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Why Stock Images Don’t Work

As a brand strategist, I know what works and doesn't work. But more importantly, why doesn't it work? The biggest factor that I notice is stock images on websites and social media. This element can downgrade your brand.

I take time each month to create my images and take pride in doing so whether it is the creation of digital images or photography. Performing this task helps keep my brand on point and cohesive like I tell my clients about all the time.

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Here are the top reasons why stock images don't work for your brand.

1. I thought I just saw that image. Chances are they have seen it somewhere else and just got your brand confused because they are thinking of the previous picture they just saw, possibly from a competitor. It now sticks to their mind that it wasn't original, and they are left confused.

2. Stock images won’t connect your audience with your brand. If it doesn't match your brand and audience, you are leaving everyone puzzled. You have just wasted time and money when you could have done it correctly the first time.

3. I don't know about you, but before I invest in any company, I do research and make sure that I see brand awareness and consistency. Stock images don't make you look authentic. Let's be real. People sitting at a conference table with a white background seems fake; get creative and fun and show your personality.

4. Too many stock photos make you seem fake. Have you ever visited a website with so many stock images you didn't even know what they were offering? Does it look like a fake rather than a “real” company? Maybe, maybe not. I would back away, though.

There are plenty of other reasons why stock images don't work well for any business. I understand that it might be pricey to have a brand specific photoshoot, but it will be well worth it to stand out. Not to mention, if you don't even have copyright releases to these images, are they even worth using? Invest your money on custom photography so that your audience will mark you as professional and genuine.

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