Images absolutely belong in marketing - especially since social media platforms have taken on a dominant role. This is true in both the B2C and the B2B-area. Business customers are used to the visual language of their private lives and therefore expect it in the business sector as well. Nevertheless, there are small differences between the visual language in the B2B segment and that in the B2C segment: When addressing private customers, the focus should be on emotions, while for business customers it should be on logic.
What is meant by figurative language?
The name already suggests it - it's all about images. Images that a company uses on its website, social networks or brochures. Ideally, these match each other and speak the same language, the visual language. Just as Colors or fonts, the images are part of the corporate design. Thus, the visual language also ensures that a brand is recognized by consumers at first glance. The human brain captures images within milliseconds. They trigger certain emotions in viewers much more directly than texts. To ensure that they do not fail to have an effect on the target group, it is important to select the right motifs for the respective purposes.
What are the differences in the visual language in B2B and B2C?
As already mentioned at the beginning, nowadays there are No more serious differences in the visual language of B2B and B2C. However, in the B2C sector, the primary aim is to trigger emotions in customers, whereas in the B2B sector, the primary focus is on the formal decision-making process. Business customers, for example, are interested in the details and functionality of the devices they buy.
Viewers here want to see more information in a picture, such as the technical performance or the commercial advantages of a new acquisition.
In the B2C sector, the focus is on the benefits that consumers derive from a product or the advantages it gives them. Here, purchasing decisions are made more immediately and predominantly on the basis of emotion, whereas in the B2B sector, purchasing decisions take longer to consider and are based on other criteria. A Commonality between the two areas there are for the visual language but: The individuality of your company must be represented in the visual language, at least through the use of corporate colors or image looks.
How does a company develop its visual language?
When a visual language is developed within the company, you first define the image contents. Which motifs should the pictures show? Nature, shapes, buildings or people? But other aspects also play an important role, such as perspective, color climate, composition, sharpness or light. When developing your own visual language a mood board does a good job.
A company's values form the basis for its visual language. It is therefore important to clarify in advance what the company stands for and what is important to it. What is important in the cooperation with the Target group What is particularly important to the customer and how would the company like to be perceived by them? Which strengths should be conveyed to the customers through the images?
The images should be have a common style, that suits the company. For example, clear lines and symmetries convey a cool impression that suggests seriousness. Warm colors and emotions show humanity and closeness. Self-taken pictures with a cell phone camera look authentic and underline a self-made image - but are unsuitable in the B2B sector. As much as it is fun to experiment - in the end, you have to the images are well received by the target group and not cause enthusiasm.
The visual language as a reflection of the brand
Images should be used on the one hand for corporate identity, but on the other hand also to the brand itself. During the branding process, it is a good idea to conceptualize motifs and the desired look and to produce suitable visual material on this basis in a shoot. In this way, the company keeps all aspects under control and can also choose which photographer best suits its own brand and the desired style.
If you prefer to use images from databases, careful selection is very important. Particularly obvious, stereotypical or universally used motifs are not a good choice. People at a negotiating table do not convey a specific message about the added value of a brand. If, on the other hand, you choose an appropriate visual language that fits the corporate design and clearly distinguishes the company from the competitionThis helps to position the brand optimally in the competitive environment. Even less emotional products are made more accessible in this way.
Modulate the visual language
Images contribute to the Recognition value of a company but do not always have to look the same everywhere. For the Internet presence or image brochures, it may be happy to have a be more complex imagery, because these projects are long-lasting. No comparable effort can or should be made with the daily post in social media. In this case, the repetition of typical, eye-catching elements ensures the recognition effect.
Further develop the imagery
Just as spoken languages evolve, so does visual language. Over time, you'll know what resonates best with your target audience. Repeat what works. And remember: repetition creates a recognition effect. At some point, your customers will recognize your brand from a single image.
Images work more immediate and direct than text. They make a more lasting impression on the human memory than (long) text. If they fit the brand and the company, they help to strengthen the brand or convey the corporate values. Meaningful images complement the corporate design and create recognition value. For images to successfully support the brand image, they must be chosen carefully. Once a company has found its visual language, it can develop it further over time and thus continue to benefit from the advantages of this powerful marketing tool.