If I see another little 3d white man with a huge spherical head on a website or as a Twitter profile image I think my head will explode with creative madness ! This little man is soooo over used by small businesses that it shows a lack of understanding of just how important branding and graphic design plays in your potential customers decision making.
Why stock images are bad for business
This may sound like I am being extremely harsh on the little white man and please don’t suggest I am bullying him but your business is a unique entity, unlike this little fellow. By using common stock imagery you are : –
- saying that you are just the same as the next business.
- you don’t care about your company’s image and marketing message.
- and worst of all you are also saying that your service is cheap and untrustworthy!
Consistent brand message
Most medium sized to large corporations will have what is called a branding style guide and it must be adhered to at all times. Some of the elements in the guide can include what fonts should be used, their spacing & curning, the exact RGB, CMYK colours of the brand and the typical images and marketing message that should be considered as part of the overall look and feel of any marketing collateral whether digital or offline.
I realise by using stock images that look the same you think you are being consistent but if that image is seen again and again throughout the web on different websites that aren’t your own business then you are damaging the possibility of selling your product or image to the target market.
When I see people using unaltered stock images online it really disheartens me and puts me off using that business service or product, it makes me feel I can’t trust them and I will disregard them from my retail choices.
Alter the stock images
Don’t get me wrong stock images are great in helping graphic and digital designer gather elements you need to create unique graphics but if you use them as the sole way to “picturize” your website you will simply be putting your potential customers off doing business with you as although may you think the images you have chosen look good the majority of people will see an unprofessional website that shows lack of care, does that really reflect your business goal? I doubt it, your business has personality so show it off to the world!
Other stock images to avoid
The little white man doing various activities is my no.1 thing that makes my creative blood boil to see people using on their digital platforms, I mean, why!?!
But it also gets worse, pictures of random actors trying their hardest pretending to be business people standing in line are common place, avoid them or use sparingly and never use them for your main brand image that is simply a big no no!
Hire a designer
It is probably better to have no images at all if you are going to use unaltered stock images that are damaging your online reputation with potential customers. If you need unique images communicate your message verbally through correct use of heading styles, and contextual information and then hire a graphic/digital designer when your business budget can afford it.
It may seem like an extra expense your business doesn’t need and maybe the cost will seem heavy at first but if the graphics communicate your business message in a unique and imaginative way compared to your market rivals then when people are looking for your service/product they will remember you and see that you are indeed a very highly professional business worthy of doing business with as well as increasing the worth of your business.
I am 8-bit John a branding, web and graphics specialist that can help you improve your company’s image in a unique and imaginative way if you should need any help updating, improving or creating a new brand image please don’t hesitate to contact me.