STARTING POINTPexels is an extensive library of free photo and video content contributed by its global community of talented creators.
Having seen an increase in visual content production, the Pexels content team wanted to define a sweet spot for the platform’s market share growth – and a new direction for their content strategy.
The content team wanted an outside view of where Pexels stands in the market. They needed a communications audit of how Pexels and its competitors sound, look and feel like, with a summary of key insights and thought-provoking questions that they could discuss inside the company to make a case for a potential brand pivot.
In our first meeting, we gave an overview of branding and why brand is important. With a bit of theory, best practice examples and Q&A, the team now learned how a purpose, proposition and values come together under a coherent brand positioning framework.
Starting with a summary of indirect competition, we showed how the increase of visual content consumption opens the door to new entrants, including media companies, social media platforms and AI-enabled apps. After analysing competitor brands, we mapped them out across two spectrums from exclusive to accessible and from community- to proposition-driven, explaining how their language changes depending on their positioning.
The most important insight came from the analysis of competitors’ communications. From a linguistic and, hence, cultural point of view, all category brands operate within the territory of creativity. To differentiate, they offer a unique perspective on what creativity means for each through a different means – a community, a toolkit, art-forward visuals or a suite of add-on agency services. With the visual language being not only a differentiator but also their core proposition, an interesting correlation has emerged: a more exclusive offering means more creative. Now, is there a way to make creativity more accessible without losing its originality?
An audit summary explained the difference between product and brand focus, listing the current advantages and things to consider across the brand’s messaging, mission, initiatives and community. When all stock photo products compete in the red pond of creativity, is there a way for Pexels to create a new blue ocean that it can uniquely own?