Visual branding is unfortunately one of those aspects that is far too often overlooked by online business owners.
If it is considered, branding is usually viewed as little more than a costly and frivolous expenditure — one that most businesses could likely do without.
As I’ve already demonstrated, this opinion is far from the truth, especially in 2019.
Good Design Still Is (and Always Will Be) Good Business
Nearly half a century later, this key insight from “the greatest capitalist who ever lived” still holds true.
Given the thousands of other businesses trying to market themselves online, a strong and cohesive brand is critical for market differentiation.
Besides, the rising popularity of visual-based social media platforms like Instagram has conditioned consumers to be more image-conscious than ever before!
Businesses are doing themselves — not to mention their potential customers — a huge disservice by not capitalizing on this shift in consumer preferences.
Still not on board? That’s alright.
Here are three of the most important reasons why having a solid visual brand is essential for the success of your business in 2019.
It tells consumers what to think about you
Your visual brand identity is about so much more than its components — a logo, website, marketing collateral, etc. It is a representation of how your business is viewed.
A solid visual brand should create a distinct (and hopefully positive) emotional correlation in the hearts of consumers — one that influences how they will perceive you.
Most consumers won’t be able to differentiate you from the competition. And so, your visual branding is what conditions them how to perceive you in relation to others in your niche.
Take some time to consider your brand from the perspective of a would-be customer and ask yourself: What thoughts and feelings do you want your business to evoke in her mind?
Every single aspect of your visual brand should be aligned with your answer.
It establishes consumer trust
The most common reason why consumers don’t make a purchase is lack of trust in the business.
Especially in an era rampant with internet scammers and con-artists, customers want to be absolutely certain that the business they are buying from is legitimate.
Sixty-five percent of respondents to a recent survey said that trust in a brand matters either “a great deal” or “a lot” in terms of affecting their buying decisions.
A consistent visual brand that is aligned with your target market is vital for establishing trust and credibility in potential buyers from the very beginning.
As Rob Cohen noted in a recent article, this consistency in branding can inspire just as much consumer trust as providing quality products and services.
“It also helps customers feel as though they know a brand on a personal level, which transforms what may have started as a practical relationship between a consumer and a brand into an emotional one.”
And as any marketing expert worth his salt will tell you, purchasing decisions are almost always emotional — rather than logical — decisions.
It increases the perceived value of your offers
When done correctly, visual branding can make products and services orders of magnitude more attractive to their target audiences.
Who could forget the infamous logo (and accompanying social media post) that elevated the disaster-ridden Fyre Festival to the most-hyped event of 2017?
Despite the fact that the festival had nothing in terms of lodging, refreshments, or musical talent … consumers were still willing to spend thousands of dollars on tickets!
The lesson here?
Though the organizers had dramatically misrepresented the event in their marketing, a powerful branding strategy had allowed them to maintain the illusion.
Now I’m obviously not encouraging you to scam potential customers though deceptive branding …
But I mention this event in order to highlight the power of solid branding to influence how consumers perceive and judge the value of what you have to offer.