IKEA is one of those places where you promise yourself that you're just going to window shop but come home with 10 little items that don't really count as shopping... Right?
Apart from their products being so darn clever and useful, they can also be counted on to be tastefully done and reasonably priced. With that in mind, let's look at why you should make your brand memorable and how you can use IKEA products to brand your photos!
Brand memorability is good for business!
From a marketing perspective, it's good to be memorable and unique. You want to stick in people's minds so that when the time comes for them to buy, it's your your brand that they'll be choosing.
Branding is how you become memorable and unique.
Like people, a business is capable of having its own personality. By taking an aspect of it and making it visible and super easy to understand, you have a better chance of attracting the people who might like your products or services.
Now that more and more businesses are jumping on the social media bandwagon, this brand personality must shine through your photos. They must be of an above average quality and well-planned. After all, photos are how you connect with your audience on social media.
That's why we can't stress enough the importance of making your photos your own. Let's look at how you can get started!
Step 1: Choose your brand colours.
Have you seen the difference between Bobbi Brown and benefit? Both are cosmetics brands, but they play up very different angles. benefit's products are fun and witty, whereas Bobbi Brown is something a little more mature and elegant.
Colours are a huge part of how they differentiate themselves from each other. Can you guess which brand uses which colours for their product packaging?
It seems a little too obvious, right? With colours, it's quite straightforward and instinctive. There are endless combinations you can use to make your brand stand out. Of course, there's more to branding than just colours, but they're a fantastic place to start. Which brings us to the first step in this article!
For some, choosing brand colours can feel pretty restrictive. Why should you limit yourself to just a few?
Well, you're not actually limiting yourself. Your brand colours act as your business uniform (of sorts). They help you to be recognizable and official if consistently used. This doesn't mean that you can't use other colours for your products or packaging. You also have a lot of colours to play with, since you'll have two kinds of colour palettes.
The first is called the primary palette, which is made up of 3-4 colours that best describe your brand personality. Is your brand fun or traditional? Feminine or masculine? Identify a few keywords that will help you find the most suitable colours based on colour psychology. At this point, you don't have to worry if there are IKEA items in your colours or not.
The secondary palette is made up of supporting colours that don't fight for attention, but harmonize your overall aesthetic. For example, lighter or darker shades of your primary palette, as pictured in the image above, are perfect as backgrounds, accents or text. Pastels are great too! Try not to go more than 15 colours so that you can maintain some consistency.
Even if you don't put your logo or business name on your photos, people will eventually be able to recognize your brand without it. Have fun and be creative with your choice of colours so that you stand out for all the right reasons! For inspiration, try searching for "colour palettes" on Pinterest! (Be prepared to be very bedazzled)
Step 2: Set a budget
Nope, we're not trying to be a wet blanket. Your purchases at IKEA are considered an investment, but their main purpose is to enhance your business as a marketing tool.
By setting a budget, you'll motivate yourself to find IKEA items that are versatile. It's better to buy one item that can be styled in three different ways, rather than buy three items that can only serve one purpose.
One of the things you can do is to set aside a portion of your monthly profits (or salary, if you're still holding a full-time job) to reinvest in your "business inventory". We love this article on reinvestment by Inc.!
And face it, there's nothing worse than buying something that you have no use for. By increasing your inventory over time, you'll be able to see what item works and what doesn't. And when it works, you can buy it in more colours. YAY!
Step 3: Find styling inspiration
There's a certain skill and strategy to taking great photos. We're sure you have friends (or even yourself) who approach photography with intensity and seriousness.
Feel like you're repeating the same style? Instagram is teeming with styling inspiration! If you scroll down your Discover tab, you'll see tons of people who do exquisite stuff with their photos. Alternatively, you can check out flat lay inspiration on Pinterest.
Even if flat lays aren't your thing, it's undeniable that they have an advantage over normal product photography: they tell your customers how your products can fit into their everyday lives. You're not just selling things, you're selling a lifestyle.
One time-saving thing you can do is to list down the items that were used in the photos that you looked at. Did they use flowers? Candles? Spoons? See what makes the photos look well-put together and effortless.
We did that ourselves and voila! Here are some of the styling staples that we found from IKEA (click on the photos to view the products).
Step 4: Look at the IKEA website
IKEA is huge! There's a lot of walking involved and too many things to look at. It can be even crazier if you happen to go when there's a crowd.
That's why we definitely recommend that you check out the IKEA website to get the names of products and see your options. Nothing beats holding the actual items in your hands, but planning what you're going to get helps you stick to your budget and cut down on the browsing time (at IKEA).
Are the products available in your brand colours? You have both your primary palette and secondary palette to base your decisions on. If you're out of luck and your colours aren't available for some products, get them in neutral colours like white and nude. Mixing them with your brand colours will help you pull off effortlessly-styled photos.
While you're at it, hop on over to IKEA Hackers and see tutorials for repurposed IKEA products submitted by people all over the world. They're a bit on the advanced side, so if you're looking for something simpler, this article by Buzzfeed on clever and unexpected uses is great too.
Branding, if done correctly, is a surefire way to grow your business. It makes your business look more established and professional, which is a must if you do business online. It's hard to trust a brand that looks shady! In fact, putting it off and just using a logo designed on Microsoft Word is one of the worst things you can do for your business.
By being strategic with how you portray your brand, you'll be able to attract the kind of people that can be converted into paying customers. And that, sir, is why you do it.
What is your brand personality?