Visual Communication

How Google's Nikolas Vogt Chooses to be a Visual Rebel Everyday

By Ellen Clipson - 3 min read

With our Visual Rebels 2019 webinar series set to go live in less that two weeks, we spoke to Google Assistant's Global Growth Marketing Lead, Nikolas Vogt, to understand why it is critical for technology brands to dare to be different if they want to connect with their audience.

The first of our Visual Rebels 2019 Webinar series is centered around understanding how imagery and your brand’s visual language is becoming increasingly critical for establishing future growth.

To ensure that your brand connects with it’s users it is essential to understand their needs and visualize solutions.

Set up Your Brand to Stand out in the Visual Era

Nikolas Vogt has seven years of experience in Growth and Product Marketing across several different Google products. Currently leading Google Assistant‘s growth marketing efforts, Nikolas continues to prioritise excellence in everything he does.

His outstanding work led him to win five creative awards in 2018, and Nikolas isn’t slowing down. He remains commited to establishing the ‘Silicon Valley growth mindset’ in Germany with his Growth Akademie programme.

As we look forward to Nikolas’ webinar – The Visual Strategy of the Google Assistant – we spoke to the creative innovator about what it means to be a Visual Rebel when facing the dynamic challenges of the fast-paced technology industry.

“We have to increasingly rely on visual cues that represent reality”

Close-up of human hand holding shuttle cock on tennis racket against wall

What does it mean to be a Visual Rebel?

For me, a Visual Rebel is somebody who thinks outside of the box. They look for different angles and connect the dots that others don’t see.

When it comes to being a Visual Rebel aesthetics are important but it’s even more important that you are intentional about putting yourself into the shoes of your target audience. It’s essential that you can solve marketing problems with a visual approach, however you must also show a lot of empathy at the same time.

“We can grow our user base using visual tactics”


How are you a Visual Rebel in your everyday choices?

I am putting myself in the shoes of users everyday and think about how we can grow our user base using visual tactics. For me, the biggest source of inspiration is daily observations. Being a visual rebel is about always keeping one eye open.

I look at specific situations where real people solve problems with technology in an established way. From there, I think about how this could have been solved easier and faster with the Google Assistant. Based on this situation I am trying to connect with, I look for visuals on EyeEm that represent the circumstance. This works well, as EyeEm has user generated photos and so looks more premium than stocky.

Close-up of a smiling teenage girl

What visual challenges do you have to master during your work at Google?

The biggest challenge I face? How to support my marketing message visually in a credible way. For the team here at Google Assistant, it’s very important to show people that we can relate to our audience. As a brand, we must show we can be ambitious, without becoming a luxury good.

Our aim is to show people interacting with technology in order to remove any stage fright associated with integrating technology into your daily lives. For example, talking to your phone in public. To make this normal for people, we need to represent an influencial audience without doing a full on photoshoot – this is where EyeEm’s search algorithm has been most helpful.

What role will visuals play in the future?

We have to increasingly rely on visual cues that represent reality without being too in your face with messages. It has to be intriguing and aspirational but at the same time close to reality. Technology will continue to influence our future too. AI will help us make the right choices in terms of what people can relate to visually.

What can participants expect from your presentation at the Visual Rebel Webinar on April 11th 2019?

I will be sharing a glimpse into how Google works with visuals and what is important when using photos to promote products centered around technology.

Get access to Nikolas’ insights along with three other leading creative innovators with our Visual Rebels webinar series here. #visualrebels2019 will be your essential tool for understanding the critical importance of your brand’s visual language and creative direction.