As a small business owner or manager, every single decision you make is important. Some of these decisions might seem somewhat minor at the time you make them yet they have the potential to propel your business to new heights or result in a considerable loss of market share. Even the smallest of details has the potential to make a major difference in the context of your small business’s success. The right logo colors will shape the public’s perception of your business and also determine if your logo proves indelible in the minds of those customers. However, logo colors are only one piece of the visual brand identity puzzle. Let’s take a look at what visual brand identity is really all about and also provide a couple tips that will help boost your company’s brand through nuanced visual identity-enhancing strategies.
What is Visual Brand Identity? A Plain English Explanation
Visual brand identity is best defined as a cohesive whole of images, logos, colors and other visual components that represents a business or other organization. The best visual brand identities help execute the overarching brand strategy. The visual brand identity helps to zero in on target prospects in an attempt to create a memorable image or perception of the business that proves indelible. In short, this is the business’s opportunity to communicate what it is all about and why it is deserving of customers’ attention as well as their hard-earned dollars. From company logos to specific colors, slogans, fonts, images and beyond, there are all sorts of different individual components that work in unison to develop the visual brand identity as a whole. Let’s delve into these nuanced components to give small business owners and managers a better sense of the individual building blocks of a visual brand identity.
What Makes up Visual Identity?
A brand’s visual identity consists of the images and other aesthetics that are tied to the business. These visible images are the elements that guide clients toward brands, help them develop subsequent perceptions of those brands and ultimately convert into paying clients who spread the word about the company’s merits to friends, families and others. The elements of a brand’s visual identity include the right logo colors, composition styles, aesthetic styles, typography, hues and more.
As a cohesive whole, these components comprise the company’s overarching visual brand identity. Think of these components as working in unison to serve the purpose of acing the crucially important first impression your business makes on target customers. If your visual identity does not jive with the overarching brand identity, your target prospects will detect the disharmony and prove less likely to convert into paying customers. Without further ado, let’s take a quick look at some tips that will help your small business enhance its visual brand identity.
Visual Brand Identity Tip #1: Understand Your Brand
Take some time to think about your unique brand before attempting to create the foundation of what will serve as your visual brand identity. If your brand is relatively new or if those who are working on developing the visual brand identity have not been with the business for long, the early stages of the process will prove a bit slow. Be patient, ensure everyone has a full understanding of your brand as well as your unique value proposition and your team will be empowered to communicate what your business is really all about.
Visual Brand Identity Tip #2: Cover All Your Bases
Your brand’s visual identity needs to be visually intriguing yet also communicate your value, professionalism and willingness to serve. If even the smallest detail of your visual brand identity is out of sync with the rest, changes will have to be made. Keep in mind, this identity will be tied to your business for the foreseeable future so it is important that you get it as close as possible to 100% right on the first try. The design you ultimately choose to move forward with to represent your small business should be visually consistent, cohesive, understandable and visually pleasing.
Visual Brand Identity Tip #3: Make Sure It Stands the Test of Time
Your company’s visual brand identity will be a part of your company for years and decades to come. Though there is always the potential to improve your visual brand identity or even change it down the line, it is better for you to nail it on the first try. Think long and hard about how you would like your brand to be perceived in the years ahead. Come up with different combinations of images, slogans and other nuances of your brand identity. You will eventually find the right logo colors for your unique small business, setting the stage for the rest of your visual brand identity to develop into a cohesive whole that proves timeless. Timeless visual brand identities are the gifts that continue to give as they have generational appeal, proving persuasive in the months, years and even decades ahead.
Visual Brand Identity Tip #4: Be Original!
A small business that is legitimately genuine will capture that much more market share than businesses that customers consider to be even slightly phony. Your company’s image should be unique and highly distinct to the point that no one confuses your name, logo or slogan with that of another business. Continue to strive to be original, communicate your sincerity in your marketing efforts and you will reap the rewards in the form of increased patronage and customer loyalty.
Visual Brand Identity Tip #5: Make it Comprehensive
An incomplete visual brand identity will leave your audience hanging and possibly even somewhat confused. Your visual identity should be truly comprehensive. Strive for visual brand identity conformity in terms of each individual component carrying the same themes. Design those components to make the maximum impact and they will create a positive lasting impression that ensures your target audience sees your company as a cohesive team with a legitimate identity rather than as a loose collection of disconnected parts.
Visual Brand Identity Tip #6: Document Your Identity (Brand Guidelines)
Your growing brand might already generate its fair share of content. If you are reliant on several freelancers who work outside of your business to create that content, you might find it is difficult to ensure your the material they write adheres to certain standards and brand guidelines. This is precisely why it is in your interest to develop your own unique brand guidelines and communicate the details of those guidelines to your team. Such guidelines keep your team aligned and also present the brand exactly as you envision. The guidelines must address everything of relevancy to those who will create content on behalf of your brand. Take the next step of using actual examples of acceptable material and unacceptable material so your team is perfectly clear as to what company leaders and branding experts are looking for in the context of your brand guidelines.
Seize the Opportunity to Define Your Company With a Cohesive Visual Brand Identity
Your small business’s visual brand identity will go a long way in defining what your business is really all about. This is a golden opportunity to create a lasting impression on your target customers, setting the stage for prospects to move through the sales funnel all the way to the point at which they become loyal and paying customers. The right logo colors in addition to the other important elements of a visual brand identity will create a cohesive whole there is greater than the sum of its parts. This is the indelibility, credibility and identity your business needs to win over new customers and retain those who have already converted into loyal, paying customers.