Cotter Visual Synergist

Brand > Branding > Visual Branding

Are you aware of the distinctions between brand, branding and visual branding?

Here’s a basic overview.

I have used the reference to “you” here, which can be a person, company, product or just about anything your brand efforts are focused on.

What is a Brand?

Who are you? What do you stand for? How do you differentiate yourself? You create a perception in the mind of your customer. Your brand promises to deliver value consistently over a long period of time.

What is Branding?

Everything you do, every message you send, every communication you make at every touchpoint. Branding is about using your brand to allow your customer to see you as you desire them to see you. Typically, we want to be seen as the premiere source who can provide the solution to their problem. It is how they see, feel, and experience you. It’s about creating singular distinction, strategic awareness, and differentiation in the mind of your customer.

What is Visual Branding?

Visual Branding enables companies to translate much of their positioning and branding effort into something people see (and experience). It is the visual expression of a brand. Visual Branding is about visually expressing a brand personality, anytime, anyplace, anywhere. It means you directly and subliminally communicate the brand by visually representing it with simplicity, consistency and repetition. Visual branding facilitates recognition through visual unity (shape, color, typography, imagery) and strength. The intended result is to build an emotional connection between the brand and your customer.

Let’s use Apple as an example of the genius of brand, branding and visual branding.

Apple’s Brand

Apple is about imagination, design and innovation. Apple products are simple, well designed, easy-to-use. Apple’s simplicity is its efficiency, productivity and dependability.

Apple’s Branding

Apple does very humanistic things as a corporation and with their products that support the brand. They have found a way to allow people to embrace technology by adding a human aspect to it. They make people smile and relax with the technology and thus, people become engaged with the product. Apple has clearly established an emotional connection with its customers at every touchpoint which has helped build communities around their products. Apple has turned their customers into brand evangelists and brand ambassadors. THIS is the epitomy of branding.

Apple’s Visual Branding

Apple uses simple and unique visuals in product design, support material and advertising which are clearly recognizable. The visual brand is based on the same simple visual expression carried through all their products, stores and website. The Apple logo is applied consistently on everything Apple. Support material, products, website and stores all use a distinct use of black, white, grey/silver and sometimes a blue accent. They incorporate glass or clear material wherever applicable. Colorful accent palettes are only used in accessories and to display on-screen content. The visual branding reinforces the simplicity and the humanness of Apple.

This answers the “What” of brand, branding and visual branding.

Next up: The Why and The How.