I bought a cookbook. Nothing really remarkable about that. I do like a good cookbook. What was intriguing for me, was how I bought it. Not the credit card I used, or the counter I walked up to, but how, at that moment, I chose to pick up the book and carry it to the counter.

I was shopping with my kids. I’d just bought them some afternoon tea and remembered something I wanted which was an insignificant, less than $10 purchase, but I quickly walked into the department store while they sat outside and waited.

As I was looking for the kitchen area, I walked past the cookbook section. And not just out of the corner of my eye, but directly smack bang into my face was the cookbook with this idyllic scene of a lady and her dog on a country style lane, and I instantly had to have it.

Throughout the entire transaction process, I knew it was an unnecessary purchase. I didn’t need the book, my groaning bookshelf in my kitchen was testament to that. And hello, google, who needs another book??

Reading a cook book on the couch

But logic was not making this decision for me. This decision was about emotion, who I was, and who I wanted to be.

I wanted to be the lady in the picture.

She was healthily glowing.
She was outdoors.
She had a dog.

Trifecta right there for me I guess.

Right now I’m those things, but maybe not feeling the healthily glowing bit, so perhaps that was the deal breaker bit, the bit that was sealing the deal.

The point of my story, is that the image sold it for me. I didn’t even know what sort of cookbook it was. I didn’t pour over its pages before I bought it. I didn’t know the author and think, “oh I need to have that one.” I didn’t even know the price. I simply picked it up and wanted to buy it because of the photograph on the cover.

It turns out its about plant based eating. Conveniently, I have a teens experimenting with vegetarianism, so that actually was quite relevant to me. However, I didn’t know that bit until I’d waved my credit card over the reader and carried it outside the store.

That is the power good photography has on a product and on a brand. Photography that is relevant and connects with the audience. When an image draws someone into the narrative and puts them in the picture, the brand story is all about the customer and how they view themselves. That’s a successful brand story right there. The brand is reaching out of the product, grabbing the customer’s hand and saying, “how can we help you?”

The big part of this story is, not only does the photography have to be decent, it has to speak to your customer. Your customer avatar needs to be at the forefront of your mind, when you are communicating with your clients, whether visually or using words. I wanted to be the girl in the picture, so the image spoke to me as a customer.

Think about your customer each time you speak to them, think about how they will connect with your brand and what message you are sending them about who you are and how that matters to them.

After all, a brand is nothing without a customer who is ready to talk back.