You’re in the process of launching your product and you’ve arrived at your packaging design. Now, it’s time to decide which type of visuals to include in your packaging and accompanying marketing materials: Stock photography or personalized photographs.
Spoiler alert: If you can afford it, custom photos are usually your best bet. If not, stock photos can work—as long as you know how to use them.
Sticking with Stock
Stock photography is cheap to procure, fast to deploy, and supports consistent brand imagery across each of your marketing materials. However, they’re limited in what they can accomplish. Stock photos are most effective for conveying emotional states—happiness, frustration, inspiration—over providing context-relevant imagery.
Stock photos can also be appropriate for creating imagery for specific concepts, such as flavor profiles for food vendors. You don’t really need to create a custom photo of a bar of chocolate, for example—the stock photo will do the job. Naturally, this won’t work for complex flavor profiles, but it’s one use case where stock is superior to custom photography.
But remember, stock photos tend to create a “detached’ feeling for your audience. They’re functional, but they won’t wow anyone. And when you’re interested in launching a new product, having that wow! factor can make or break your brand.
Personalized photoshoots give you complete control over the creative process. You can choose which actors to hire, where to shoot, and which visual elements to include to address the needs of your target audience. And to really produce results, you can shoot context-specific photos or localized content to address specific subsets of your target market—a quick path to viewer engagement. Plus, you own the copyright for all materials.
Of course, the biggest drawback is the cost. Professional photoshoots require the time, resources, and coordination of multiple parties and come with a significantly higher price tag than downloading a few images from Shutterstock.
Don’t be Afraid of Stock…But Don’t Rely On It
Stock photos have their place, particularly for smaller businesses that want to avoid the sticker shock of hiring professional photographers. However, the best marketing results for any of your materials—packaging, online marketing content, product brochures—comes from personalization to your specific brand. And to achieve personalized packaging solutions, you’ll need to work with a creative team who understands the ins and outs of the process and can help you achieve your goals.
brandHEAVY is a strategic creative studio specializing in branding, packaging design, and product marketing. Our mission is to take your product and create personalized branding solutions that create instant brand recognition. Contact us for more information about how we can help you build a design your customers will love!