How to Develop a Visually Stronger Brand Identity
- Oct 31, 2023
A strong visual brand identity sets the stage for a memorable impression.
A cohesive collection of visual components that shape people's perceptions of your brand and its meaning is your brand identity.
This is crucial since your prospects might not take you seriously if your visual identity isn't appealing and consistent. Even worse, just because your competitors look more professional, consumers might decide to buy from them rather than you.
Every visual component in your company should be created with the intention of consistently communicating the voice and values of your brand. This covers all of the visual communications you use across all of your marketing and product delivery touch-points, such as your logo, color scheme, typography, images, packaging, website, social media, print media, and others.
This five-step method is what we've developed to help you establish a powerful brand presence that appeals to your target market.
- The stage of brand discovery
- The stage of brand research
- The stage of brand design
- Phase of the brand style guide
- The stage of brand implementation
Step 1: The stage of brand discovery
Clarify your brand values before hiring a designer. Spend some time explaining what your brand stands for and how you want it to be seen. Clarify the issues your brand addresses and the goal of your brand.
Good designers research your company. A smart designer ought to have a procedure for this phase of discovery. To ensure they have all the information they need about your brand before they begin designing, a good designer will have a design questionnaire that asks you a number of fundamental questions about it.
For instance, answering "women" in response to a question about your target audience is too general. Gender, age, profession, location, socioeconomic status, frustrations, and other details will all be better answered.
Describe the emotion your brand is meant to arouse in your target market. Recall that people make emotional purchases, which they later rationalize using "logic." In order to emotionally engage your audience and compel them to interact with your business, visuals are essential.
Since this is an investment for the long run, plan ahead. Give a brief description of your brand's goals and your 5-year plan for them.
Providing your designer with as much information and clarity as possible will help them produce a better final product.
During the discovery process, you want the designer to fully grasp your vision and what your brand stands for. Your designer can proceed with the research process with confidence once they have this knowledge.
Step 2: The Stage of Brand Research
The process of developing a new brand identity is comparable to that of launching a new company. This means that conducting research is essential to ensuring that your brand is distinctive and fits into your niche.
Your designer should take the time to look through the websites and social media accounts of your rivals after they have a firm grasp on the brief. By doing this, you can make sure that your brand identity is totally original and not like that of your rivals.
Additionally, your designer ought to research your target market to find out where they congregate on social media, their likes and dislikes, the people they follow, what else interests them, the kinds of movies and music they enjoy, etc.
The idea is to build a brand identity that appeals to your target audience; therefore, the more information your designer has about them, the more probable it is that they will produce a visual identity that will resonate with them.
Your designer should be gathering images as they conduct their study. All of this is a necessary component of creativity.
In addition, your designer will utilize the skills and references of others. At Studio1Design, we begin with a competitive analysis. We also collaborate to generate original concepts and investigate branding trends pertinent to your market.
As a result, a vast number of design concepts may be created. Thus, it's imperative to further hone the process, removing 90% of the gathered material and retaining only the items that will guarantee the originality and distinctiveness of your brand identity direction. Next, using brand "mood boards," we will give you creative direction and ideas for the visual representation of your brand identity.
The brand mood boards take all the text-based information and conversations from the ‘discovery phase’ and translate them into visual concepts.
A mood board is essentially a collage of images, textures, patterns, color compositions, design styles, elements, and fonts. An effective mood board will tell a story that defines your brand and communicates your brand’s new identity direction.
This may involve a couple of varied design style directions and color palettes presented to you to nail down what aesthetics you like the most out of the concepts provided.
Brand mood boards are a key design tool for defining the overall style, aesthetics, and visual language of your brand. They are a great way to establish the tone of your brand and allow you to see what you like and what you don’t like.
Once you decide which direction you like the most, you have a strong design foundation. You will be excited to see what your designer creates, and you will be confident that it will be as per the direction you have agreed to.
Brand mood boards streamline the design phase of the process. They make sure that the look of the final graphics and design elements will be on track so that the designer doesn’t go off on a tangent.
Step 3: The Stage of Brand Design
It's time for the exciting part—the design phase—after your designer has identified your target market, developed your brand voice, carried out market research, and created mood boards to represent the many components of your brand.
Key design assets are developed at this phase, serving as the foundation for all future branding efforts.
Making sure each component is made to visually enhance and support your brand is the goal here.
The foundation of your visual brand identity is that these design elements must complement one another to effectively convey your message. They must be adaptable and compatible with every touchpoint in your branding strategy.
For a new brand
For your brand to become recognizable over time, the design must be distinctive.
When updating an established brand, it is important to be specific about the brand's past, present, and future.
While luring in new clients, you also want to ensure that the new brand won't confuse current ones. Therefore, incorporate some of the old visual identity into the new brand identity, if at all possible.
This could entail sticking with the same supporting components, colors, and/or icons. Use only one of them instead of keeping them all so that your current clientele will recognize the updated style.
