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The Psychological Impact Of Product Photography On Brand Recognition And Consumer Perception

Standing out as a brand is becoming increasingly difficult in today’s hyper-competitive digital world. With so many different businesses fighting for visibility and attention, it’s important to find ways to set your product or brand apart from the rest of the competition. What’s more, shoppers form their first impression of a business within 13 milliseconds.

With more brands fighting for customer attention today than ever before, high-quality product photography can be the deciding factor for your online store’s success. Visuals communicate information up to 60,000x faster than words. Compelling photography packs a punch when it comes to communicating your brand’s values and effectively displaying your products. 

Professional product photography that beautifully captures the look and feel of your product can go a long way toward helping consumers recognize and remember your brand. The type of images you choose to represent your brand has a profound impact on how potential customers perceive your business as well as how they remember you as a brand moving forward.

The aesthetic you choose, the way you display your products, and the story you tell through your product imagery set the tone for your relationship with your audience and help you build brand awareness. High-quality product imagery is a must if you want to establish a certain level of standard for your brand and products. Psychologically, poor-quality product imagery has a direct impact on shoppers’ perception of your product’s quality and brand image. 

Deciding on the Type of Photography You Need

The first thing you’ll want to consider is the type of photography you’ll be using to showcase your products. There are several different types of product photography that each display products distinctly. White background photography is a classic method of capturing products against a clean white background, and many brands use it for its simplicity and versatility. On the other hand, it may not be the best choice for every brand, especially if you want to connect with your audience emotionally. 

The type of photography you choose will have a big impact on the type of images you get and will ultimately impact your customer’s perception of your brand. Studio photography is great for letting you control the look and feel of your images. It’s a good option if you want to create high-quality images that are consistent and beautiful. Professional photoshoots can help you capture multiple angles and views of your product to offer an array of images. One downside of this type of photography is that it can be relatively expensive and time-consuming. Since you’ll need to set up a studio space to do the photography and use lights, props, and other equipment, it can be a more costly option than some other types of photography.

With the evolution of photography techniques and technology, many brands have started experimenting with new image tools like 360-degree photography, AI-generated on-model imagery, and AR to elevate the shopping experience for customers. Depending on your needs and goals as a brand, you should dedicate your resources to the type of imagery that aligns with your brand identity and values. 

The Importance of Color in Product Photography

Color is a powerful element in your composition, and can evocatively convey intended moods and emotions through your product photography. Color has a big impact on how the viewer perceives your products. It can influence the feeling and emotions the viewer has about your products as well as their overall thoughts about your business. 

When choosing a color scheme for your product photography, you’ll want to think about the goals you have for your brand and what message you want to be sent to your customers. For example, if you want to be viewed as a luxury brand, you may want to use a gold or champagne color scheme in your product photography. If you want to be viewed as high quality or expensive, you may want to use black and white, or another monochromatic color scheme, like platinum. If you want to be viewed as playful and fun, you can use a bright, vibrant color scheme like pink, yellow, or blue.

How Your Product Photography Communicates Brand Identity and Culture

It’s important to remember that the images you choose to showcase your products on your website or within your social media posts and advertisements are not just photographs. They are advertisements. They are meant to persuade your customers to purchase your products or use your services. Each product photograph you choose to represent your brand will communicate something to your customers about your brand, your culture, and your values and ideals.

Your product photography can either help or hinder your brand by engaging the customers or turning them away from your website. While the images you select will communicate something about your brand, they will also communicate something about the customers who purchase your products. Images can rightly target your intended audience and add to your aspirational value as a brand. 

The Psychological Impact of Background on Product Photography

The type of background you choose for your product photography can have a substantial impact on how your products are perceived. For example, if you have an athletic wear fashion line, you may want to include multiple contextual images with a lot of movement, adventure, and outdoor photography. This may seem intuitive, but many brands lose out on the opportunity to accurately capture their brand’s aesthetic and value through product imagery. 

This is why 78% of online shoppers want photographs to bring products to life. In other words, shoppers want brands to help them visualize their products in their daily life through imagery. Lifestyle imagery is a brilliant way brands do this. Compelling lifestyle product imagery can be potent in striking a chord with your target audience and building context for your product images.

The type of background you choose will depend on what you want the overall message of your images to be. For example, if you want your images to be clean and simple and not have a lot of extra “noise,” you may want to use a white or neutral-colored background. If you want to have a busy, visually stimulating image, you may want to use a background with bold colors, textures, and patterns.

The Psychological Impact of Lights and Shadows

An essential element of product photography is the balance between lights and shadows in the images. While many believe that shadows must be completely eliminated from product photography, this could not be further from the truth. Using shadows in the right ways can elevate your product images to the next level, and add depth to your photography. 

Depending on your brand’s aesthetic and goals, you can choose sharp lighting for a stark and moody effect in your product imagery or you can choose diffused lighting, which has a completely different effect. At the end of the day, it’s important to understand the balance between light and shadows and incorporate them in your product photography to add depth and character to your images.

The Psychological Impact of Product Size in Photos

The size of the products you choose to photograph can also have a big impact on how your customers perceive them. The size of the products you choose to photograph will help your customers understand the size of the products and get a better grasp on how they can use the product in their lives.

For example, if you have a product that is meant to be viewed as a luxury item, like a cashmere scarf, you want to showcase the intricate details and the textures up close to capture the exquisite beauty of the product. If you have a product that you want to be viewed as durable, but not luxurious, say a pair of trekking shoes, you can experiment with contextual photography and product size in the images to create the right mood.

Experimenting with product size will also allow you to direct focus and attention to specific parts of the image, be it the product, distinct details, patterns, or the composition as a whole. 

Bottom Line – Product Photography is a Powerful Psychological Tool to Drive Consumer Behaviour

65% of people are visual learners, a significant statistic that affirms the importance of professional product photography for your brand’s success. The different elements constituting a product image have a psychological impact on the viewer and subliminally influence them to either move further in their buying journey or abandon your website. Creating the perfect composition requires brands to intentionally choose color tones, patterns, backgrounds, props, and even product placements. 

While this may seem like a lot of work, it is well worth the effort since product photography directly impacts your brand image and recognition. Building the right mood and aspirational value through product imagery can set you apart from your competition while improving the shopping experience for your customers. 

While many brands still rely on traditional photoshoots to capture their products, the process can be painfully long and expensive. Technology forward brands are fast moving towards new-age photography solutions such as AI-driven on-model imagery, as offered by many platforms. FlixStudio, for example, is an intelligent, AI-based photo studio that offers compelling on-model product imagery at turnaround times as low as 48 hours. 

FlixStudio simplifies the process of creating high-quality catalog-ready images for your eCommerce store at one-fourth the cost of traditional photoshoots.

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Arunava Acharjee

(Product Marketing Manager)