Should Your Commercial Photography Adopt a Brand Stand?

In their second visual trend of 2019, Adobe encouraged brands and designers to take a stand. Should you do the same for your commercial photography?

Now that we’re into the second quarter of 2019, it’s a good time for us to revisit some of the visual trends and predictions that companies like Adobe have put forward, and decide which of them are applicable to our work. One of these, they say, is the Brand Stand trend, which is a response to the big shift in the relationship between consumers and brands. In essence, it reinforces the fact that customer loyalty is no longer inspired by a ground-breaking product or outstanding service. People’s spending are now tied to their values, and it’s now the task of brands to take a stand to tap into their customer base. As a photographer, it might as well be up your alley to help them make a compelling visual message.

So, how does this translate to creating visual content for photographers? It’s a way for us to craft and capture images effective in communicating the causes and values of our clients. Commercial photographers who work with advertising firms and big brands may especially relate to this trend; all the more if they also double as creative directors for certain campaigns. Adobe says that adapting the Brand Stand for bold messaging and campaigns need not be controversial. The best approaches are the ones that both convey a brand’s existing message and resonate with their customers’ values.

Stock photographers are also among those who can adopt this trend to their practice, as Adobe Stock has also seen more searches for “recycling” (up by 53%), “sustainability” (up by 50%), and “social responsibility” (up by 43%). As more brands seek to make their own social or ethical stands clearer and communicate them better, they’ll need your photos to drive their message across to buyers and customers.

Now, back to the question: should your commercial photography adopt the Brand Stand trend? Only you can decide! But taking on such projects is certainly easier if you’re working with a brand with causes and already aligned with yours. That will definitely make your skills as a photographer shine. If you’re interested in giving this a try, Adobe has an important suggestion to communicate to your clients: don’t make it about marketing. Because yes, people will know whether it’s genuine or just about getting sales.

“While a Brand Stand can succeed by speaking to our shared values or by pushing the envelope, there is a cautionary note. The strategy doesn’t work if it’s just a marketing campaign,” Adobe warns. “Consumers care about corporate commitments because they want their spending to equal real change — anything that falls short falls flat.

“Dynamic visual content has the power to communicate your brand’s purpose and capture attention, whether it be eco-friendly practices, social justice or diversity and more.”

Do check out the Adobe Blog post to get the full picture on the Brand Stand trend.