Your company sells spring onion tofu spread. Do you really want to show just the packaging or a tartine? How about suggesting instead a squash, carrot and orange soup with a delicious swirl of your product?
Let’s create a special atmosphere, evoke the pleasure of sitting down at that table, delighting in the colors and exquisite aromas. Make your audience perceive those flavors and the innovative combinations, the quality of the experience…

Captivating images

In the past, adding a little green leaf somewhere in the logo or on the packaging was enough to be remembered by health food stores customers. Today, with the rising demand for vegan options and the incredible expansion of the plant-based food market, that’s not the case anymore. Nowadays supermarkets have big vegan sections and even the fast-food industry is trying hard to win over customers who avoid animal-derived ingredients.

To meet the booming popularity of veganism, the market now offers a growing range of products that appeal to flexitarians too.
Being able to conquer the attention of your potential customers in the blink of an eye is more crucial than ever now. Your visuals need to effectively communicate your brand’s values and leave an impression.

Your customers’ perception of your brand is determined by both the quality of what you sell and the available information about it and your company.
Every day consumers may interact with different contexts in which your brand is mentioned. Some environments are under your direct control (website, social media, customer support, salespeople, advertising, newsletters, press releases…) others aren’t (news, reviews, rumors, gossip…).

All this information contributes to shaping your brand reputation and creating opinions and feelings among potential customers. Although you can’t have 100% control over how your brand is perceived, you can certainly do a lot to cultivate a certain image in consumers’ minds. How do you want your brand to be perceived?

How to shape your Brand Visual Identity

Whether consumers recognize your uniqueness or not and how they differentiate you from your competitors depends on a number of factors, including:

  • the values associated with your products and services (for instance: sustainability and animal rights)
  • the market positioning and price of your products and services
  • the tone of the communication (authoritative, funny…)
  • the visual elements

Are you aiming to conquer the market populated by kale & spirulina smoothie lovers who wear yoga clothing and eat with chopsticks detox-Buddha-bowls? Or maybe you want to seduce trendy flexitarians always on the go and hungry for plant-based burgers?
In order to generate coherent communication, you need to have a very clear idea of your brand mission, vision, target audience, personality, and values.

An easy way to proceed is to make a list of keywords that suit these points. Would you describe your brand with expressions like classic, timeless, and linked to tradition? Cool, innovative, and trendy? Healthy, organic, and natural? You can also list keywords that would not be appropriate to use. Once you have listed those definitions, it’s time to translate them into visual content.

If, for instance, your vegan products are designed primarily for a target audience of sport enthusiasts and your mission is to make vegan energy bars readily available, then outdoor lifestyle images might work best. If your brand is focused on the pleasure of conviviality, a cluttered table that expresses the richness and the fun of a shared meal will do. Are you trying to conquer diet-conscious customers? A minimalist look might be appropriate…

Remember: customers interested in vegan products are not all the same! You have flexitarians that just turned their attention to plant-based food, ethical foodies, vegan fashionistas, plant-based fitness enthusiasts and many other tribes.
Your images should all be consistent with the values of the company (for example: healthy, organic and natural) and can be inflected in slightly different ways depending on your target audience.

More ideas to develop your Visual Identity

A fun and effective approach to defining the most appropriate image for your vegan brand is to create a Mood Board. A Mood Board is a collection of visual content on a specific theme. Let’s say you want to plan the launch of a new vegan burger.

You could start collecting images of different kinds of burger, an interesting search (even if it might not end up being what’s most useful). Then try looking for any image that expresses the mood or situation you want to evoke: landscapes or environments, objects, artwork, movie scenes, fashion photos, portraits, and anything that resonates with what you have in mind. You can use snapshots, press clippings, illustrations, etc. You can also add color palettes and typography.

Now that you have all that chaos in front of you, start making order. It works a bit like a brainstorming, just with images. First you gather lots of content, then you select what you find most interesting, you create groups of images, you remove what doesn’t seem to fit and – little by little – the style you are looking for will appear before your eyes. You’ll be able to combine the set of images that best expresses the atmosphere you want into a collage. That collage will also be a reference for all contributors.

