Imagery. The art of sales.
What price do you put on your imagery and does it match your product?
The Apple Watch will soon be appearing on a wrist near you, and it has been said that pre-orders alone have surpassed the total sales figures of Android Wear watches for all of 2014.
How? People haven’t even seen one.
That’s the point. They have.
Apple always beautifully illustrate every product with crisp clean images and you know exactly what you will get. It makes their products desirable and has made them the most successful company ever.
So why do so many companies ignore such a basic principle of successful sales technique?
One clue is in the Jägerbombs.
We live in a world where everyone is a photographer. If photography were difficult there wouldn’t be so many pictures of Jägerbombs on Facebook. Think about it. If you can take a picture when you’re pissed on a Saturday night, then during the week, at work, it must be a doddle.
This is one reason why I am presented with so much visual diarrhoea, usually accompanied by the conversation
“Can we use this?”
“No, it’s shit!”
“It’s all we’ve got. You’ll have to fix it.”
Dr Photo may be a nickname, but too often it is a way of life.
The Dave-Mavis system.
Let’s look at a fictitious but all too realistic example of how this comes about.
LeDogz Ltd (A wearable technologies company) has a range of battery powered underpants, solar pyjamas and digital pullovers powered by static electricity.
The underpants contain new materials that NASA could only dream of and the pullovers could potentially be the solution to world hunger. Unfortunately, none will sell to its full potential because of the Jägerbomb principle and the Dave-Mavis system.
In every company, there is someone in the warehouse called Dave who likes photography. Dave is dragged from his forklift, handed the company compact and told to take the photos. The SD card is then taken to Mavis. Mavis is the company receptionist and usually has plenty of spare time between answering the phone and flirting with Derek the delivery driver. After installing a bootleg version of Photoshop onto her PC, she is instructed how to use the Magic Wand Tool to cut out the images and told to email the pictures to the third party retailers.
Here’s a little Photoshop tip for you. There are many ways to create an image on a white background. If you think the magic wand tool is the best and only way to do it, you should never be entrusted with Photoshop without adult supervision.
The resultant images are shot in near darkness, cutout badly and saved as a tiny compressed jpg. There is no detail, no colour balancing, no definition, no sharpening, no path, no layers, no file size, and have had every last ounce of quality compressed out of them. Essentially, this revolutionary manufacturer that could be the next Apple, Nike or Samsung has chosen to present themselves in the style of a dodgy bloke in the pub. Consequently, much of the world is unlikely to discover the pleasures of battery powered underpants.
How to increase sales.
If you are in the business of trying to sell a product, be it online or in print, this may be the most valuable lesson you will learn today. Apple knows what they are doing when it comes to marketing and sales, so look and learn. The sooner every business realises the importance and value of good quality imagery the better it will be for all concerned. Some of the benefits are that I won’t spend so much time shouting expletives when I receive an email containing crappy images shot by someone else, and the sales figures of LeDogz Ltd will skyrocket.
A picture paints a thousand words. How crap are your words?
Photographers and image makers may be a lot more expensive than using the Dave-Mavis system, but the increase in perceived value of your products and the boost in sales it will undoubtedly bring will far exceed the outlay.
And with the increased profits you can buy another pair of battery powered underpants.