Your brand’s visual identity is crucial to how your customers experience your business. Done well, your brand will be instantly recognizable, identifiable, and relatable. Executed poorly, your company will struggle to stand out. Worse yet, it may become unclear to audiences what your business is trying to achieve.
Consider for a moment your business’s marketing materials. Do they blend in a way that speaks volumes about your brand and what it can offer consumers? Could you recognize that they’re from your brand without reading the content? Or are they a random assortment of various colors, tones, and imagery that anyone could have made?
If the answer leans more towards the latter description, it might be time to reconsider how you present your brand visually.
What is Visual Branding?
Visual branding consists of all the visual aspects of your brand’s identity, from your color schemes to your logo and the font type on your website.
These elements converge to convey the overall look and personality of your company and provide visual cues to tell audiences what your business is all about.
As with all aspects of your brand, consistency is vital. And everything from your website to your business cards should convey the same message. Doing so will help customers become more quickly acquainted with your business so that it becomes instantly recognizable.
What Makes Up a Brand’s Visual Identity?
Every visual element your audience sees, from your website’s visuals to the clothes your customer-facing staff wear, plays a part in establishing your brand’s identity. Some key elements to consider here include the following:
– Color palettes
– Graphic elements
How to Create Your Brand’s Visual Identity
So important is visual branding that many larger companies will spend millions developing theirs. Thankfully, you’ll be glad to know that this level of detail is unnecessary for most smaller or medium-sized businesses. Instead, you can use the following steps to identify how best to communicate your brand’s identity to your audience.
Step 1: Define Your Audience
If you hope to connect with your audience, you need to understand what your audience wants to see from you. It can be helpful to know, for instance, what personality your customers are likely to identify with and what tone will appeal to them most.
It can be helpful to imagine your audience as a single individual. This individual will act as your buyer persona or ideal customer. Someone you can think of as an amalgamation of your larger target audience.
When visualizing this person, you’ll want to consider the following:
– Their age and gender
– Their income, profession, and education level
– Their hobbies, interests, and personality type
– Their values and concerns
– Their problems and the solutions they are seeking
– What other brands appeal to them
Step 2: Establish Your Values
Once you’ve defined your audience, you’ll want to draw your attention to your company. Namely, what you and your business value the most and what your business is trying to achieve.
Don’t just think about what you directly sell or offer but how you provide these things and why. What does your company stand for, and what changes are you hoping to bring about for customers? For example, you may consider transparency to be of the utmost importance. Or perhaps you feel particularly strongly about fairness or equality?
Step 3: Identify Your Brand’s Personality
If your business were a person, what kind of person would it be? Of course, such is a question at the heart of any form of branding. But it is imperative to think about when considering your brand’s visual elements.
Take some time to consider what traits this hypothetical person would have. Maybe they would be fun-loving and quirky or business-like and confident. Or perhaps they would be caring and motherly. In any case, your visuals will go a long way to expressing these traits.
Consider how people express themselves through the clothing that they wear. For instance, if you saw someone in a suit and tie, you’d instantly be able to make an educated guess about their work life and mannerisms. And the image-based aspects of your brand work in much the same manner.
Step 4: Create a Brand Guide
Once you have the answers to the previous steps, you’ll naturally start developing a visualization of your brand. And from there, you can make educated decisions about your image-based elements.
Some aspects to consider here include the following:
– Color palette: Choose two prominent colors that best represent your brand. From there, you can branch out to using other complementary colors.
– Typography: You’ll want to choose two primary fonts. One will be for your titles and headers, and the other for smaller text and content.
– Logo design: You may or may not already have a logo for your company. But in any case, now would be an excellent time to consider how it will fit in with your overall brand identity.
– Imagery: Think about what kind of imagery best fits your brand. For instance, will animated graphics be suitable? Or landscape photos of the outdoors? Also, consider how you will source these images and who will be responsible for doing so.
Once you’ve chosen these elements, putting all this information into a brand guide can be helpful. This document doesn’t have to be anything fancy or overly complicated. However, it will be a helpful reference point for you and your team whenever you create new marketing materials.
Showcasing Your Brand’s Visual Identity
Once you have a clear understanding of your brand’s visual identity, you can start applying it to every customer-facing facet of your business, including:
– Your website
– Social media content
– Store design
– Staff uniforms
– Marketing materials
– Video content
Utilizing consistent and distinct brand imagery across your business will help create a memorable customer experience. And it will guide your audience and internal teams on what your business represents and what it aims to do for others.