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Friday 5: What all Brands can Learn from Apple's Use of Imagery

When you think of the brand Apple, what comes to mind? Hip, cutting edge, sophisticated, sleek. These word associations are a result of how others think about your brand, and what image consumers believe their interaction with the brand evokes. Apple’s imagery—in print ads, commercials and on their website—is a key component of a carefully cultivated brand image. Apple devotees are some of the most loyal, and imagery usage certainly is a contributing factor needed to uphold such avid brand devotion.

Read on to see what makes Apple’s imagery stand out from the crowd and how you can incorporate these principles into your own brand.

1. Style is upheld across platforms and campaigns. Consistency is key. This seems obvious, and surely is something you’ve heard many times. Yet, it’s amazing how often this elementary concept is ignored. Apple’s imagery is based on simplicity. Large, bold, singular images are used on print, in TV spots and on their website. From spot-color and silhouettes used to introduce color iPods (shown below) to sweeping landscapes, these graphic representations uphold Apple’s chic perception.

2. Find beauty in ordinary details. One of the main facets of Apple’s imagery are the products themselves. They are shown in close-up, ‘artistic’ shots, elevating computers and iPads to a level of beauty not generally associated with technology. These products have become cultural markers, and consumers use them as objects of self-expression as much as forms of communication or computers.

3. Imagery is not confined by industry standards. This relates back to the previous point, and is equally important. From Apple’s “1984” commercial to the “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” spots, the products themselves are rarely shown. Sometimes, as with the “1984” spot, it’s ambiguous what is being advertised until the final frames. In an industry defined by megahertz and pixels per inch, Apple does not use this language to connect with consumers. Taking this a step further, consumers’ dedication does not stem from excellent technology (although it certainly isn’t shabby), but rather a visual connection with the brand.

4. Focus on benefits. Apple’s imagery has never been product focused. Instead, commercials and print spots show how our lives will be improved. Tech ‘features’ are rarely, if ever, directly mentioned. Instead, Apple shows people using an iPad or iWatch in their everyday lives, making the product relatable to their audience. Apple’s dominance in the tech space isn’t based on touting extraordinary components; the brand is a cultural icon in it’s own right. Much of this has been achieved through its use of imagery.

5. Imagery is dominant over text. Images are much more powerful storytellers. We’ve established consumers’ dedication to Apple stems from a connection to their own lives—how products are used, what they can do and even the outward perception they offer users. This connection isn’t achieved through traditional language or data (again, as we’ve already stated), so how is it done so well? The answer: Apple is a terrific storyteller. From “I’m a Mac” to the latest iWatch commercials, Apple shows how their products are intertwined in our lives. This emotional connection is the strongest link any advertisement hopes to achieve, and Apple has that nailed.

Looking to take your own brand’s imagery to the next level? Get in touch with us by leaving a comment below!

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