Without a doubt, a visual brand identity is one of the most important things that matter in your branding and overall marketing efforts. Branding is what makes you different from your competitors. It is what makes you stand out in this crowded business marketplace.
But first things first…
What is Visual Brand Identity?
Your Brand Identity is how your audience perceives you in contrast to competitors – and as you can imagine it has a huge impact on your overall success as a brand. Why? Let’s see an example. Imagine a phone… We are pretty sure that you are picturing a particular brand, are we right? Now imagine a hamburger… Now again, we are sure that there is a particular brand in your mind picture.
Now that we’ve got the basics down, let’s have a look at what does Visual Brand Identity mean. Well… Visual Brand Identity is how you choose to communicate your Brand Identity through visual cues. The visuals that you are going to use will be used to set a tone and personality for your brand. You might choose an authoritative style, a rock style, a masculine style, or actually whatever you can imagine. What is important here is that your Visual Brand Identity matches your brand values and personality. Otherwise, it will just confuse and disappoint your audience.
But how do you build a successful Visual Brand Identity?
Let’s check out some tips and tricks that will help us out on this one…
Get to know your audience.
This is the first and foremost element you need to consider when building your Visual Brand Identity. Identify who you are targeting, and then analyze how these people are characterized, how they act and behave. So, make sure that you have the following answered:
- Marital Status
- Income Level
- Education Level
- Interests and Hobbies
Examine the value that you are offering.
The next step is to identify and analyze the value you are offering to your audience. Why do customers choose you over your competitor’s product? What problem are you solving? For example, if you are a mobile audio platform entertaining consumers, then you will want your visual branding to be something fun, bold, and playful.
What is your personality like?
The next thing you need to look into is your personality. What is your inner brand’s persona? What is your company culture? What are your values? How is your brand’s personality like? Answering all these questions will help you understand what your brand is all about, and then start visually building your brand’s personality.
Let’s take the example of Land Rover, the brand is serious, rough and gentlemanly. By looking at the picture below we can confirm that all these values are portrayed in the image. It’s no wonder why they say that a picture is a thousand words!
Use emotion and be relatable.
Emotion, Emotion, Emotion. We can’t emphasize this enough. When trying to give a visual identity to your brand, then you need to tell a story that will arouse some kind of emotion to customers. So, whether its admiral, fun, curiosity, or excitement – your visual identity must move your customers.
Be consistent with your story and tell it often.
Even when you have a really good story to tell, once is never enough. To get the message across to your audience, you need to tell your story over and over again. This is the only way that customers will start to differentiate your brand from others. Of course…it’s the time that videos and images become your new best friend.
Keep it simple, unified and easy to understand.
Don’t get too excited and start throwing different elements into your visual brand identity. You want to keep it simple and right to the point. It shouldn’t have dozens of messages conveyed as this will only complicate things and confuse the customers. Remember that the best visual brand identities are the simplest ones. Just by a single look at your visuals, your customer should be able to grab what your brand is all about.
Speak the language of the social media platform.
That’s a tricky one. It’s no secret that social media has captured our whole life nowadays, right? Well, that’s why our visual brand identity must be a 100% fit for the social media platforms we are using. We need to speak the social media platform language. By this we mean, to use the right tone of voice, the appropriate content, and the ideal material that matches that particular social media platform (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), as well as our target audience. Let’s take Pinterest as an example. We know that people on Pinterest save pins that they found interesting for later use. So the content that we are going to put on Pinterest should be somehow actionable. It might be a DIY hack, or a recipe, or maybe helpful advice. Check out what Prepared Housewives did on Pinterest.
Use the right fonts, colors, and logos.
This is where all of it comes together. This is the point where all we have talked about so far turns into reality. The fonts, colors, logos, and any visual cues you are going to use are the vehicles that are going to convey the personality of your brand out to your target audience. This is the time that creativity sparks in.
The right font.
The text you are going to in is a key identifies of your visual branding. Not just the typography, but also the font combinations play a big role in how your brand is perceived. If you are not convinced that your font matters, check out the picture below:
The right color.
Another critical element is color. Different colors convey different values, so you will want to choose a color that represents your corporate values. It is advised that you do not mix up too many colors in your identity (unless you are running a colorful event), otherwise, this will just confuse your customers. Let’s see what each color means:
- Blue: Trust, Loyalty, Security.
- Purple: Luxury, Spirituality, and Creativity. It can also be used to represent mystery.
- Red: Bold and Passionate. It grabs attention instantly and it is used to convey a strong personality full of energy and power.
- Green: Caring and Fresh. Often used for environmentally-friendly or natural products. It is also a signal for growth.
- Black: Authoritative and Serious. A sophisticated color to match brands that are well-established in the market.
Choose your logo.
It’s no brainer that your logo should be using the fonts and colors you have chosen for your brand. Your logo should be something simple, visually attractive, and easily adjustable to different media and social media platforms. Over the long-term, people will start to associate your brand with your logo.
Using templates and organizing your style guide.
Since you want to use the same concept every time you communicate something to your audience – whether it’s print or social media – then you might want to consider creating templates for your images. This will save you a considerable amount of time in the future, as you will have the base for your visual ready, and you will only need to make some adaptations and minor touches of customization to it.
Another thing you should keep track of is your style guide. In other words, this is a library of your brand specifications including the fonts, sizes, colors, image types, tone of voice, and so on. You should live by this.
Use tools and apps.
When crafting your visual brand identity, you will soon realize that there are too many things to do at once. Of course, you could do with a little help, right?
Well, there are some great tools and apps out there for exactly this reason and you can even do this on your phone. Here are some tried and tested mobiles apps that you can use to create high-quality visual content:
- Adobe Spark Post
Listen to feedback.
Last but not least, feedback from your audience is really important. Not only will it give you valuable insight into how people perceive your brand, but it will also provide truthful learnings from what you have done so far. This way you can make any necessary adjustments and adaptations to match your customer’s expectations.
We’ve given you a lot to think about. What should we keep from all this?
The most significant thing that you always need to remember is, your Visual Brand Identity is much more important than you think. It is what positions your brand in the minds of your audience and this is how they are going to associate your brand over the long-term. So it’s important to take the time and craft your Visual Brand Identity from scratch. Get to know your audience, look a bit further into your brand personality and craft an emotional story that you will tell over and over again through your fascinating visual cues!