Universal Imaging

In a recent article about my choice of photo for my online presence, I discussed the fact that one of the criteria I had for the image was that it be universal. I wanted something consistent between the various sites I’m on – that if someone is looking for me, they will always see the same picture.

This applies beyond just a photo of a person, though. It applies to the entire image of who and what you or your business are.

Your image, or brand, is that which will evoke the desired reaction from people. If you have a chain of coffee stores, for example, you will want to brand consistency (just look at Tim Hortons as an example of a really consistent cup of coffee). If you’re a tailor, you want to brand a perfect fit.

In your business, when choosing a brand, you need to look at both what you’re known for, and what you would like to be known for. Often, the two are not the same, but hopefully, neither is patently false about your business.

Once you’ve decided what those two ideas are, you need to create some sort of image that will help people recognize you (what you’re known for) and generate the reaction you’re looking for (what you want to be known for). The result of that is the image you need.

The other factor you need is an image that can be portrayed in a variety of media without significant deviation from a common theme. For example, an image that revolves around motion won’t make a good newspaper ad, while have lots of text in your image makes for something difficult to portray as a TV commercial.

Once you’ve selected your image, adapt it universally in your business, and give it a chance to provide feedback. An experiment with your image can take months before its effects are clear, so patience is a required factor here.

What do you consider to be your brand? How have you managed to get it portrayed in various media?