Effects of a Brand’s Visual Identity on Customers

“A picture is worth a thousand words but your brand’s visual identity is worth much more,” – Jeremy Miller

Enterprises that own a brand or brands need a visual identity that combines colours and fonts to create a unique brand image. The said image helps the brand to create an exclusive identity and therefore, the business must maintain a consistent visual look and feel across all media platforms. In addition, a brand’s visual identity helps the business to create a distinct image in the public eye and enables branded products and services to differentiate themselves from the competition. We must note that efforts that drive visual branding should be viewed as an investment, because such branding contributes to the long-term success of a business or an enterprise. In addition, the visual identity of a brand has a significant role in the way the concerned business presents itself to employees and clients.

A brand’s visual identity must be carefully constructed so that it can help the business define and defend its identity in competitive markets. A brand image, logo, or identity should be embossed on the business’s letterheads, email templates, marketing brochures, sales collateral, shop signage, the official website, and social media pages, among others. For instance, a business that manufactures and markets automotive seat belts may choose a custom font to create its corporate logo; the colours used may be stark versions of black and white to signal seriousness of intent. We note that the seat belt is a safety device trusted by road users to save their lives in case of an unfortunate road incident. Therefore, the visual identity of the brand should emphasize a serious tone and customer safety at all times. In doing so, the brand could be carve its own niche in the public imagination as a ‘safety-first’ business operation.

When we consider the business of an entertainment park operator, we may note that the brand’s visual identity emphasises elements of fantasy in the construction of the business logo. This identity is an outcome of deliberate design because the brand seeks to underline the fun aspect of its business in an attempt to attract customers and their families. The basic logic of building the said visual identity is reinforced when we note that the said business may frequently employ images of bright dripping colours to market its products and services through print and online media. We must note that said colours may not be part of the standard business logo of the entertainment park operator, but the marketing tactic is deployed regularly to attract customer attention. That said, some observers may note that the fantasy aspect underlying the logo may equal flippancy; this observation can stand corrected when we note that the primary business of the park operator is to entertain.

Financial institutions and banking organizations frequently employ the colour blue in their corporate logos. This decision stems from the fact that the said colour is innately associated with trust in the human psyche. Blue is also a very visually sober member of the palette of colours that can be discerned by the human eye. In this case, the aforementioned businesses leverage colour and its myriad perceptions in building their brand’s visual identity. We note that the predominance of blue helps the business operators to create and reinforce a certain visual impression among their customers, clients, and sales prospects. That said, we note that certain operators in the said industries also use the colour black to build and sustain a brand’s visual identity. The reasons remain similar to the ones stated above.

A car and truck manufacturer may choose elements of glamour to create its brand’s visual identity. Chrome can be liberally used to create a shiny business identity that is affixed prominently on the forefront of the vehicles manufactured by the business. The use of chrome makes the brand attractive because most automobile customers seek an element of outstanding glamour in their choice of vehicles. This remains the case in most upmarket brands of vehicles, but also applies to the budget segments. We note that the flamboyant nature of such branding fits perfectly with automotive brands because most cars are designed for driving pleasure. In addition, the selection of chrome is justified because the polished metal stands out in sharp visual contrast to automotive body colours and therefore attracts attention to the brand while inspiring substantial consumer confidence. In the same vein, we must note that an automobile is mostly admired from angles that examine the front of the vehicle – the grille, the headlights, colour-coordinated bumpers, the central placement of the car’s branding, etc. Therefore, it stands to reason that an automotive brand’s visual identity be embellished in shiny chrome in an attempt to stand out from similar road going vehicles.

Soft drink and ‘soda’ makers can liberally use bright primary colours such as red, green, and yellow to build their brand’s visual identity. We note that this decision may possibly stem from the fact that the younger demographics represent the biggest customers of said businesses in all geographies. The said primary colours signify vitality and the effervescence of youth, thereby justifying the business decision to studiously employ these colours to denote and mark a brand presence. The logos of such corporate houses must also lend themselves efficiently to scaled enlargements for outdoor advertisement campaigns. Therefore, in addition to the colours, the font employed in the logo of said brands are also designed to fully participate in said campaigns. These brand machinations help generations of consumers to easily relate to the brand and help the business to expand its mind share among customers. That said, we must note the fact that most of the established soft drink brands have weathered many decades of competition and survived bruising, nay corrosive, marketing campaigns authored by rival businesses. In a remarkable example of durable and steadfast corporate strategy, most of the said brands have managed to retain their original business logos, barring certain exceptions. This illustrates the power of building and sustaining a brand’s visual identity through the vicissitudes of business cycles and the changing times that we live in.

Schools and educational institutions must expend brainpower and creative effort to carve a distinct identity in education. We could say that each school is obliged to develop its brand’s visual identity based on the industry in which it operates. For instance, a primary educational institution may employ traditional motifs and Latin phrases to develop its visual identity, while a new age school may design a creative identity that includes a grouping of stars to signify the young talent that attends classes in said institution. The former approach remains moored in tradition, while the functional and easy-to-decode motif of the latter may encourage more parents to enrol their wards in said school.

In the preceding paragraphs, we have examined the various effects that can be cast by a brand’s visual identity. The analysis implies that careful engineering and a set of rationale must be invested before the final contours of the visual identity of a brand is arrived at. A visual identity should be central to how a business perceives itself and therefore, said identity should be crafted with care and pride. Every brand’s visual identity may not represent the epitome of aesthetic achievement, but that should not impede a business or enterprise from aiming for the stars.

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