Expert Advice: Using bespoke visuals to distinguish your beauty brand
Lauren Rogers-Martin shares how illustrations can help you advertise your beauty brand and services whilst captivating your audience.
If you are trying to grow your beauty business, then it's important to stand out from the crowd. You likely use various types of imagery in your marketing to achieve this such as photos and videos. But are you using illustrations?
Incorporating illustrations in your marketing could improve your current or future clients' response of a new treatment or provide learning material for client education.
Throughout history illustrations have been used as narrative images to tell stories. When the cave man wanted to share what he had for dinner he grabbed his stick and illustrated it. This simple method of storytelling has been used throughout the ages and has been integrated into our everyday lives in ways that you may not have noticed; but has had a subliminal effect on our consumer experience.
Remember the animated Red Bull adverts from the early 2000s that featured loosely drawn characters with big noses who grew wings and flew away after drinking the product? Of course you do. The style and humour were unmistakable and became essential to the Red Bull message in many ways. Those goofy ads were a precursor to a rapidly growing practice in today's world of branding. Other big companies such as PayPal, Dropbox, Apple, not forgetting many fashion brands, also use illustrations effectively.
Tell your story
Illustration is all about problem solving and telling a story, and isn't that exactly what your company is aiming to do? Solving your clients' problems and then sharing their story and experience to potential new customers? I have seen a massive spike of new customers in the aesthetics field that are commissioning illustrations from me to do exactly that, tell their patients and brand story. So, what are the benefits of using illustrations for your marketing? Let me break it down for you.
Communicating in a unique way
When it comes to stock art or photography that everyone has access to, there's no guarantee of how many other brands are using the same imagery as you. Your brand's story is unique and deserves to be communicated in an authentic way rather than a ‘one-size-fits-all' approach. Creating bespoke illustrations and utilising them in your marketing will set you apart from your competitors and visually show your clients that you are different.
Many clinics use before and after images to market themselves, and although they may show great results, they are not always appealing. Using stock images of models looking fresh or rejuvenated might be more pleasing, but again could throw away your individuality and could also be deemed as misleading if the model isn't an actual client of your services. Illustrations can have the ability to capture nuance through gesture and transform the graphic representation of the face or body into a softer and more playful object of desire with less chances of being misleading or offensive and can be more pleasing to the eye.
This is not to say that there is no place for photography in your marketing. In fact, I believe the best campaigns for beauty and aesthetics businesses include a happy medium of both high-quality photos and videos as well as relevant illustrations that align to the specific brand.
Unlimited options for sharing
Once you have your illustrations ready you can share them! You can strategically place them on your social media feeds, add them to your website, incorporate them within your hard copy marketing materials like price list, leaflets or business cards and more. You can even use them for an ad in a print publication. I have seen my illustration used for so many things, from Instagram highlights covers, gift and loyalty cards and YouTube banners, to large window coverings in clinics and animated videos and gifs. The limits are quite literally endless.
Illustration can be a powerful tool to distinguish your brand from competitors and the same time create a strong connection with your audience. Hopefully, this article has helped to shed some light on how you can take advantage of this asset to help elevate your aesthetics company and successfully create a brand with originality and personality.
Lauren Rogers-Martin is a fine artist and illustrator, with a degree in Fine Art Painting from UAL. She excels in problem solving and taking a very simple concept and making it memorable, currently working with several medical aesthetic clinics in creating bespoke illustrations for their marketing.