It’s the process of using imagery, colour, and design to create a perception of your business which, if done correctly, is instantly recognisable. Just think of the Amazon smile logo or the red and white branding of Coca-Cola. Even without seeing the name, you instantly know the brand from the colour palette and logo.
But visual identity is more than just a nicely designed logo that sits on your website or on the foot of your email. (Although it is a major part of it). It also covers everything that the brand stands for visually; it’s a complete design system that includes the logo, colours, imagery, plus typography style and application.
For new businesses starting out, the process of developing your brand identity can be just as daunting as it is exciting. You understand your company and what it offers (if you're not sure, read our blog on brand workshops), but how do you express that through colour and imagery? While there are some elements of the branding process you can conduct internally, we would recommend that most B2B businesses bring on the help of a specialist when it comes to this stage. It may require a little investment, but to stand out in a competitive market your visual identity needs to be strong, and they will have the skills and expertise to provide this for you. The visual identity is such an integral part of your brand, and quite often a potential customers first experience of your business, that you need to get it right.
The consistent use of name, logo, font, colour and style through the visual identity, enforces the story around your brand and the values you want to convey. As well as being instantly recognisable, it must also resonate with your audience and stand apart from the competitors. It’s a fundamental pillar of any organisation’s communication strategy.
Companies no longer just build their reputations solely on products and services they sell; the image and persona you convey is also considered a measure of success. If done well, your visual identity will boost brand awareness, your market position, loyalty and sales.
Once you’ve invested in your visual identity, it’s really important to document them within a set of brand guidelines alongside your tone of voice. These outline a concise set of rules around how the logo, imagery and colour should be used, which can vary across media types. Having this in place, all supported by examples, will help you when undertaking future marketing and sales activity. For example, it’s very hard outsourcing the design and development of your website with just the brand logo to work from. With a set of brand guidelines, you will almost guarantee a consistent visual identity across all of your communications – be it a customer email, brochure or website.
Need help with your visual identity? Then pick up the phone or drop us an email. At Brewd we’re experienced at creating robust and individual visual identity design systems for our clients and we’d be happy to help.
The next blog in our mini-series, “How to build a strong B2B brand”, looks at what to consider when producing an effective B2B website.
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