exposed and either reinforced or degraded.
Do you want to have numbers near the 90's or the 10's? Do you want to build your brand or knock it down?
Here's your call to action. Take a close look at your "Meet the Staff" page and decide if your images are supporting your brand or knocking it down. Do you want staff/team photos like the top two or the bottom two? It's time to get the response you want by using images that support instead of degrade your brand.
Mike Taylor Photo Arts
Photo-Artist working a personal vision.