Walking into a crowded room you’d most likely do one of two things. You will either join the familiar faces and form a group ( a community) or introduce yourself to the not so familiar faces with the hopes of making new friends. Familiarity, however, eases the process of making friends. In the crowded world of social media, a number of brands including yours seek to make new friends and grow a community of customers/believers. For every time you sashay into the crowded online room you look out for the familiar faces, the brands you have come to have a thing for, knowing what to expect from them.
For brands that constantly communicate with today’s short attention span audience, it has become quite important to create visual content that can generate emotions and relationships to build a long time connection. You will want the audience to spot your brand from a gamut of others, and also imbue your brand with the power to evoke certain emotional responses. Sadly many brands struggle with this. They either fail to establish a visual style or are so inconsistent that they remain unfamiliar even after meeting their audience a few times.
Visual branding is how you show the type of friend you will be. Use it to influence your audience’s perception of you. Let’s say I check out your Instagram page, and see it filled with fun, behind-the-scenes photos of your office, it may tell me that employee happiness is important to you. If I see nature images paired with inspiring quotes, I may feel that you value encouragement and motivation.
You can, and should, use visual clues to suggest abstract ideas. Are you authoritative, feminine, irreverent, acerbic, fancy, playful? Nothing answers that question quicker than a visual. When I visit your website, your color choices, the size of your text, and the mood of your design tells me exactly how to feel about your brand. This is why visual branding is so important. Whether you’re knowingly influencing it or not, your audience is defining your brand. If the visual that you’re conveying does not match your values, it will disappoint, confuse, and alienate your audience.
Visual branding has a function in marketing. It primarily sets products/brands apart and tells brand stories. Now more than ever when visuals are consumed at a high rate like waste paper, brands should seek highly skilled Art direction that can create visual content that makes a statement and is worthy of recognition, shares, and reposts. It is important to note here that the exercise of visual branding entails a lot of trial and error first, to find what works after which you reinforce through consistency. Only daring brands can take the risk of creating something refreshingly new.
It will be thoughtful of you to consult a brand specialist who can help manage your brand’s visuals so that they communicate your uniqueness and all the ideas you stand for. The return on investment is worth it as the big brands like Coca Cola, Nike and Gtbank have shown us. You must remember you are telling a story and visuals help tell stories whether good, wow or bad. In subsequent posts I will be sharing tips on how to execute a remarkable visual branding.
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