March 27, 2020 Last updated April 7th, 2020 1,791 Reads share

How Visuals Influence Brand Authenticity

Image Credit: DepositPhotos

People are visual creatures. Our eyes (retina) transmit data to our brain at the speed of 10 million bits per second, and they only select a few that will be remembered and paid attention to.

This bit of information is crucial for brands. Not only does this give them more incentive to stand out visually from their competitors, but it also drives home a crucial point with engagement and advertising. If you want to be remembered, make sure that you look memorable.

One of the best ways companies can accomplish this is through visual branding.

Looking Good, For A Good Reason

Building a business website will always rely on the power of visual collaterals. Visual branding is a way to tie the brand’s identity through its graphic design: colors, shapes, fonts, images, logos, and everything else in between.

Since it’s the first time the brand can convey itself to the market, making a good first impression is one of the biggest driving forces behind visual branding. Backed by a good brand strategy, a better customer experience, and the best product that you give to your customers, visual branding is the icing on top of a very well-built company.

The importance of good graphics aside, there are some reasons why visual branding is so important:

But why do these statistics matter so much with visual branding? 

Building Consumer Confidence

People Prefers Authentic

People like authenticity because it gives them confidence in the brand. People don’t like being manipulated unwillingly, and finding that a company is disingenuous can have catastrophic consequences.

While it may sound rather strange to humanize brands this way, it’s also one of the guiding principles behind visual branding: association. If your brand can give your customers good experiences, then they’re more likely to look for it when they need a recommendation. It’s basic psychology: on average, people are grateful for a little bit of direction if they’re confused.

Coloring Their Worldview

Color also has an added benefit aside from being what your brand uses – it associates your brand with ALL instances of the same color, regardless of context.

How many of us have seen the color red and thought of Coke? Or the colors blue and yellow for IKEA? The association that you can get with colors is so strong, most customers right now can identify brands based on their palettes alone.

The Color Of Green

Finally, a solid visual brand can increase its revenue because of its authority over its target market. Once people are attached to a brand, they’ll always look for it, even when presented with other choices. This is crucial if you’re trying to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

And even without the profits, the market value of a visually oriented brand can be enough to sway demand in their favor. Once they’ve established a good brand identity, the visual association with their brand gives them an edge above newcomers to any market.

These three reasons alone should galvanize any company to put more effort into its visual branding. While it can certainly be challenging to come up with a cohesive company identity that can change over time, not investing the resources required into it can be a critical misstep.

How to Utilize Visual Branding

Choose The Right Font For Your Company

Aside from visuals, the text is the next thing that your customers will see once they look at your branding. Even companies that have established themselves like Nike and Coca-Cola have put thought into their fonts, so it reinforces their brand’s message even without the logo.

For example, Nike’s bold, forward-leaning typography gives the impression of swiftness and speed – echoing their identity as a footwear company. Coca-Cola’s font is a little more whimsical, giving you an idea that this is a brand that focuses a lot on the good times. You can communicate all of these emotions in an instant, depending on what font you use.

Always keep your brand’s purpose in mind when picking fonts. It’s a small thing, but it’s an arresting element that adds up to how your people perceive your brand.

Stand Apart From The Rest With A Logo And Tagline

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Of course, it’s essential not to get too hung up on typography. 

A logo is still one of the best ways to introduce your brand. Combining it with an arresting tagline doesn’t just give you more wiggle room to explain what your brand does, but it can also help you build expectations for what you can provide even before your customer interacts with you.

A case where this shines is when your goal is to convert one-time buyers to lifelong customers. Once you’ve built trust and rapport with their first purchase, visually standing out makes it easier for them to find you again.

Taglines are also effective at succinctly explaining how your brand works. It can branch out to other marketing collaterals, which you can change according to the needs of the brand.

Create A Constant Color Palette

Image Credit: Werner Weisser from Pixabay

One piece of advice that’s always given for branding for startups or businesses is to keep things simple. For visual branding, that means sticking to a palette that you’ll use across ALL visual identification. While it’s tempting to splash on more color to stand out, studies have shown that bright, attention-grabbing ads work less than you’d expect.

A consistent color palette doesn’t just help identify you – it can also have psychological effects on how your audience emotionally processes your brand. The psychology of color is a rich field that can explain more of this, though we’ll keep it short and say that if you want to pick a color, pick three AT MOST. At the very least, you’ll save a ton on printer ink.

Post Things That Make People Feel Good

If there’s anything about meme culture that brands should learn from, it’s that a slick, polished design isn’t a guarantee that you’ll get through your audience. It’s relatable, thematic content that can net yourself views and engagements – in short, visual content that makes people relate (and feel good) about what you post out there.

Growth hacking methods would refer to this as “authenticity”: the capacity to be seen as genuine by the people looking at you. And one of the best ways to do that is to position yourself and your brand visually to speak to your target market. Being consistent with your visual strategy improves your customer’s trust in you, which can build a strong foundation for worthwhile engagement.

Another good reason to put out authentic content is that you can adjust it to seasonal or cultural shifts. An excellent example of this is the flexibility of the Google logo. Since it’s a simple element that you can change for a variety of purposes, there’s a lot of room there for experimentation and further association with other causes or products.

Make What You Have Look Shareable

Visual presentation on branding is all about proliferation. When people see your brand, there has to be an underlying assumption there that this is something they can share, especially on social media. Sites like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook have a massive monopoly over the visual content that lives and breathes online, which is why things like web design pitches should always include a social media strategy.

So aside from making sure that your content looks okay, it has to answer one particular question: “Will my audience feel comfortable sharing this?”

If the answer is yes, then congratulations: you’ve just found an effective way to grow your brand organically. Visual branding and social media work best when the content they have in common is worth sharing. People are more likely to trust a recommendation from someone that they know, which makes the chances of your brand going viral more likely.

Visual Branding As An Experience

Whether it’s branding your blog, choosing the right visuals for social media, or even deciding on the design of packaging, visual branding is an experience.

Associations are the most powerful tools in any brand’s arsenal. It’s also one that can function for a loop if you prime it right – which is why getting the visual branding right the first time is so important. While a brand can regain lost footing and change its identity via a visual relaunch, the first impression that it makes will always matter.

This experience is something that more and more brands are paying attention to. It’s not just about looking their best anymore, but offering an experience that their customers can associate as something good. And if your brand pulls this off behind a well-executed visual strategy, then that’s your exposure was made.

Visual Branding As Cathartic

If there’s one thing that good visual branding does, it’s making your company memorable.

But for great visual branding, it makes your company WORTH remembering. The difference between the two lies in the middle of a careful brand strategy, an overall visual theme, and a cohesive identity that you can rally behind. Visual branding isn’t just the key to making your brand stand out – it’s the linchpin of what makes your brand worth engaging with.

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Aaron Chichioco

Aaron Chichioco

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