To build an effective identity for your company, service, or product, you need to understand the fundamentals of successful visual branding. Welcome to review them in this article.
Companies worldwide are already using various design elements in the online world. Their official websites, emails, social media profiles, and paid ads all feature design elements by default. The design elements complete the visual branding puzzle in the online world.
There are millions of ways to incorporate typography, fonts, shapes, and colors. However, not every combination delivers the same results in terms of visual branding success. To build exactly the visual identity you want, you need to understand the fundamentals of successful visual branding efforts. Below you can find out the factors that make visual branding successful in the online world.
While many companies can use the same colors, shapes, and fonts in their visual branding efforts, their combination is what makes the final product unique. The originality of visual identity is what drives brand recognition and invites target customers to learn more about what the company has to offer.
Coming up with an original visual branding strategy becomes increasingly challenging the more competitors there are in your target market. However, if you pair the original visual identity with dependable services and high-quality products, you will hit the sweet spot. A great example is Dropbox, a cloud storage service provider. There are hundreds of cloud storage service providers in the market. Dropbox competes against some huge players such as Google, Apple, and Microsoft. However, their successful visual branding initiative plays an important role in making Dropbox recognizable and attractive.
Dropbox has a unique, colorful, and imagery-heavy identity that clearly shows on its official website.
The company’s Instagram profile delivers the same visual branding vibe.
Consistency across all channels
Visual branding helps you establish your company’s visual identity. If you use different visuals across different channels, what message do you send to your potential customers/clients? If you do it, you can’t establish the continuity of your visual identity. It can confuse the target market and invoke negative emotions.
Consistency across all channels is very important if you want a successful visual branding campaign. It will help you reinforce your brand identity across all channels, drive positive sentiments, and build trust. The perfect example is Airbnb, an accommodation marketplace trusted by millions across the globe. The company’s visual identity is consistent across all channels.
Airbnb uses the same fonts, color palette, shapes, and high-quality images to establish a consistent online presence.
Whether it is their official website, social media profile, email, or smartphone app, you will be able to meet the same look & feel.
Notice the use of colors and logo across these three channels. Recognizing Airbnb online becomes easy once these colors are engraved into your mind.
The quality as a concept is probably the most emphasized concept in the digital marketing landscape. Why do you think it is? Because high-quality visuals can help you stand out from the crowd. In a market where there are a lot of competitors offering the same product(s) as you are, high-quality visual branding can help you cut through the noise.
What does quality imply? If you are going to use graphic elements in your visual branding strategy, consider working together with an experienced graphic designer. On the other hand, if you want to use images, getting shots from professional photographers probably bears better results.
Also, high-quality visuals can help you bring your products closer to your target customers. Visuals have the power to make customers feel confident enough to spend their hard-earned money on your products.
Take a look at Starbucks, for instance. The images on their official website are of premium quality. You can almost feel the taste and texture of that coffee as soon as you arrive on the company’s website. The same can be experienced on Starbuck’s official Facebook page.
If you strive to deliver ultimate quality via visual branding, feel free to use Apple for inspiration anytime you want. Their visuals are always as close to perfection as they can be.
Matching the brand’s voice
Visual branding doesn’t only have to be consistent across all channels but with a brand voice as well. Before you start building a visual identity for your brand, you have to go back to its personality. The emotions you embedded in your brand voice are also important.
Psychology of colors and typography are not new concepts. They stand at your disposal to help you match your visual branding efforts with your brand voice. It’s sort of giving a visual voice to your brand, and it should convey your message to your audience. Adding visuals gives your brand the power to truly connect with the audience. Here’s a great example.
Visuals definitely match the friendly yet knowledgeable MailChimp’s brand voice, and the witty graphics can be found across MailChimp’s online presence.
Including visuals in your content
It’s literally impossible to find a piece of content online without at least one visual in it. Visuals can help you engage your audience and grab their attention. However, visuals in your content can also help you extend your visual branding efforts to your blog posts. It is particularly useful to do it in long guides and how-to articles as it can help you engage your readers and help them stay until the post’s end.
Content enriched with visuals can help you make your brand even more recognizable and build brand awareness as your blog posts can reach social circles outside of your customer base. To do it, you will need to incorporate visuals that reflect your color palette, brand voice, and image. First Site Guide stands as a solid example of this practice.
The content creators combine different types of visuals to make the content as digestible as a technical guide can be. There are witty visuals that add value, such as the one on the screenshot above. At the same time, there are branded informative visuals as well, such as the one on the screenshot below.
Looking to established brands for inspiration
One of the best things about visual branding is that all established brands have refined and perfected it. If you lack ideas, you can always go to them for inspiration. If you decide to do so, you should pay attention to details.
Start researching their brand tone and voice to get a general idea about their branding strategy. Then, explore their online presence and look for all visual cues that align with their brand voice. Besides the brand that we’ve covered so far, some other noteworthy examples include the following.
Uber leverages minimalist graphic elements with high-quality photos to connect with both individuals and businesses.
Coca-Cola nails the marketing game leveraging its down-to-earth, friendly, and positive brand voice to deliver powerful and recognizable visuals.
Understanding your audience
The success of a visual branding strategy depends on what decisions you make, which road you choose to go down. To be able to make a good business decision, you need data. In visual branding, your audience has all the actionable data you need. After all, you are building something for them. Delivering visuals that you think are going to get the job done is a shot in the dark.
Before you start devising your visual branding strategy, you need to understand your audience. Besides launching a surrey, you can use several other tactics and tools to learn a few things about your audience without them even realizing it.
We can’t go into specifics of target market research now. However, here is a great guide from the guys at SEJ to help you understand your audience hassle-free.
There are many factors in the play if you want to develop a successful visual branding strategy. Visuals are very powerful and can help you make or break your brand image. It’s very important to take into account all of the above-mentioned fundamentals before you dive into visual branding. That’s why we invite you to continue your research online to gather as much information as possible.
About the author: this is the guest article by Ogi Djuraskovic, the founder of FirstSiteGuide.com who does his best to help people build a successful online business with the right mix of skills.