All-encompassing as it is, the word brand can be defined by a wide variety of different properties. Talking into consideration that people are visual beings, we can all agree that a brand’s visual identity makes the first, and, thus, the most important impression we form upon the encounter. Even if we get the message about the company’s mission statement and values in the written form, the way in which this information is presented will have a strong impact on our opinion.
With the things as they are, taking steps to enhance your brand’s visual identity makes an absolute imperative. Here, we’ll take a look at how this feat can be achieved.
Conduct a thorough brand audit
As we already briefly mentioned, the word brand represents a complex structure of different ideas and practices that create the company’s identity. Knowing how to represent these ideas in a simple, visual manner requires good knowledge of the company itself. So, do a thorough internal audit that will determine your place in the market, the audience you are going to appeal to and the values your company embraces. Once you are done, try to abstract these elements into simple ideas that can be easily translated into visual language.
Create a professional-looking logo
The logo is the ID card of your business – it’s one of the visual elements your business will most easily be identified by, and the foundation your customers will use to build an opinion of your company. Speaking in general design terms, a good logo should meet these requirements:
- The colors should represent your company’s values and policies
- It should be simple and timeless (Nike and Apple)
- It should be easily adaptable (Facebook)
- It should reflect a sense of visual symmetry (McDonald’s)
- It should feature unique visual elements and/or lettering
- Complex images and text should be kept at the minimum
Once you come up with a functional solution, you will use this logo as a cornerstone of all future visual elements, ranging from website to the look of the premises.
Choose the right typography
Once we go past the more obvious visual elements, we can see that your audience will consume a lot of messages in a written form. In these circumstances, choosing functional and easy to read typography may sound like a good enough solution, but it is not. If we take Australia as an example of a developed country, we can see that companies that employed handwritten typefaces (thus creating a sense of human contact) have experienced an increase in sales. Of course, the handwritten lettering doesn’t have to be the standard, but the font you are going to use has to be representative of your company’s identity.
Make the brand consistent across all marketing channels
The choice of contemporary marketing channels is both extensive and diverse. Performing on all these fronts, especially under the guidance of different marketing teams can lead to dilution of brand identity and create unnecessary confusion amongst the target audience. This is a serious issue. As a matter of fact, if we stay a bit longer in the Land Down Under, we can see an increasing number of entrepreneurs and marketing managers leveraging the graphic design in West Ryde and similar rising business hubs to come up with coherent solutions they can use across different media formats.
Invest in high-quality visual material
Talking into consideration the importance of visual identity in your overall branding strategy, we have to point out that using the subpar visual material makes a very poor foundation for this effort. Taking a look at the business world in general in order to make money, you have to spend money. So, do your organization a favor and allow the marketing teams the access to high-quality material that will represent the brand in the best possible light. If you can’t afford the services of a professional photographer, premium stock image platforms make good enough of a substitute.
Create a reference library
Finally, all of the efforts we have covered above will be made considerably easier and cheaper if you create a simple reference library your marketing and graphic design teams can use for guidelines. This library should contain the overall description of your brand’s values and goals, keywords you have abstracted as a base for creating visual content, as well as various templates, images, and other resources your teams can use without the need of creating the solutions from the grounds up.
We hope these six tips gave you a general idea about the steps you can take to create or completely overhaul the way your brand is perceived in the public eye, at least in the most literal sense. People make very strong opinions based on the information they consume visually. If you want to stay ahead of the competition and stay afloat in this increasingly competitive world, you have to make sure the impression you make is good.