Visual Communication

Top 7 Ways Brands Can Personalize Their Visual Content

By Celia Topping - 6 min read

Modern consumers are savvy and demanding - they can no longer be fooled by mass-produced, generic marketing ploys.

Customers want to feel valued, and the brands that provide an authentic visual identity by tailoring their content, are the ones which will gain the customer’s trust and loyalty, and in turn, revenue.

Making compelling, personalized, memorable content is key in today’s competitive market, thus connecting effectively with the right audience, and ensuring the customer will return again and again to ‘their’ brand.

Close-up of hand holding binoculars

1. Localize to Maximize

Fundamentally, a brand must seem human and accessible to it’s would-be customer, and communicate with them in a credible way. Global brands such as McDonald’s strive to localize their content by using platforms such as Sprinklr to target different communities and find out what is important where, and to whom. This allows them to uncover trends and thus create imagery that attracts the right people in the right place at the right time.

2. Behind the Scenes Access

Creating intimacy with personalized content for customers is key to building loyalty. So generating imagery that reveals more than what is normally seen by the public is very desirable, as it establishes a mood of confidentiality and familiarity between brand and consumer. An “exclusive” insight into what goes on behind closed doors is very alluring for customers, which is why J. Crew’s Tumblr account is full of beautiful imagery of their design processes, shot informally, in a ‘behind the scenes’ style, giving their customers privileged access into what goes on in this fashionable, deeply covetable brand’s world, off camera.

Midsection of make-up artist holding compact powder and brush

3. Choose Your Platform Wisely

Advertising Saga Holidays on Snapchat probably isn’t going to boost sales. Understanding where the target audience spends their online time is crucial to visual personalization so brands know their efforts are reaching the right group. An ad campaign by Adidas in December 2018 allowed their viewers to ‘try on’ their newly launched Ultraboost trainers. This appealed to Snapchat’s customer demographic (age 13-17) using AR techniques.

Teenager using mobile phone

4. React to Current Events in a Timely, Humorous Manner

What better way to make a friend than to make them laugh? And of course, in comedy, timing is key. Take Oreo’s killer tweet during the blackout at the Super Bowl XLVII, “You can still dunk in the dark”, accompanied by a dimly lit, lonely little illustrated cookie. The immediacy of the humorous tweet created a bond of millions through their shared ‘personal’ experience, during a perfectly captive moment. It was as if Mr Oreo was your mate sitting on the sofa watching the game with you and making a joke. What gets more personal than that?

Happy young man using phone by window at home

5. Create an Interactive Social Media Community

Why should brands do all the hard work themselves? Inviting customers to send in their own personal on-brand photos that the brand can then post to their social media platforms immediately creates a feeling of involvement for their community. Audience participation has long been used to engage and connect with viewers, and in the social media spectrum, it is a crucial technique in generating a ‘small world’ feel, where the consumer feels part of the brand. Take Bud Light for example – their consumers want to be seen as a cool drinker of their favorite cool beer by having their photo featured on the brand’s instagram page, and the brand receives thousands of free-use images: a win-win situation.

Portrait of smiling young woman standing in city

6. Life Hacks and How-To’s

Having a friend show you how to do something is far easier than learning from a book. Social media platforms are full of brands showing their customers how to bake a cake, shake a cocktail, decorate a house or do their make-up. Sharing knowledge like this is a way of building trust in an authentic, hands-on way. Hello Fresh, the recipe-box delivery service, spend a lot of time and money in showing customers how to cook their meals, like a friend sharing their recipes with you. Personal participation provides a practical and memorable experience.

Cropped image of woman preparing food by window at kitchen

7.Take Personalization to The Next Level

Consumers are far more likely to respond to a brand if the product is tailored to their needs and interests, and what is more personal to you than your name? Maybe you bought a Coca-Cola with your name on back in the summer of 2014, and another one for a family member or friend? The Share a Coke campaign was pure genius: incredibly simple yet overwhelmingly effective. Personalization at it’s best. And Coca-Cola even took it to the next level by offering personalized glass bottles through its e-commerce store, creating happiness and satisfaction for their customers worldwide.

Happy young woman sitting on steps

Summary: Top 7 Ways Brands Can Personalize Their Visual Content

  • Localize to maximize
  • Choose your platform wisely
  • Behind the scenes access
  • React to current events in a timely, humorous, manner
  • Create an interactive social media community
  • Life Hacks and How-to’s
  • Taking personalization to the next level
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