Some tech companies have products that aren’t very visual (or not visual at all). This can create challenges when trying to promote a product or add visual interest to any marketing efforts, like a website or a trade show booth. Still, there are things that can be done. For example, if the product is a physical device, it can be photographed against a backdrop, silhouetted, or placed in the environment in which it’s used). Software products have their limitations since the only visual aspect are the various screens. It is possible to show a few important screenshots, or even drop a UI into an image of a computer or some other device, and even place it in a relevant environment.
These are all viable options that can add a level of visual interest. However, they still may not effectively convey what a product does, let alone how well it does it, what problems it solves, or what benefit it offers. And since competitors may be doing the same thing with their products, it can make it harder to create imagery that’s distinct. There are other issues that can also limit the effectiveness of product imagery. For some products, what they look like doesn’t begin to tell their story or capture their true value. Additionally, some products are complex and it’s not possible to convey what it does in a single image. All these issues can make for some interesting marketing challenges.
Fortunately, there is a way to create effective product visuals. By not trying to visualize the actual product and instead focusing on its inherent strengths, it’s possible to communicate the key messaging — whether it’s to illustrate a product’s key differentiator, demonstrate an understanding of customers’ problems, or shed light on an important point that people might not be aware of (to name just a few). I call them visual concepts. Not only can they communicate in an engaging and powerful way, but visual concepts have the advantage of getting key messages across quickly and easily. Following are a few examples:
Think of these as a visual form of analogies. People use analogies, similes or metaphors all the time to help make sense of things because analogies relate something new or unknown to something that’s familiar. Concept visuals work the same way.
This kind of visual approach can also add depth to your communications in a way that a more conventional product shot or screen capture can’t. They allow you to inject things like humor, drama, understanding, a sense of urgency, etc. — things that can make a connection with potential customers, create an indelible impression, and equally important, a lasting memory.
The next time you’re walking down the aisles of a trade show or reviewing your website, think of what advantages this approach might offer. You might find that it makes your marketing communications clearer, more effective, and as different from your competitors as… well, you know where I’m going with this.