In our digital age, how a company brands itself is more important than ever.
Companies seem to be recognizing this, and many are investing more into their marketing. But it’s expensive, causing more companies to opt for using stock photos with their marketing collateral versus having custom photography taken. This seems like a harmless trick to cut costs, right? In reality using stock photography for too much of your collateral can be detrimental to your business. Below we breakdown three main reasons why using stock photography can be harmful to a business’ success in the market place.
Difficulty Differentiating from Competitors
When a company uses stock photography to represent their company they run the risk of using the same stock photos other companies have chosen or even worse, other competitors. This is a commonly occurring situation, the most famous example being the “everywhere girl.” With a quick google search of the phrase you will be bombarded with an overwhelming amount of photos of a studious redhead in marketing collateral all the way from Mexico to India. This stock model’s face were used in competing Dell and Gateway computer ads at the same time, and the public took notice. The “everywhere girl” stock photos are still plastered on hundreds of other ads and brochures to this day. Stock photos are taken in generic settings so they have a wider variety of use and appeal to more potential buyers. This issue can be avoided altogether through using custom photography. You are guaranteed to have unique photos that don’t run the risk of being used by competitors but also represent your brand better than a stock photo ever could.
Conflict with Company Vision
When stock photos are taken they are the photographed in an effort to be the most generic and nondescript images. Unlike the regular goal of photos to be one of a kind and unique, stock photos are basically the exact opposite. That’s because one of a kind photos don’t sell well to a large variety of customers. On the flip side, because stock photos are so generic companies end up settling for images that don’t fit their vision properly. Cutting corners by using stock photos creates false values because designers end up spending longer trying to make stock photos fit the image and vision of marketing materials. Photos have an immense power to brand your company in the eyes of potential customers so it is important to choose images that represent your brand exactly how you want it to.
Customers Take Notice
A photo of real customers talking about and using your products or services tells a better story than stock photos ever could. There’s a reason the marketing campaign of stock photos by Vince Vaughn and Dave Franco to promote their film Unfinished Business went viral. It connected with all customers who are all too familiar with generic stock photos being used on marketing collateral, and it gets old fast. A lot of businesses use key words like “trustworthy,” “unique,” and “reliable” to describe themselves to customers. Every touchpoint a customer has with your company is important, how will those values be translated when they see you using no real photos to represent your company? If you give clients customized service, you should do the same for yourself. Real places and people create more powerful referrals and have a deeper meaning to customers than stock photos ever could.
Don’t let stock photos get the better of your business!
Does your business use stock photos in majority of your marketing materials. It might be time to shake things up and elevate your business. Get in touch if you want to chat about having customer photography taken for your marketing.