Your brand is the perception created in the minds of your customers. Visual branding helps you create and control this perception. And ultimately, you want to be the driver of your company’s brand. Read more
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?
Do you know what brand name changes mean?
Dunkin’ Donuts recently announced it will be shortening its name by dropping the word ‘Donuts’.
Dunkin’ Donuts name has a strong brand personality. We’ve been trained to know what to expect from the brand by the way it identifies itself. It has meaning to us as consumers and is widely recognized. Why would they consider changing what others work so hard to achieve? They are currently the undisputed leader of the donut industry with a more than 60% market share, and a presence that runs to 11,300 restaurants globally.
Changes made to a brand name usually predict that things will not be the same as they were. By changing the name, companies hope to convey their transformation and focus. Often that desire for a renewed image is an effort to breathe life into a damaged brand.
When might a brand consider changing its name? When there is a change in strategic focus or the name change will enhance meaning and value in the minds of consumers.
Does ‘Dunkin’’, as a name, carry greater value than Dunkin’ Donuts? Is it just a result of current trends to use shorter names and/or acronyms.
Does it bring greater resonance to the consumer brand market where it has become more and more difficult to stand out?
And then, there is always this most important question remaining. Will consumers embrace it?
Is Dunkin’ Donuts unknowingly placing doubt in consumer’s minds because now they will be driven to determine whether the product is the same or has something about it changed? The perception in consumer’s minds becomes; what will we get from the Dunkin’ brand that we don’t already get now from Dunkin’ Donuts?
Would Dunkin’ Donuts change something if there wasn’t some sort of problem? Or… could this possibly be an agency’s strategy to generate a ton of work!
Using visual images simplifies your message and supports or often takes the place of added text. It’s shorthand for a concept or something hard to describe.
People’s visual recognition and association is very quick. Images communicate quickly. It‘s like the saying, “a picture is worth 1000 words”. But only if it is the right visual.
How do you build a strong visual brand? In one word … consistency.
Why build a strong visual brand? Because every impression of your visual brand has value! When your customer views your visual brand consistently and repeatedly it builds recognition and memorability in their mind. Customers make a connection with your company more quickly and easily. This is simply because the more we see something, the better our recall of it is. It’s subliminal so most times we are unaware it’s happening.
If you want to build a strong visual brand, you can start with your three most important visual assets….
Great logo designs look incredibly simple. It’s easy to understand why one could think they are just as easy to create. Understanding how logos are designed is one way we can learn to appreciate logo design.
When I graduated college and was seeking a design job I had the critical design knowledge I needed but practical real world knowledge has come with experience. Newly minted designers might appreciate the real world wisdom in these simple life hacks.
Don’t take rejection personally. Your work will not be accepted by all. It doesn’t mean your work is not good design.
You can’t be everything to everyone. Develop your YOU. Try different ways of presenting to discover a style that works best for you.
Follow your path and be open to where it leads. Focus on your design strengths and find a niche.
Keep the faith. A positive attitude will help you succeed.
Believe in yourself.
Continue to love what you do. Don’t lose the love of your craft or your ability to be great at it.
Don’t give up. Revisions are a fact of life. For the mostpart, they are meant to make the end product as good as it can be.
Be open to meeting new people in all walks of life. You never know where someone might lead.
Be easy to get along with.
Work well with people. It’s a fact… people will do business with people they like. It is the easiest way to keep a client or a co-worker happy. Getting along with those around you everyday is just about everything. It doesn’t matter how good a designer you are if you don’t play well with others!
Adhere to timelines. Hone the skill of managing your time well and you will be a far better worker than most. As Woody Allen is quoted as saying, “80 percent of success is showing up.”
Do what you say you are going to do, when you say you are going do it. Don’t let people down.
Integrity is a highly regarded trait. Adhere to moral and ethical principles.
People enjoy being around and including others who are happy. This can also reflect in your design solutions.
Ask many questions about how others hone their design skills. Find out the best and most efficient way to do things and why.
Great design begins with asking the right questions – getting at the heart of the problem you’re setting out to solve. The key to a successful design can be hidden in what a client, a user, a boss or a co-worker says. Learn to listen.
Be a student.
Keep learning. Set aside time for developing your skills and experimenting.
Know you are not the smartest person in the room, even if you are 😉
Appreciate your gifts. Help others be good at what they do too.
Be the best you can be.
50% of our brain functions are devoted to visual processing. We interpret visuals in less than 1/10th of a second and then are quickly compelled to organize them into a narrative. It’s just what we do. If there isn’t a story there, we make one up. That’s why stories can be so powerful.
You can use this to your advantage. Powerful visual storytelling can evoke emotions that will build engagement with your customer.
Here are some ways to incorporate visual storytelling into your marketing.
Branding is very simple. The typical thought process behind branding awareness is a logical progression. It goes something like this:
> A logo is your brand
> Branding is more than just a logo
> A brand is every touchpoint and beyond just design
> A brand is a relationship
Yes, a brand is a relationship. It’s an emotional connection between you and your customer.
How do we build this brand relationship?
A company establishes who they are, what they believe in, how they speak, and what they look like. They then bring that to every interaction, every time. This builds familiarity and trust… which drives loyalty.
A company needs to be authentic in who they are and what they offer. Brand authenticity builds trust which, again, results in a strong long-lasting relationship with customers .
Transactions are without emotion. Beyond the transaction, lies nothing. Features lists mean little when your company can only offer as much as its competitor. Why then, would customers remain loyal to the brand?
What happens when you continue to build the emotional connection beyond the transaction? That’s right! You can reap the long-term relationship benefits you want.
4 Stay the course
Emotional relationships take time and nurturing to build. Have patience.
5 Every interaction is meaningful
Build the relationship through powerful and memorable ongoing interactions, before, during AND after the sale.
Like any relationship, branding develops over time. Be patient. The results may surprise you!
Every impression of your brand has value!
65% of us are visual learners. This makes a strong visual brand an integral part of building an unforgettable brand.
The goal is always to stimulate recall, instill recognition and become memorable in the mind of your audience. If they view your visual brand consistently and repeatedly, you are empowering them to make a connection with your business easily. This is simply because the more we see something, the better our recall of it is.
A strong visual brand begins with these 5 basics: your logo, fonts, colors, usage and images.
Your logo is not your brand in its entirety. It is a visual representation of your brand. A strong visual is distinctive, simple, readable at all sizes and meaningful. Maintaining your logo’s integrity helps establish the recognition it deserves.
Fonts lend a distinctive personality and should reflect your brand values. Use no more than 2 fonts that pair well and complement who you are. The right fonts will ensure your message is readable and legible.
Color creates your brand’s tone. Choose colors appropriate for your brand and use them distinctly to guide your audience visually in conveying your message.
Guidelines for consistent usage should be established to help maintain visual brand integrity. This may include elements such as guides for maintaining ample white space around your logo which will help draw attention visually. Studies show that consistency in visual touchpoints (website, social media, store, marketing, service, support, etc) builds brand.
Visual content is more interactive, engaging and gets your message across quickly. Create high-quality, compelling and visually consistent images for your brand.
Control your brand by building it consistently and empower it to become unforgettable in our crowded world of brands.