Infographic: Image and Brand, the value of visuals underestimated by companies

A company’s image has a direct impact on its economic performance. Thus, the company needs a brand and to care for its image to seduce and retain its customers as well as its employees.
And for good reason, its notoriety, which remains in the public mind, depends on it.

To achieve a positive image, companies have a wide range of tools. Which are therefore part of a global brand strategy, combining communication as well as
externally as well as internally. For this purpose, photography,and the image in general, contribute largely to the first impression. As proof, it is considered that a visitor on a website is less
7 seconds to get an idea of a company (1). In such a short time, it is the visuals that determine this first impression. Moreover, with digital technology, the image market is more important than ever at the service of companies.

infographic image social networks brand company figures
Infographic: Image and social networks, the winning trio?

The image, at the heart of the brand’s construction

The brand is a complex concept that takes many layers. Thus, it consists of tangible elements, such as visual identity (logo, colors…), sensory,or even sound (jingle); intangible elements, which call for mental representations. The visual image intervenes at different levels of the brand’s depth. It therefore helps to create its value.

The communication of a company must be a reflection of the identity of the brand,its essence. In that sense, it has a message to convey. Which is transcribed in the discourse as well as the products and services provided or the atmosphere. In addition, each brand offers its own customer experience. When it is in tune with the brand identity, communication is consistent and immerses the company’s audiences in its brand atmosphere. In addition, it also means marking the difference with the competition, positioning itself in its environment and market.

To be well accepted, the brand can’t just be a purely marketing construct. On the contrary, it takes root in the real identity of the company. “In other words, the identity of an organization must be understood as a socially constructed conception of what the organization is. This identity can therefore be a social construct, but a construction that the people inside the organization recognize as well-founded and real (Bauman, 1996).” (2)

And yet, to function, it is also fictionalized. Thus, the brand relies on symbols and myths that call for common knowledge, shared cultural representations. In this complex environment, the visual image is a key factor in the dissemination of the image and values of the brand. Photography is part of brand and content marketing. It does what you remember, which leaves an impression.

Image brand professional visual art company
Branding, a business of professionals serving companies.

Measuring image and notoriety, the advantages of a good reading of the brand


With digital,the brand is much “broken” than before. It takes place on a quantity of media that continues to spread, to a potentially wider audience. Now, in addition to managing her reputation, she has to take care of her e-reputation. Assessing the brand image is therefore becoming more and more difficult. To support companies in their brand audit, various tools propose to measure the image and reputation of companies.

This is the case, for example, of Happydemics (3). Based in Paris, the online research platform allows companies to analyze precisely different aspects of their brand with their customers. Notoriety study, CSR ratio, image perception or satisfaction are now available to companies of all sizes. A boon to fully realize the impact of a controlled brand on the economic and social performance of a company.

Beyond these innovative tools, other players are working to give a vision to the most accurate of the reference brands known to the French. The Matrix, for example, an option agency, strategy and communication, has been publishing a barometer of the image of large French companies every quarter for more than 20 years (4). Far from simply applying to the brands in question, these studies and observatories offer other companies a more precise view of the market and its evolution.

Branding, a personality story

The concept of the brand is gaining in scope as technological changes, trends and consumers. Increasingly, the brand has a societal dimension. Thus, to meet expectations, it must be transparent, but also be able to create a close relationship with its audience. In reality, there is more and more of a brand with human characteristics. It then has its own personality, consistent with its intrinsic values.

And for good reason, we work with a brand like we work in society. That is, you quickly identify your main character traits to know how to interact with them. A way of determining whether or not it can belong to the same “social circle”. On the brand side, the aim is to create a “feeling of belonging”. To do this, she strives to create emotional bonds with her different audiences. While digital is the source of these more important emotional needs,it is also one of the best ways to meet them.

In this regard, the image occupies a key place. Well used, it enhances the image of the company. Virtual tour, photos of the premises, portraits of the entrepreneur and teams, pictures of the products and situations of all kinds help to tell the story of the brand.

Image and photography, the value of quality

With social networks, the adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” has never made so much sense. They even now surpass text and discourse. According to statistics, an image generates 7 times more engagement than a text. An effect multiplied again with the video. Leading social networks with the highest engagement rate, Instagram. This den of the image even sits far ahead of YouTube and Facebook.

Beyond social networks, other interfaces are taking over the craze for the image. For example, Google My Business now offers to publish Google Post, the equivalent of a publication on a social network, and encourages you to share photographs of your workplace, your team, your products…

However, the image approach, coupled with the immediacy and spontaneity required by
these tools, causes some flaws. Thus, brands often forget that this approach is integrated into a communication strategy and suffers no approximation, or risk obtaining the opposite effect than that sought.

On the photography side, then, it is crucial toavoid amateurism. The sense of ease inherent in digital is feigned: everything is in fact to think and work rigorously. The quality of shared images is the key to a brand’s success on the digital market. The latter therefore needs more than ever an artistic paw, a professional look, an approach of its own.

An idea to keep in mind, even when we are witnessing the proliferation of the uses of artificial intelligence in order to facilitate the management of the image. And for good reason, most tools aim to simplify technical constraints in the service of creativity. This is particularly the case with the use of AI to merge shots in order to generate the best image. This may replace the experience, but does not exempt you from choosing its angle of attack.

Sources:


(1) Growthhacking, “The brand image of a company perceived through photos,” December 21, 2019
(2) Cairn,“The Links Between Branding and organizational Evolution”,Bjorn Stensaker, In Policies and Management of Higher Education 2007/1 (No. 19), pages 13 to 30 Happydemics, Panoramas of Insights
(3) The Matrix, Quarterly Corporate Image Barometer, Posternak / Ifop

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