By Funmilola Gboteku
Lagos – A panel at the ongoing Social Media Week on Tuesday urged businesses to use African visuals to project their brands to attract more customers.
The members of the panel gave the advice while discussing Africa’s Visual Economy.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that SMW is one of the world’s foremost conferences and industry news platforms for marketers.
It provides brands, agencies and technology providers with the latest insights, trends and best practices together with access to a global community of marketing decision makers.
Agbons Igiewe, General Manager at Ziza Digital, said that for so long, African people had been under-represented in the media and by giving visual exposure to the authentic African narrative, brands could optimise community engagement.
She said that businesses needed to refocus their lens and tell the kinds of stories that an average African could relate to when viewing their brands.
“Your visuals communicate your brand positioning. It paints a graphic picture of who your brand is and sets the tone for how you are perceived.
“The visuals you project will help to make a “connection” with the target audience, assisting them to make a buying decision.
“We have to tell our own story by putting up the visuals that truly represent us.
“Most times when you try to get stock images, you can hardly find great African images depicting progress, except those of hungry, starving children which are not the narrative we want to sell,” Igiewe said.
Also speaking, Mr Femi Falodun, the Chief Executive Officer at ID Africa, noted that brands should take inspiration from different sources outside their sector or industry.
Falodun said that businesses should avoid assets with pre-existing mental competition, such as those that linked to competitors or already had a strong meaning that was not related to theirs.
“Brands should focus on promoting one distinctive asset per time.
“It is also necessary to set realistic goals about the number of assets to build.
“Businesses also need to ensure that their visual identity elements are well known by all categories,” Falodun said.
He also urged brands to resist unnecessary changes and stay consistent.
Similarly, Ayotunde Ishola, a Photographer and Associate Creative Director at DDB, said that brands needed to look for a way to balance the people they were trying to project their products to by using visuals and content that were relatable to their country.
“If you are a creative or business person make your ideas king. Do not let free images lead your contents,” Ishola noted.
Obianuju Olorunmola, Marketing Communications Specialist at Vodacom Business, said that brand authenticity made stronger connections because it was based on real important ideas which could help to boost one’s marketing efforts.