Brand visual identity: what is it and why you need it
Studies have shown that 90% of the information processed by the brain is visual and it takes only 13 milliseconds for the human brain to process an image. Visual is, therefore, a powerful tool for anyone who wants to communicate a message. Think about your favorite cereal brand, or your favorite shampoo. What comes to mind? I bet it’s the logo and the colors, maybe their name written on the packaging. Am I right? How about the last time you searched for a new cosmetics brand? What influenced the final purchase? Was it just the product description, or was it also the color of the packaging?
Visual identity is an important element of every brand. Before anything else, people will remember the visuals of a brand: colors, images and shapes. Having a strong visual identity is important, even more so nowadays, when everyone needs an online presence. In the crowded online space, inundated with visual content, it’s imperative for brands to have a dynamic way of attracting attention and expressing themselves in the right way.
What is visual identity?
Visual identity comprises all the visual elements that represent and differentiate a brand: anything your customers see, online and offline, from your logo to the packaging of your products. Every aspect of this visual identity will send a message about your brand, and it’s essential that they all send the same message. By creating a strong visual identity, you will create a consistent business presentation that will make your brand not only recognizable but also memorable.
A brand visual identity includes many elements, but the main ones are:
Logo – a visual image that can be easily understood and recognized, that serves as a symbol for your business.
Colors – choosing the color palette for a brand is important, as most customers say the brand color plays a key role in the purchase decision.
Fonts and Typography – they should help your brand convey the emotions you are trying to get from the customers.
Photography and imagery – should fit with the rest of your brand’s identity. This includes photos or illustrations of your products, team members, workspace.
By having all these elements defined and by using them as guidelines, you can create all the imagery for your brand: animations, buttons, packaging, flyers, store design, uniforms, digital and print ads, etc.
Why is visual identity important?
The first thing that comes up in people’s mind when they think about a brand is an image. They remember colors or photos; they remember a store design. And images are powerful in generating feelings towards something – in this case, towards your brand.
I would argue that the main purpose of having a visual identity is to create an emotional connection with your customers, to convey the brand’s personality so that they can relate to your message and values.
Visual identity also contributes to generating brand awareness. It can build brand trust by informing potential buyers about products or services. People who recognize your brand are not always your customers, but being known (brand awareness) increases the chances of generating sales because people tend to engage with and buy from familiar names.
When done right, visual identity plays an important role in unifying the many aspects of a business, bringing it all together a complete entity. Did you ever notice those entrepreneurs who always dress in a certain color – the same color you see on their website? That’s visual identity taken to the tiniest of details!
Companies that understand the importance of visual identity are the ones that become successful. If you are at the beginning of your journey, make sure you take the right steps towards creating a powerful brand identity now. This is too important to approach it half-hearted. Have you been in business for longer but you’re not sure you have the right visual identity? It’s not too late to re-assess your visuals and make the necessary adjustments. A brand develops fluidly and changes when needed.