Another interesting practice is to analyze what your competitors do and then compare it with what you had in mind: does your visual content set you far enough apart?

Why Visual Identity is important

Today’s culture is heavily visually oriented and that’s why all the visual elements of your brand identity can significantly influence consumer response.

The visual identity includes:

  • the logo
  • the color palette
  • the typography
  • imagery, graphic styles, and shapes (i.e., rounded shapes evoke different feelings than angular shapes)
  • the photography styles

When these visual representations are consistent across website, social media, ads, product packaging, newsletter design… it’s easier for the consumer to identify and remember the brand. For this reason, most companies have a Brand Style Guide that lists the various elements and is used as a reference.
In your style guide you can also include mood boards.

Vegan food photography that converts

We all know that visual content acts faster than text alone. Scientists have found that the human brain can achieve the remarkable feat of processing an image seen for just 13 milliseconds. But that’s not all. If we hear some information, three days later we are likely to remember only 10% of it. However, if a picture is paired with that same information, three days later we’ll retain 65% of it. Would you like your brand to be remembered or not? And, most importantly, how would you like it to be remembered?

You might have a pretty logo, use really cool colors and fonts, but if your photography doesn’t make a great first impression, you’re missing out.
When you select images, be very critical and ask yourself: “How does this photo make me feel when I look at it?”. An inviting food picture that makes your mouth water will most certainly arouse a desire to taste that dish even among those who don’t know much about your products. That’s exactly what you want.

Use photography as your most powerful tool to impress your potential customers! The quality of your photos subliminally communicates the quality of what you are selling. Pictures that truly stand out will make your products or services stand out. You want to make your potential clients hungry with really tempting pictures.

Authenticity counts (a lot!)

So, you have been considering producing the pictures but you are now thinking of using stock images instead. The pictures do not specifically show your products but they are cheap.
But cheap in cost often means cheap in effect.
Stock pictures can help when you are starting out and be of some use later in exceptional cases. But… do you really want to use images that can be found on hundreds of other websites and pretend they represent your product?
Ethical consumers want you to be real, showing them stock pictures can lead to mistrust. Not the most desirable outcome.
You need to have your own, unique imagery that reflects your brand and shows how delicious your products are.

A clearly defined visual identity not only makes your brand immediately recognizable, it also conveys what’s important to share with the public. So your images might need to show that your vegan products are made with natural, organic ingredients, that they’re cruelty-free, or that they’re sustainably sourced. Pictures of different recipes will encourage your vegan customers to prepare your products in different ways and maybe even inspire their non-vegan friends. Remember: vegan brands are not only selling food, they are somehow supporting a cause (even when they don’t mean to). Many of your customers really appreciate brands that are associated with pertinent causes.

When your Brand Visual Identity is not authentic, out-of-date, or unequipped to appeal to your target audience, it’s vital to refresh it and find a new visual approach.
The pictures with which your brand presents itself to the world have a lot to do with the success of your business. If your products are good, make sure they have unique, inviting and memorable pictures to let the world know.

Need help producing new mouth-watering pictures?
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FAQs

In marketing it’s easy to get confused because a lot of similar terms are used. Check out this Visual Brand Identity glossary.

What is Brand Identity?

Brand Identity is everything that sets you apart from your competitors and makes your brand the unique entity it is (and shows what it’s not).
The traits and behaviors that define your brand include the strengths of your company, what you do and why you do it, the emotions evoked, the values pursued and the overall brand personality.
An impactful Brand Identity is a coherent one and helps build customer loyalty and trust. In other words, it provides a well-defined and consistent customer experience that fulfills the company promises.
Your Brand Identity is visually expressed through your Visual Identity.

Why is your Brand Identity important?

A strong Brand Identity lets your customers know right away who you are and what can be expected from you. It’s a warranty that your products are of high quality or maybe cool or really sustainable. A strong Brand Identity for a vegan brand means, among other things, that customers will buy its products without reading the label because they trust that all ingredients are vegan and healthy.

