There are high chances you will not finish reading this entire article! Attention spans of human beings are on a steep decline. Research shows that the average attention span of humans has become as low as eight seconds, lower than that of a goldfish!
Well, that is not very good news for marketers fighting a tough battle to create a lasting impression on the minds of their prospective consumers. Consumers really do not have the time to read every word, look at all the images and soak in the mood of your communication. If you want to be at the top of their minds, there is more you will have to do than just produce pretty looking advertisements. You will have to work to create a strong visual brand identity.
What is the visual brand identity?
A visual brand identity comprises of every element of branding that helps consumers recognise your brand and invest in your brand. Visual brand identity components like logo, imagery, colours, graphics, typography etc have to be carefully manoeuvred to create a winning visual brand identity.
It will be easier to understand the idea of brand identity if you compare your brands to human beings. When we look at a person shabbily dressed and speaking loosely, we form a perception about him of being not so serious about important things in his life. On the contrary, when we see a person dressed in a suit, hair neatly combed and words carefully chosen while speaking, we consider him as a learned person having a focussed goal in life.
In the above example, nowhere have the people spoken in as many words about their ambitions in life and neither are they holding a board announcing their outlook towards their own life. Still, their visual identity has compelled others to perceive them in a certain way. That is how impactful a visual personality is. And that is the reason you definitely want to carefully plan and strategize your own brand’s visual identity.
Ways and tips to create a winning visual brand identity
Now that we have understood how difficult it is to shake a strong first impression which has been created. All marketers would agree that it is imperative to get it right the first time. That requires a lot of planning, purpose-driven approach and persistent efforts. It is easier said than done. Therefore we have listed down a few important tips that can help you get started on this wonderful journey of creating a strong visual brand identity.
1. Let your approach be rooted in a strong purpose and a mission
A strong purpose is the backbone of every business. What is it that you are trying to achieve through your work, your messages and all the investment you have put in the market? If you have a clear answer to this, then your first step to creating a strong brand is sorted. Your purpose will reflect on all your graphic designs and communication messages on all platforms. For example, if you are an environmentally conscious company showing children playing inside airconditioned play areas then you have missed the bus of showcasing your purpose in your message. The right way would be to show more outdoor settings, greenery, light and sun in your imagery. So every marketer should be clear about the purpose of his business and should not get carried away by just the visual appeal of a message.
2. Understand your target audience well
Just like it is important to understand the purpose of your business, it is very critical to put yourself in the shoes of your customers before communicating with them. The purpose of creating a visual identity is to attract the right customers. For that, you should know the exact demographics, likes and dislikes, preferences, behaviours and attitudes of your target audience. Once you have a clear understanding of their personality, you can create a brand identity that resonates with them. For example, Coca Cola has very smartly used design elements that resonate well with youth. The red colour that represents energy, the typeface that is quirky and the advertisements that are fun.
3. Visualize your brand personality
Before others relate to your brands it is important that you visualize exactly how your brand’s personality should be. Visualization is closely related to planning. It is a good idea to write down a few thoughts as precisely as you can. For example, a rough draft of the logo on paper with a pencil, a colour wheel of colours that represent your brand, selecting a few good images that represent your customers, illustrating a few pictures if needed is a good idea. In-depth planning and visualization will help you quickly implement the process of creating a powerful visual identity.
4. Create a logo
While many may think that creating a brand identity is all about creating a good logo, it is a misconception. Your business may just start with a simple name in any typeface. You can slowly evolve and create a logo based on your understanding of the market and consumer preferences.
5. Choose the right imagery
Images play a very important role in creating a visual identity. A picture can instantly connect with the reader. Some brands like to use human pictures to add a human touch to their messages. Whatever you choose make sure it is plagiarism free.
6. Use the right typography
Typography can exponentially enhance the visual appeal of a message. If used creatively, the words on the message get etched in the minds of the readers. You can get very creative with typography. For example, graphic designers like to use contrasting coloured words, play with the weight of the letters or just use different font families for adding that extra punch to the taglines.
7. Use the right colours
Colours connect emotionally. It is believed that a lot of big brands use a blue colour in their logo. Maybe because of blue stands for trust and professionalism. It can be a subtle way to convey your brand’s personality to your users.
8. Videos are powerful visual identity tools
It is believed that video marketers get 66% more qualified leads. Videos appeal to a viewer and also give them a better experience of the brand. It is a wonderful medium to increase brand awareness. In fact, Video marketers achieve a 54% increase in brand awareness. A powerful tool like this should be explored to its full potential to create a strong visual brand identity.
9. Tell a story
Videos are also a great medium to tell your brand story. In fact, storytelling is the core essence of film making. Besides videos, marketers should ensure that they tell a story in every message. This story will have to be repeated consistently to ensure consumers register it in their minds. It is a good idea to explore all communication platforms like social media, television, print etc to tell your story again and again.
10. Keep it minimalistic yet impactful
The golden rule of communication is to keep it simple. In this era of over communication, the brand that adheres to simplicity automatically cuts the clutter. Simple logo designs, minimum usage of words in copy, sober colours and fewer font types can do wonders to your brand with minimal effort.