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VISUAL COMMUNICATION The world is changing, but does your image selections change with it?
Advertising should reflect society. So why are there so many who are still not visible? Maria Niemi of Hyvää Communication, an expert on inclusive communication, provides advice for those who want to emphasize diversity.

Hello Maria! Why is it important for companies and organizations to communicate diversity?
"It is a matter of survival. The world is becoming increasingly global and diverse. It is no longer possible to recast people in the same template. Therefore, it is not possible to communicate using unilateral templates."

"People who do not recognize themselves in a one-sided picture will turn elsewhere. A company can no longer define their target group with a single-track persona. Companies and organizations that can find ways to reach different kinds of people in the smartest possible way will move forward."
What is norm creative communication?
"Norm creative communications is about doing something creative against current standards and thus changing them gradually."

"It is about communicating, so that more people, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or functional variation feel noticed and welcome. It is about moving from analysis to action. And playing with the norms! Norm creative communication is not just smart, it's also fun."
What is the most common mistake companies make when selecting images for their communication?
"Choosing images that convey stereotypes, without questioning it. This may involve conveying stale gender roles, for example."

"Another common mistake is to view only the norm, such as running a campaign for families with children but only selecting images with 'mother-father-child'. There are an incredible number of families that do not recognize themselves in those images."
Diversity in the image becomes an easy cliché with a representative of each type. How do you avoid that feeling?
"The main thing is not to work routinely, but instead to constantly question and reassess. Enlist the help of someone who has the norm creative glasses on."

"For example, I am a part of the 'white norm', so it's really for me easy to start with myself and therefore make mistakes, so I seek the help of others to discover them. We are all just people. But we can help each other."
About Maria Niemi
Maria Niemi is a communications strategist who runs the company Hyvää Communications in Sweden, with specialization in norm creative, inclusive communications. She has worked strategically and operationally with communication for ten years, particularly in the non-profit and public sectors.
CUSTOMER CASE To reach today's visual consumer
Johnér images in large format attracts customers to Life's new concept Sport Store

Life is the Nordic region's largest health products chain, and recently opened its first concept store in the shopping mecca, Mall of Scandinavia, outside Stockholm. They worked with a developed design of the store's workout profile and store communications. Along with agency, Detail Produktion, Life created a retail space where images are given a lot of room and profile the store's specialties in an inviting way.

The images depict different forms of exercise, that create a nice atmosphere in the store. They are used along the walls and also as sign material.
"The response exceeded expectations"
"Life's Sports Store is a small but clear flagship store, in a shopping center with a high profile, in general and in sports, and the reception among customers has exceeded expectations", says Marketing Manager Thomas Johansson.  

Life's Sports Store is a good example of how the right images will help to enhance the shopping experience of today's visual consumer, while the images highlight Life's brand. Nice work!
Tips
WE GEEK OUT ON NORM CREATIVE PHOTOS
Using norm creative as a keyword, you can easily find images that go against the norms.
Many people think of the stock photo industry as a collection of stereotypical images on display. But Johnér is no ordinary stock photo agency. We help you showcase your entire target audience in images!

We want to influence the industry and make it easier to find norm breaking images

By taking responsibility, we want to make it easy for you to find images that reflect diversity in different forms. Therefore, we work intensively with our photographers to broaden the diversity range of images that you can purchase from us. The results have already started to appear on our website. And you can expect even more pictures and pertinent news in the coming year.
Try out our new keyword norm creative