A brand’s visual identity is more than just a logo or the pictures on a website. It’s also the font you use, the style guide for your content, and anything else people could see and associate with your brand.
Learn More About Branding
At its most basic, you improving your brand’s visual identity will require you to know basic design principles and then apply them strategically. Or, if you’re feeling bold, you may want to break a few “key” design rules altogether. But you can’t do that until you know what they are.
Have Something Standout or Iconic
Once you have a grasp on the basics, you can start to experiment (behind closed doors.) One big thing many brands overlook is that they don’t have much in the way of actual visual “identity.” Their branding efforts may be pretty, standard, and modern. What they’re not going to be is memorable.
This can take a lot of courage and thought before it’s ready to be unveiled to your business’s current and future customers. That means testing and receiving feedback on many designs and options before committing to one.
Get Feedback, Kill Your Darlings
There will be a concept you love that would be a disaster if unleashed on your unsuspecting customers. You might love it; they will hate it. These are your darlings, and you can keep them but don’t use them.
There are very few cases in which you should ignore the brunt of any customer or team feedback you have gathered. In most cases, giving the people what they want can be your best strategy, even if that’s not exactly what you want.
Appeal to the Right People
Speaking of not getting in your way- your audience is going to be a lot different from another brand’s audience. It should be. Find out what appeals to them. Don’t copy, don’t even take direct “inspiration” from your competitors. Yes, you can study what they do and “steal” their techniques, but always try to look at things from the unique viewpoint of your customers. That’s where you should start.
If you don’t have a strong brand identity or aren’t sure about your brand’s specific values, go to your customers first. 64% of consumers report trusting a brand because of shared values above all. What resonates with them? What else do they love? How can you represent this in your brand’s visual identity?
Know What You Care About – And What You Don’t
There are symbols for everything. Even colors themselves are powerful influencers. Green lends itself to nature and wealth. Blue is business and confidence. Pink is calm, inner strength. Names can be symbolic, too. “Nike” is the goddess of victory. Haagen-Dazs just “sounds right. And in the right font, these names become their own powerful visual brand identifiers.
Beyond that, each successful brand incorporates cues and symbols into their branding that exemplify what they’re about. Nike wants to bring out the best in each athlete. Their branding matches that. Haagen-Dazs intends to evoke a feeling of artisan craftsmanship and focus on simpler colors and images. They also use this “down to earth” approach to align themselves with a similar cause- saving the bees.
In any case, knowing what your brand is aligned with is essential. Whether it’s creating an energy monitoring dashboard or a line of clothing, your brand can impact any industry. Sometimes the easiest way to do this is to come up with anything and everything that your brand must stay away from. By eliminating what your brand should never appear to be, you may just find the perfect visual identity.