Show don’t tell. This quintessential golden rule has permeated the content creation industry as a whole, and most poignantly, it has burrowed its way into the heart of digital marketing. The effective visual representation of ideas, products, and brands has proven to be one of the most efficient forms of communication in the consumer experience with little to none compared to its emotive power. Some businesses, however, have a hard time trying to represent their brand’s visual identity correctly. This makes them unrecognizable to their audience and ultimately makes their brand lack the awareness necessary to be successful. This begs the question – if your brand message is not retained by your audience, did it really happen? How can effective visuals build brand recognition and more importantly, brand loyalty?
Think of brand equity as the currency of brand recognition. According to Web Hosting Geeks, it can best be defined as “the significance of having a well-established and recognized brand name.” This is based on the concept that the brand is capable of generating more profits from products registered under that brand name over the products of another not-so-well-known brand. So, how exactly can you build a relationship with your audience solely through your brand’s identity?
Listed below are some of the key points to keep in mind in order to gain the brand equity needed to build brand recognition through the use of graphic design.
Break the Mold
Think out of the box; find new ways of doing things; think divergently. These phrases all promote one congruent thought: be different. Your graphic design should encapsulate your brand’s essence, but it should also separate you from the competition. Here, we can take a few notes from one of the most innovative, mold-breaking brands of 2019 – Billie.
Billie is a subscription service that sells shaving and “better” beauty basics for women. What separates them from the rest? Billie broke the mold by doing away with the Pink Tax and putting female body hair on the “big screen.” Their visual identity has built an inclusive body brand where women feel accepted for having body hair, whereas other brands try to hide this reality.
Although Billie uses colors that are more traditionally advertised to women, such as lilacs and pastel pinks, they are still able to relay a very powerful message to their customers: “you can like pink and have body hair at the same time.”
Billie is a great example that quality branding can propel your company past the long-standing competition in a saturated market. Their fun and innovative visual identity took a product that already exists in mass and completely created it anew. Not only did they re-stylize the razor, but Billie was also able to show this evolution clearly throughout their graphic design in both advertisements and their website.
Achieve Brand Harmonization
Brand harmonization refers to ensuring that all products and audience-facing assets in a particular brand range have a consistent name and visual identity. The consistency that brand harmonization enables allows for a clear articulation of offerings that set boundaries and facilitate harmony between a brand’s promise and the public’s expectations.
Many can agree that Apple not only does branding well – it does it perfectly. From their website and graphics to their product’s packaging and retail stores, Apple does a great job at keeping a harmonious visual identity throughout their brand. In fact, so much so that many other technology brands are consistently trying to emulate their look and feel.
Their visual identity presents a technology company which surprisingly does not talk tech. With a simplified yet elegant look, they are able to successfully strip down the complexities tied with their product and present it in a modern and digestible way that advertises a lifestyle more so than a product.
Apple’s use of minimal imagery and color demonstrates that a single color or style can embody your brand identity and relay your message effectively to your audience. However, just like Apple, going with a simple aesthetic means consistency is the way to go. They are the ultimate example that every aspect of your brand must harmonize with each other in order to build brand recognition successfully. From your website to your social media advertisements, being consistent throughout your visual identity is key if you want to build brand recognition and loyalty with your customers.
It is said that successful companies sell through emotion rather than the features of their product or the benefits of their service. By connecting with their audience they are able to establish a strong bond that transcends the traditional consumer experience. Did Coca Cola come to mind? Because it sure did in ours!
Coca Cola doesn’t need to tell you that their drink is sweet and refreshing, they instead sell the lifestyle their drink embodies. Most of their visual branding centers around happiness. And their graphic design is great at making you feel happy with the use of their famous, vibrant red and diversity in models, who all smile genuinely at each other while holding a bottle of delicious Coca Cola. It seems simple, but it works.
Moreover, although the drink is associated with warm, summer days, Coca Cola ensured people continued drinking it during the winter season by using the red Santa Claus imagery as well as creating their polar bear mascot. Through the seasons, this is how they managed to tug at our heartstrings all while staying on brand. This goes to show that when you establish a strong brand identity, your visual imagery becomes malleable for any type of situation.
Emotional brands have a significant impact when the consumer experiences a strong and lasting attachment to the brand. Connecting with consumers at a personal level is achievable through design by using a color scheme and imagery that embodies the feelings you want your audience to feel. Remember this during the production of your brand’s graphic design, as it is pivotal in the building of brand recognition and loyalty.
A dynamic brand is one that can show “change, movement, and flexibility. Dynamic brands are often called living brands, because they physically change or move, reflecting the very definition of dynamism.” Your brand’s visual identity must be flexible enough to be presented to a consumer riding the subway or looking at an online advertisement.
By being proactive and reactive to the world surrounding it, your brand’s visual identity can stay in your audience’s mind and become extremely recognizable. A great example of a dynamic brand is Nike. With their famous swoosh logo, Nike was able to take the world by storm, becoming highly recognizable to its customers and making other consumers aware of their brand identity.
To deliver a dynamic visual identity of your own, you need the creative capacity, brand consistency, and platform logistics involved in making your graphic design assets viable for various mediums and platforms. Lastly, keeping a close eye on analytics after each project and campaign is vital for your brand’s visual identity to evolve and to build lasting brand recognition.
These methods are easier said than done. Having recognized that, we are sure that by keeping these key points front and center when creating graphic design work for your brand, you will see a spike in brand recognition and loyalty.
When seeking to be recognized by consumers, memorable graphic design is definitely a great route to take you there. A uniquely designed advertisement, website, or brochure can elevate you above the competition, giving you the brand equity needed to be the preferred product or service in your industry.
Unsure where to start? Here are a few elements that can give you a jump from the starting line:
- Stick with colors. Decide early on what resonates with your brand and don’t change it.
- Keep it simple. Don’t make heavy-handed designs that can quickly become a visual puzzle. People should be able to interpret at a glance and move on.
- Aim for clarity. Keep your focus and do not try to accomplish too many things at once.
- Remember your target audience. Make sure your visual identity appeals to your target audience first and foremost, as liking it yourself will not get you too far.
Want to create graphic design work that builds long-lasting brand recognition and awareness? Download our guide on logo creation, color schemes, and typography today! We also teach you how to implement these elements in your future ad campaigns for striking visual ads that resonate with your audience and help you establish a consistent brand identity.
Missed our first installation of graphic design blogs? Click here to read our blog about the Do’s and Dont’s of Stock Images in Graphic Design.