Graphic design or photography?

Rewriting the brand bible

If you’re a graphic designer please turn away now, as you may not enjoy what you’re about to read. In terms of content, the options in graphic design are becoming smaller and smaller. In fact so small that it’s pretty much limited to the logo and not much more.

When you create a network of everyone’s tastes aligned into one app such as Instagram, the effect is obvious, people want photos not design. It’s now about building your brand with photography and creating a visual presence that has the appeal of the real world. The question on everyone’s lips though, is how to make it unique?

Here are 3 methods that can make you stand out on Instagram:

1, Make your account technically impossible to replicate.

It goes without saying that most brands will just be pushing content all day long so this creates the opportunity to do something different and challenge your audience.

Most of us have seen organizations try with 6 photos covering the same shot, it breaks the account up, but personally I prefer being a bit more subtle with a single diagonal. You can also vary the type of content a bit more and while consistency is good for your audience, it doesn’t really tell the story of your brand.

2, Increase the quality

There are always ways to improve your content from different camera angles to backgrounds. Photographers and visual editors can make your content more unique and although this is not as valuable as quality, it can certainly make your audience feel more connected to your brand.

3, Mark your brand territory

Organizations like BBC WorldWide are integrating their brand strategy with photography and BBC Earth is a great example of this. When you follow BBC Earth your expectation is not a company or its culture but a lifestyle that includes some of the world’s best photography of wildlife.

For nature lovers and the general public, this is a much easier sell of content and you can see the difference in popularity when compared to BBC One.

Despite BBC Earth having double the number of posts to BBC One, it also has nearly 5 times the followers, indicating how popular the level of interest is in this combination of lifestyle and photography.

What makes this more interesting is how many marketers choose to ignore lifestyle in favor of product showcases or community building, both eroding the visual identity of a brand.

Topshop are another brand who have successfully managed to convince people that when it comes to high street fashion, they are the masters of mainstream photography.

What you have to remember though, is, this is a clothes brand not a content factory. The digital transformation of their brand in general has been particularly noticeable, as much as successful.

All in all, this is a reminder of how mobile in particular can challenge your expectations of content and how to use it properly. Not least how companies are being forced to re-position themselves online.

Photography used to be exclusively for fashion shoots and the media, now it has become the defining tool for brands.