From Still Photography to Branding: An Interview with Creative Director Gautam Narang

From Still Photography to Branding: An Interview with Creative Director Gautam Narang

Today, we have Gautam Narang with us, a founder and creative director at Visual Smuggler, who has made a name for himself in the field of branding.

Gautam’s impressive portfolio of work spans across multiple continents and has been featured in several renowned publications.

He has transitioned from still photography to video and is now the owner of a video production company that helps businesses create engaging social media marketing.

In this interview, we will delve into Gautam’s journey in marketing and explore his career and expertise.

Can you tell us about your journey into marketing?

My journey into marketing and branding was sparked by the show Mad Men and my love for psychology and the power of words and images.

I’m self-taught, drawing inspiration from resources like David Ogilvy, The Futur, and The Hero and the Outlaw.

For me, branding is about getting to know the business owner and creating something authentic and rewarding.

My advice for aspiring branders is to focus on understanding your core values and broadening your knowledge and skills, rather than getting too caught up in trends.

What is your creative process like when creating a brand for a client?

I start by getting to know the company owner and their core values using tools like the Brand Deck game.

From there, I identify an archetype that fits with their values and objectives. I create stylescapes and mood boards to help visualize the brand’s direction, and keep the client informed throughout the process using tools like Notion

How do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and changes in branding?

I stay up-to-date with branding trends by exploring visual and art books, as well as following accounts on Instagram.

I’m drawn to modern youth culture and street fashion with a touch of space elements.

Rather than following trends, I believe in discovering and embracing what you personally like, and staying true to your core values. When you have a clear sense of who you are and where you want to go, it’s easier to stay on the right path in your work.

word image 1445 2 From Still Photography to Branding: An Interview with Creative Director Gautam Narang

Can you share with us a project that you worked on that you are particularly proud of?

In the early stages of my career, I worked on a project called “Words of Wisdom.”

This series featured individuals in their natural environment, rather than a traditional talking head video.

The aim was to have a more conversational approach, allowing the interviewees to feel comfortable and open up to us. The project can be viewed on Behance.

How do you measure the success of a branding campaign?

To measure the success of our branding campaigns, we primarily use social media metrics to determine audience engagement and resonance.

Additionally, we maintain close relationships with clients to track success through sales and other relevant business metrics.

For example, in a recent project promoting a crypto coin, we creatively incorporated Alan Watts quotes to attract a self-aware audience that aligned with the coin’s values.

This strategy helped grow our client’s YouTube channel by 116% and ultimately had a positive impact on their overall success.

How do you balance creativity with practicality when creating a brand?

To balance creativity with practicality, we involve the client early on and listen to their ideas. It’s a collaboration to develop their vision and ensure it resonates with the target audience.

We believe in problem-solving and incorporating custom solutions, such as adding personalized frame painting to an Adidas ad, to create authenticity and humanity.

Understanding the psychographics and branding archetype of the target demographic is crucial to connect with and speak to thousands of people through the language of one.

What role does social media play in branding?

Social media offers a powerful direct connection with the audience that shouldn’t be overlooked. Brands should focus on building authentic relationships with their audience to create a personal connection.

Adding creative elements to social media ads, such as animation, can drastically increase engagement and allow content to go viral. It’s important to stay true to the core values of the brand to maintain authenticity and keep the audience engaged.

word image 1445 3 From Still Photography to Branding: An Interview with Creative Director Gautam Narang

Can you walk us through the tools and software you use for your job?

As someone who struggles with dyslexia, I find Chat GPT to be a tremendous help.

Its ability to prompt me and suggest questions helps me to better understand what I want to write. With its assistance, I am able to overcome some of the difficulties I face when writing.

I believe that Canva is an amazing tool that allows you to attempt things you may not have thought possible before.

The platform has the potential to change lives by empowering people to create compelling visuals that can inspire and engage. With Canva, it’s possible to bring your creative vision to life, even if you don’t have a background in design.

Notion is another tool that I absolutely love. As someone who enjoys organizing and managing data, Notion is a godsend.

With so much data available in the world, it’s essential to have a platform where you can take it and turn it into something useful.

Notion provides an environment where you can dive deep into your data and actually understand it. It’s like a lab for your thoughts and ideas, allowing you to explore them in a way that makes sense.

In today’s world, having access to powerful tools like Chat GPT, Canva, and Notion can make a real difference in people’s lives.

Whether you’re struggling with dyslexia, looking to create compelling content, or managing vast amounts of data, these tools provide a way to do so in a way that’s intuitive and accessible. I believe that technology has the power to change lives, and these platforms are proof of that.

How do you collaborate with other marketing professionals and agencies?

I believe that paying attention to how much someone talks and listens, their personal work, and how they think are important factors in a partnership.

In my experience, being a good listener is a green flag, and powering through a meeting without listening is a red flag.

When collaborating with other marketing professionals and agencies, I look for partners who exhibit these important traits.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in branding and marketing?

Overall, I value effective communication, mutual respect, and a shared vision in any partnership.

If you want to pursue a career in branding and marketing, my advice would be to:

  1. Focus on developing your creativity and strategic thinking skills.
  2. Get to know what you don’t like as well as what you like. Build a strong network and seek out mentorship opportunities. (TV, Books and my teachers brought me up)
  3. Don’t be afraid to take risks and try new things in your approach to branding and marketing. We allways see the end result. We don’t see the hard work it took. Simplicity is hard because you have to know what to take away and take experience.

Similar Posts