To build a successful brand, you must first establish a unique identity. Your brand identity will, in all likelihood, resemble your company’s vision or mission statement. But it will clearly articulate what consumers can expect from your brand, and how you differentiate from the competition.
That’s a little intro to brand building 101. But that style of brand building is no longer sufficient in today’s world.
Content has become more visual, more colorful. Consumer attention spans are at all time lows. People want to understand a brand’s intent within seconds.
If they have to tumble deep down the rabbit hole to learn what your brand is all about, chances are you’re not going to keep them engaged for any significant amount of time.
That’s what makes a visual brand identity so important.
Visual brand identities allow you to express everything about your style, tone, voice, and positioning within bite-sized pieces of content. Consumers see a visual, a video, or any of your dynamic pieces of content, and recognize the identity of the brand behind that content. They’re immediately aware of who you are, what you value, and how you use content to provide a memorable consumer experience.
But how do you share your visual identity so that your brand resonates with any consumer within your target audience?
Here are a few tips to visualize your brand for all consumers.
Customize your content with unique visual cues
This is a very important point that cannot be overstated.
Position yourself, as a marketer, from the perspective of your ideal consumer. Where do you go to consume content in your free time? The odds are that you’ll enter one of half a dozen apps downloaded onto your mobile device and browse through the news feed for the latest updates.
In fact, this is a summary of how people spend time on mobile.
To little surprise, social apps like Facebook are one of the most popular channels where people spend their time on mobile.
As a marketer, keep yourself in the perspective of your consumer. If you see the same type of content appear again and again in your social news feed, yet promoted by many different brands, are you going to remember those brands? Will any of those providers stick in your memory when you leave the app?
There’s no ambiguity here. The answer is no.
Brands must optimize how they use content and express themselves visually for mobile-first consumers. That comes about by customizing content to your brand’s unique visual identity.
Content that’s custom-made with distinct visual cues and characteristics is far more likely to resonate with consumers. Your brand’s style and tone are presented through the lighting, colors, angles, and clever use of both people and products. Collectively, each of these cues convey an identity that tells the viewer ‘this is who we are and what we will give to you.’
As people thumb-scroll through their feeds, your content will stand out from all other updates cluttering up the limited mobile space. If you can stand out, you have a far greater chance of engaging with your audience.
Create seasonally appropriate content to attract viewers
Use the visual nuances that embody your brand identity to become creative with your content. For example, if a holiday or a change in season is fast approaching, create content that depicts your brand’s style and tone while inviting viewers to celebrate and appreciate the coming event.
Custom content is very important in these situations because seasonal content is everywhere. This is a picture from one of our recent webinars where we discussed how to create seasonal content at scale, and you can see that all types of brands are creating seasonal content.
Brands are incorporating colors and environments that best depict the theme of the season, and also align with their identities. Ben and Jerry’s is clearly appealing to consumers in the summer with pictures of s'mores near a campfire, which is a clever way to increase interest in their ice cream products.
Follow along on this idea. The holiday season is fast approaching, and this is a very lucrative time of year for many businesses. According to the National Retail Foundation, over $600 billion in retail sales is projected throughout the months of November and December.
Why not take advantage of the change in season by creating seasonally appropriate content of your own? Just make sure that your brand stands out from all other promotions by customizing your holiday-themed content with your brand’s unique visual characteristics.
And guess what? Shutterstock Custom is an agile way to create custom holiday content.
Incorporate the right colors and tones into your content
Color makes a huge difference in marketing. The colors used within your brand’s logo or on your website are automatically associated with your visual identity.
You can customize the look and feel of those colors with warm or cool overtones and saturations. How colors appear to consumers while they browse through their mobile phones can make all the difference as to whether they engage with your content or skip on over it.
Here is some interesting data about colors and content.
Psychological research shows that 90% of a person’s snap judgment about brands and products is a direct result of the colors used in promotions. The colors you include within your content determine how people perceive your brand.
That’s why you need to calibrate your brand’s visual identity.
Colors and various shades or saturations are part of your brand identity. That influences the feelings stirred within consumers whenever they think about your brand.
Psychologist and Stanford University Professor Jennifer Aaker has conducted research on brand identities, personalities, and how consumers relate to them. Her research shows the types of feelings generated by brands, which should help you as a marketer determine what perceptions should percolate within your target audience regarding your brand identity.
Colors and tones have the power to influence the ways people feel about your brand. You want your content to inspire the tone that best align with your brand’s core mission and positioning. This alignment between content and perceptions is the best way to influence your target audience into becoming paying customers.
Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon, has a great quote about branding that best reflects the importance of your brand identity.
“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
You want people to have those conversations because that indicates to you as a marketer that people are aware of your brand. Awareness is the first step of the consumer journey. If you can inspire people to have an opinion about your brand, you’re on the way to earning a new customer.
You need custom visual content to help people begin that journey. Learn more about how to calibrate your own brand’s unique visual identity using technology so that you can create custom content at scale, and make more people aware of your brand.