NEWS29 October 2015

Image authenticity affecting brand perception

News Retail Trends UK

UK — With 1.8 billion photos shared globally every single day the age of the image is upon us and brands must adapt to a new photo authenticity said Laura Morris, director, Trinity McQueen.


In her presentation at Customers Exposed 2015 in London today, Morris said that the rise of digital imagery was changing how people remembered an experience with time and that the types of photos being taken were changing. “Technology is allowing us to be increasingly creative,” she added.

Indeed, she pointed to how drones – only a couple of years ago a piece of military hardware – were now topping the wish-list items in the US this year, giving rise to another new term, the ‘dronie’.

“Society has reached it peak-level narcissism but images can make powerful political points,” she said, citing the recent image of the drowned refugee boy changing the discourse around migrants.

For brands, Morris said creating more authentic brand images was hugely fertile ground..”Brands are starting to mirror it in their advertising.”

Trinity McQueen tested a range of press ads for positive, negative and neutral responses and found that the more relatable images had greater cut-through. The more traditional, model-posed, fashion-orientated images were increasingly seen as “not connecting, not warm untruthful, dated and out of kilter with how consumers are representing themselves,” said Morris.

Her pointers for brands were to:

  • embrace visual authenticity
  • be creative
  • mine visuals for insights
  • look at user-generated content
  • beware of being ‘fauxthentic’
  • tell the customer story not your own
  • don’t confuse empathy for intimacy
  • test and learn first.