Perfecting Company’s Visual Identity
Is your brand authoritative, fancy or sensual? Nothing answers this question faster than visuals. Your website colors, images, design mood, and the choice of fonts will give your users instant insight into your corporate culture and values. This is exactly why investing in your company’s visual identity is crucial for your business’ success.
Traditionally, building visual identity was considered the privilege of famous conglomerates with Hollywood budgets only. Everyone else was satisfied with their logo printed out on a baseball cap or a t-shirt. However, the times have changed and, with the rise of sophisticated marketing and tech solutions, even small businesses can now boost their brand awareness across both digital and traditional media.
Let’s see how you can use visual clues to perfect your brand image.
Know who your Audience is
If you’re standing next to the person you don’t know, you won’t be sure what to say, right? The same goes for building a powerful visual brand identity. To deliver a personalized approach, you need to know who your target audience is. This is exactly where target audience segmentation steps in. When doing a research, you need to take numerous metrics into consideration, such as demographic factors (age range, gender, location, and income), marital status, education, occupation, and interests. Additionally, do get even better insights into your potential consumers, you should also “spy on” your major competitors on social media and see who likes, comments on, and shares their posts.
Have a Clear Value Proposition
What kind of products do you offer? Why should your target audience buy them? What is the void you’re trying to fill?
These are all questions your value proposition needs to answer. Namely, a value proposition is a statement that highlights what benefits you offer to your consumers and explains how you achieve that uniquely well. Here, the emphasis is put on the term “uniquely.” To be effective, it needs to define your target consumer, state the problem you solve with your product and describe what sets you apart from similar brands.
Visualize your Personality
Once you determine who your audience is and create a brilliant value proposition, you need to visualize your brand’s personality. In an online world, where there is no face to face interaction, this might be pretty difficult. This is exactly why you need to resort to a wide range of techniques, and here are the most important ones.
Playful or sophisticated? Colors tell your traits.
Colors are the backbone of creating a visual identity. Choosing the right one for your website and logo harmonizes your brand and gives it a pinch of consistency. Most importantly, it emphasizes your emotions and attitudes. So, what does each color say?
- Blue is the color of sky and sea and, as such, it has a calming effect. It stands for trustworthiness, reliability, sincerity, and confidence. Dell, NASA, Facebook, and Vimeo are just some brands using the color blue in their logos.
- Red is the color of blood and fire, denoting love, passion, sensitivity, and strength. This is why it’s leveraged by numerous globally famous companies, like Coca-Cola, Nintendo, and CNN.
- Purple. Combining relaxing blue and fierce red, it stands for creativity, uniqueness, and extravagance. It is also associated with royalty and luxury. As such, it is used by Hallmark, Milka, Yahoo, and FedEx.
- Green is the color of life and nature. As it is soothing and youthful, it symbolizes vision, renewal, freshness, growth, and eco-friendliness. It dominates the sites and logos of AnimalPlanet, Spotify, GreenLab, and Tropicana.
- Black represents authority, strength, elegance, and prestige. Adding the hint of mystery and power, this color evokes strong emotions and is usually implemented by well-established brands, such as Nike, Adidas, Wikipedia, and HP.
Choose the right font
When it comes to creating an authentic brand image, fonts are extremely powerful. The most popular ones are easily recognizable even when taken out of context. Precisely because of this, you should go with the one that works in harmony with your logo and colors. Just like these two elements, the font you choose needs to be simple and reflect your ideas and corporate culture. You can either select a popular and well-distributed font that is available on all devices or even design one on your own.
Your logo interacts with your consumers
Your logo plays a fundamental role in your brand identity design. As it is a piece of your brand your users are exposed the most, it needs to make sense for your business, line up with all other aspects of your brand identity, and spread the emotional appeal. When you remember famous brands like Apple, Google, McDonald’s or Disney, the first thing that comes to your mind is their logos. They evoke the feeling of quality, loyalty, and nostalgia. Even though they have gone through some changes over time, they’ve maintained their unique colors and simple fonts that make them recognizable.
Given these examples, your logo design should be as simple as possible. This way, you give your consumers the opportunity to relate it to their own experiences with your brand. When creating a logo, you should also consider all the places where it could be possibly displayed. Namely, it needs to look great on both a huge billboard and a small mobile phone screen.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words…
Our brains process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. This is exactly why images are the holy grail of every successful branding strategy. When creating and posting images on both your website and social networks, you need to pay attention to a couple of critical aspects:
- Relevance. You need to simply ask yourself whether the images you choose really tell your customers what your brand is about. Not supporting your business’ aims with the right visual content would result in confusion and, of course, higher bounce rates.
- Consistency. If someone collected all the images you post across different platforms, these images should look like they belong together. In other words, you need to improve your brand’s cohesion and deliver the same feeling across all platforms. You can achieve this easily by creating templates for yourself and your teams to follow. It’s all about using the same picture size, filters, and font types across all your visual platforms over and over again.
…But What about Video?
According to some recent studies, 4 times as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read lengthy articles about it. By entertaining your visitors, videos give them all important information on the product or service in an easy-to-understand and digestible way. This is exactly why video branding has gained momentum over the past few years. There are some interesting ideas on how to integrate videos with your overall branding strategy.
- Vlogs are short for “video blogs.” What makes them different from, for example, webinars is that they are short (1-5 minutes in length) and can be practically about anything.
- Vine. Even though 6 seconds is pretty short, Vines are one of the most powerful ways to draw your users’ attraction. That’s why they’ve been used by numerous famous companies, including Coca-Cola, Red Vines, and MailChimp.
- Presentations don’t have to be based on boring PowerPoint or boardroom meetings. Ever watched TED Talk? Then, you know what I’m talking about.
Make the Most of your Social Media Channels
When choosing the right channels to market to your target audience, you need to know that each of them has a different purpose. Depending on it, you need to share appropriate content for your audience on each platform.
While Instagram is more about personal promotion, Pinterest is used by businesses that want to offer to DIY tips and constructive advice. This is why the photos you share there need to be actionable. They need to inspire your followers not only to pin your content, but also visit and click through your site. On the other hand, Facebook strives to build a massive digital community. You should use it to start conversations with your audience and boost their interest in your brand and products.
Apply your Branding Efforts
People appreciate the direct contact and this is why traditional marketing still plays an immensely significant role in your branding efforts. Just take an example of promotional merchandise, which is one of the most effective marketing strategies. By giving your consumers the chance to meet the people behind your brand, you personalize your brand and make it more relevant. You just need to make sure that you offer products relevant for your customers. For example, B2B companies should give out custom pens, flash drives, stress balls, and computer accessories, while B2C businesses need to focus on branded t-shirts, mugs, and umbrellas.
To Wrap it Up
Now that you know the basics of visual branding, it’s time to give your business its identity. Hopefully, with the tips listed above, you will manage to base your brand on an authentic visual appeal, provide your target audience with an outstanding user experience, and boost your brand awareness.