(P.S. it’s not just about colours!)
1. What are your brand values?
Often we think of a ‘brand’ as purely a visual thing -colours, fonts, etc. But those things are just one part of what makes a successful food business.
Your brand values are essentially what your company believes in and stands for. They’re at the heart of everything you do as a company. To give an example, McDonald’s brand values1 are:
Your values influence your marketing content, your relationship with your customers, and naturally, the content you publish in the form of your website or photography for example.
As a food brand, communicating your brand values through your visuals is a key part of a successful marketing strategy (why do you think Instagram is so popular?)2. Investing in professional food photography ensures you convey your values coherently and beautifully through your images.
2. Who is your target audience?
Who do you want to attract? Is it in line with your current audience? Sometimes we think we know who we’re talking to, but actually we’re not.
It sounds silly but knowing who you’re talking to has a big impact on what you tell them!
To give a basic example – if you are a luxury steakhouse based in the city centre and your target audience is
- Millennials aged 25-40
- Prioritises sustainability and ethics
- Values quality over quantity
- Often dine-in on weekends, after 8pm
How does this reflect in your brand’s food photography? Would they be playful and vibrant? Or would it be something a bit darker, mysterious and elegant?
Knowing who you’re talking to and what they want helps you to create images that speak specifically to them.
3. What content resonates with your target audience?
Give the people what they want! Sounds simple right?
Look at your existing content (whether that’s Google Analytics, Instagram Insights etc.) What responses did you get? How did it resonate with your community? Which content did well and which didn’t? You might be surprised!
Maybe your audience love mouth-watering recipe videos over blog posts. Or perhaps they love beautiful still images rather than longer webinars. All this insight helps you to tweak and tailor the visual content you create – whether it’s articles, recipes or photos.
There are too many articles about ‘How to hack the algorithm’ and ‘You need to use reels!’ that we forget to actually pay attention to what our audience want.
I encourage you to take note, observe, you might be surprised with what you find!
To sum things up
There’s much more to branding than colours, fonts and logos. It starts from something much more fundamental – your brand values, your target audience and their needs. Starting from what’s right at the core of your business directly influences the visual aspects of your brand. Once that’s pinned down, it will be easier to shape and direct the content you create.
Maybe you’ve already got your brand values down. In that case I’d love to discuss how I can help you with some branded food photography!
1 McDonald’s: Our Mission and Values
2 Core Brand Values Examples: Why They Are Key to Differentiating your Brand
The Complete Guide to Food Branding
14 Inspiring Restaurant Mission Statements and Why You Need One
The Beginner’s Guide to Brand Values (+ Examples of Core Values)
Target the Market of Your Restaurant