Brand design elements
Various design aspects can be used to communicate your visual brand identity, such as:
– Pattern and Texture
– Imagery and Photography
– Illustration and iconography
– Layout and Composition
Pro tip: Your brand won't be remembered more if it has too many colors than if it only has a few. Consider companies you typically associate with red, such as Coke or Ferrari. Consider the brands Cadbury or Hallmark, and you probably think of purple. They practically possess a single hue! In order to have a contrast color to utilize on the "Call to Action" buttons on websites we create, so they stand out against the main color, we prefer to use two or three colors most of the time.
To ensure that the designs are appropriate for the various uses, your designer will need to know where you plan to use your branding elements.
– Website Design
– Social media banners
– Blog Posts and Podcast Images
– Advertising banner ads
– Point-of-Sale Displays
– Marketing Flyers
The number of colors you can use when having signage manufactured or garments printed or embroidered could be restricted; therefore, your logo needs to be flexible enough to accommodate those restrictions.
Although color can play a significant role in your brand, try not to make it the most recognizable aspect of your design. The most effective logos are also effective in monochrome.
Pro tip: Your logo will appear jumbled when viewed from a distance if it is overly vibrant or detailed. Consider some of the most recognizable brand logos in the world, such as those for McDonald's, Shell, Apple, Playboy, Nike, WWF, Levi's, Mercedes, etc. At small sizes, they all look fantastic.
A straightforward logo is far easier for your audience to remember than one that is intricate.
Nevertheless, designing a straightforward logo is far more difficult than designing a complex one. This is due to the fact that your brand must be reflected in the logo; therefore, the more you eliminate, the less is left. Representing a brand with only a few shapes or lines is far more difficult.
You should ensure that your brand is consistently represented across all of your marketing touchpoints once you have established your logo and other brand elements. For this reason, we advise creating a brand style guide.
Step 4: Phase of the Brand Style Guide
The foundation of your brand identity is your brand style guide. This document is quite useful as it includes comprehensive recommendations for the use of your logo, typefaces, and color palette codes for both online and offline printing, as well as layout standards, image usage, and much more.
Having a brand style guide can ensure that the appearance of all of your marketing and creative products is consistent.
This implies that every creative involved in your marketing, including website designers, social media designers, stationery designers, videographers, sign designers, and so on, can have access to your brand style guide. To guarantee that your assets are used professionally and that your marketing will all have the same look, they can all adhere to the same set of guidelines.
You run the danger of inconsistent messaging and advertising across various platforms if you don't have a style guide. If you are inconsistent, your brand will come across as unprofessional and lose its identity, which will reduce its credibility. It's an essential brand control mechanism.
The significance of brand style guides is not different for small and large businesses. They are an instrument that will support your constancy. Since one of the main psychological factors influencing individuals to behave is consistency, be meticulous in applying the branding elements.
Step 5: The stage of brand implementation
This is the exciting part, where you get to watch your visual brand identity come to life.
It is important to plan and build your brand identity design assets with the intention of engaging prospects and consumers by providing them with an optimal brand experience that is consistent with all of your marketing touchpoints.
Any time a potential client or consumer interacts with your brand—before, during, or after a purchase—those are your marketing touchpoints.
Here are a few instances of branding touch points where having a strong, recognizable visual brand identity will be advantageous.
Website and landing pages:
Your brand identity should be fully expressed on your website. One of the things that best represents your brand identity is your website.
Your website is the center of your company and the first place potential customers will visit to learn more about you before choosing to work with you.
In a highly competitive market, you cannot afford to have a badly designed website, or you run the danger of giving the impression to potential customers that your website and delivery capabilities are equal.
Ebooks, webinars, podcasts, email marketing, display ads, retargeting ads, affiliates, blog posts, podcasts, videos, slide decks, infographics, and so on should all be done consistently online.
TV commercials, billboards, promotional products, printed advertising, point of sale, events, and so on all need to mirror your online presence since the more consistent you are, the more trustworthy you will be.
Social media content:
The key to social media marketing is creating unique visual material. Your brand needs to be recognizable right away. It is imperative to maintain a consistent brand image across all social media platforms. This covers pictures for posts, advertisements, profile pictures, videos, etc.
Your marketing strategy should include your items as well. It will be more efficient for you if the things you sell and the packaging they arrive in—from product packaging to postal/shipping packing to in-store packaging and labeling—match.
Remember what you write down. Through visual and messaging consistency, brochures, user manuals, books, catalogs, business cards, stationery, publications, direct mail, flyers, etc. can all aid in the spread of trust.
Expertly crafted brand identities are dynamic, captivating, and adapt well to many marketing platforms. Use expert designers who adhere to your brand style guide to ensure you achieve a unified and impactful result. It's crucial to realize that any touchpoint that fails to give an on-brand experience runs the risk of losing prospects' confidence.
Consider your visual brand's worth and the most effective ways to invest in it.
Now that you are aware of the marketing magic it may create, consider your future approach to designers.