What is a Brand?

A brand is the sum of all intangible elements that help people identify a company or a set of products or services.
Much more than a logo or a familiar label, a Brand is a recognizable business, a particular marketing concept, a feeling evoked in the customers.
Well-known brands normally build their Brand Reputation creating a consistent Brand Experience across different media.

What is Visual Identity?

Visual Identity is your brand look. Its main components are:

  • logo
  • color palette
  • typography
  • images

All illustrations, graphics, photography and various visual inputs associated with your brand contribute to creating the Visual Identity.
It’s often referred to as Visual Brand Identity because it visually expresses your brand values and gives consistency to the style that characterizes your website, packaging, advertising and more…. In short: Brand Identity means “what”, Visual Identity means “how it looks”.

Why is Visual Identity important?

A strong visual identity allows your brand to differentiate from your competitors and portrays the desired image to your consumers.

What is Brand Image?

Brand Image is the way customers perceive the brand. Not to be confused with Brand Identity, which indicates the way the brand wants to be perceived or the sum of elements and characteristics expressed through the Visual Brand Identity.

What is Visual Strategy?

Visual Strategy establishes the appropriate styles and ways to achieve specific marketing goals using visual language. It also establishes guidelines to follow for using visual elements in a coherent and consistent way while styling your brand.

What is Visual Marketing?

Visual Marketing is the use of anything that appeals to the eye in order to market your products and services.
Adopting Visual Communication, Visual Marketing helps the audience to get your message quicker and more precisely. With text only, the same message would be more difficult to grasp.

What is Visual Content Marketing?

Visual Content Marketing is the use of Visual Content to attract, entertain and/or educate your target audience.
The elements employed appeal primarily to the sense of sight and oftentimes contain information that is useful to your potential customer.

What is Visual Content?

Visual content is primarily image-based information that may include: illustrations, photos, GIFs, videos, embedded social media posts, infographics, pull quote graphics, or data and statistics.

What is Visual Communication?

Visual Communication is the use of Visual Content and (possibly) a Visual Strategy to express your Brand Identity and create a Visual Brand Identity.

What is Brand Experience?

Brand experience is the sum of sensations, emotions and associations that are evoked and develop interacting with your Brand.

What is Brand Recognition?

Brand Recognition is the extent to which consumers identify and recognize a specific brand just by looking at elements like a product packaging or an ad.
There are various stages of Brand Recognition:

  • Brand Recognition
  • Brand Preference
  • Brand Loyalty

Before reaching Brand Recognition, there is a phase of Brand Non-Recognition that means the public is not able to recognize the uniqueness of your brand.

What is Brand Reputation?

Brand reputation is how trusted a brand is, its credibility, authoritativeness, and prestige. Brand Reputation can be significantly influenced by news coverage, reviews, and social media comments.

What is the difference between Brand Image and Brand Reputation?

Brand Reputation mainly indicates the general confidence consumers have in your brand and is essential for building loyalty. Brand Image refers more to the way consumers perceive how relevant and unique your brand and its style are.

What is a Brand Style Guide?

A Brand Style Guide is a rulebook that sets down the guidelines to represent your brand. Its content can be extremely specific and list how your logo can be used (or not used), the appropriate color palettes, typography direction and so on.
When it comes to photography, normally the styles that fit your Brand Identity are described. In order to make the look and feel of the images clear, photo examples or Mood Boards can be used.

What is a Mood Board?

A Mood Board is a collection of visual content on a specific theme to visually describe the desired atmosphere and its impact. It’s a sort of a collage that summarizes a style or concept. When a Mood Board is used to explain a certain feeling, normally one page is sufficient. If the Mood Board is used to prepare a campaign or the style of a new line of products or a complex photoshoot, then several sections can be required.

What is Vegan Clicks?

Vegan Clicks is a boutique food photography service that will help you give potential customers the irresistible urge to taste your vegan dish.
Find out more reading this page and the services page. Find the answers to your questions in the FAQs section.
Or just write to us.