Did you know the human brain only needs 1/10th of a second to process visuals?
1/10th OF A SECOND.
That’s shorter than a blink of an eye.
No wonder choosing the right visuals is so important and companies spend between few thousand to a few million dollars on branding.
It’s your chance to get their attention and keep it. Or lose their interest (and business) forever.
In this busy world nobody will go out of their way to research a product or service from a brand that’s not visually appealing to them. (yep, that’s highlighted for a reason, keep reading!)
Sooo many of our clients are stuck at this stage for AGES. They keep tweaking their logo, colors and fonts for months or even years before they finally come to us to do it right. We often hear them saying:
- I just can’t decide on my brand colors, I like so many styles!
- I feel like my branding doesn’t represent me and I can’t find visuals that do.
- I changed my branding colors and logo so many times my audience is confused and doesn’t trust me anymore.
- My branding isn’t professional and I lose sponsored posts opportunities because I don’t look legit.
- I feel ashamed of my branding so I postpone pitching media to boost my visibility.
Those are all huge problems if you ask me! They make people lose money, opportunities, sales, and set their business growth back by months or even years.
“Branding is not just your logo, colors, fonts or website. It’s your CUSTOMER’S gut feeling about your business”. – Marty Neumeier, author, speaker, branding expert
How do we influence that feeling? By understanding our brand and clients really well and strategically creating visuals that appeal to them.
3 steps formula we use when creating strategic branding for our clients:
Dive deep into your brand. You really have to understand your brand personality very well and be clear on what value you want to bring to the market and to your audience.
Your branding should always reflect that and work as a connector between YOU and your ideal clients.
Your brand’s purpose
Let’s now dive into the nitty-gritty of your brand and business, okay? The reason why your business exists and solves this particular problem is one of the first things you need to get clear on. When you understand it well, you can craft the right message and back it up with powerful visuals that set the right tone, before you even say a word. Purposeful, strategic brands start here. If you want your brand to have a personality, culture and make an impact, you need to first start from what is it that drives it. The purpose. Business without a purpose will never create a legacy or lasting relationships with customers and clients. A brand without values and why will not be bold enough for anyone to relate to.
Your big WHY
Without asking yourself why is it that you choose this kind of business and this way of serving others you won’t understand what it is that you’re trying to represent by your brand. This is what we’ll need in your branding process later on. This is a very important part of the branding and I REALLY urge you to think about it, because if you take time to think about it and put it into words, you’ll stop second-guessing and understand what your brand is really about. You’ll become a magnet for people with the same values. You’ll attract clients and customers who care about what you care about.
Your sweet spot
You will not be able to attract your perfect clients if you’re not clear about your vision, mission and values. By asking yourself why do you care about what your business does and comparing the answer with why your customers care about it, you’ll find the mutual ground with them. The sweet spot.
Ask yourself these questions:
WHY do you do what you do, REALLY?
Underneath the fact you want to make sales and support yourself and your family…why do you do this?
For me, the answer is: because I want to empower women and give them the tools to fulfill their potential. This is what drives me every singe day.
WHAT do you do, REALLY?
What’s underneath the obvious: your services or products? What do you really do and how do you really change people’s lives?
My answer to this question is: I give women the tools to grow their businesses and support the vision they have for themselves, so they can live a life of freedom, passion, and fulfilment.
From our portfolio: branding for Maria Catala: makeup artist based in Alicante, Spain View case study here
Understand your audience and what makes them tick (a.k.a. engage with your brand and eventually buy from you).
It’s not only as simple as understanding how old they are and where they live.
Most people are not ready to buy when they visit your website. They are merely at the stage of doing their research or checking the options out. Most of the time, they are even earlier in the process where they don’t realise what sort of problem (or need) they have YET.
You need to clarify and discover the steps people need to take from a cold lead (someone who has never heard of you before) through warm and hot lead all the way to the buyer and loyal customer.
You need to:
- clarify the needs, desires and pain points of your ideal client,
- learn how to attract new customers,
- discover what people WANT but won’t tell you,
- recognise the real reason why people invest in products and services,
- and understand why you sell emotions, NOT features.
Some great questions to ask yourself:
- What are they surrounded by right now?
- What do they believe to be true about themselves or their business? (depending on what you’re trying to help them with)
- What do they need to see, hear and feel to engage with your brand and buy from you?
- How are you going to serve them at different stages of their buying process?
- How the EXPERIENCE of working with you/buying your product made them FEEL?
- What DO they know NOW that they DIDN’T know before working with you/buying from you?
- What can they now achieve or accomplish with EASE as a result of working with you?
Those are super powerful questions I invite you to explore! They’re going to teach you a lot about the people you’re trying to serve.
PRO TIP: Do some social listening. People are sharing what you need to know all over the place, just start noticing that and jot it down for later.
Use strategic design and color psychology to choose the visuals that are going to represent your brand’s personality and values AND appeal to your ideal people.
It takes twice as long to understand and see the meaning of words than it is to process a symbol or a visual.
Visuals are super powerful and when used correctly, they can boost your brand beyond what you thought was possible.
They can boost your likability factor.
They can help you build authority and trust.
They can facilitate the selling process.
They can help you position yourself as an expert.
On the other hand, when done poorly, they can:
Make people confused and leave them with this feeling about your brand (you do NOT want that).
Affect your like, know and trust factor negatively.
Make your brand look unprofessional and make you lose money and opportunities.
Impact the perception your audience has of your brand negatively.
If your visuals are designed poorly, you may put people off and lose trust.
Even if you have amazing product or service, if your branding is low quality and your website layout does not retain your audience (because for example, it’s difficult to read, has too many visuals or is poorly designed overall) people won’t even read your website. They will leave, feeling overwhelmed – and this is the feeling that will stay with them and that they recall when thinking about your brand.
Brand identity is so much more than your logo (which is simply a symbol in the whole identity system). Your branding has some touchpoints where your clients get in contact with it. Some examples can be:
- your brand identity: logo, colors, fonts,
- Your website
- Your photography
- Your customer service and the experience people have with your brand,
- Your services and products: what and HOW you choose to offer your products or services,
- Your pricing,
- Your customer experience: so the whole experience from the very first contact with your brand, to the moment they receive their products and service and even beyond that.
It’s crucial that the visuals you choose are all in line with your overall brand strategy and you’ll notice people remember your brand, relate to it and buy from it.
Create Brand Style Guide
Create a document where all your branding is documented: from strategy to the choice of colors (with exact color codes!), fonts and imagery. Keep it on hand so you keep your brand consistent whatever you do!
Be flexible, but smart and consistent.
If you need to make changes to your branding because your business evolved or because you’re launching a new product or service, make changes to the whole branding, not business cards and not anything else.
“Branding isn’t what YOU say it is. It’s what THEY say it is.” – Marty Neumeier, author, speaker, branding expert
We only buy from brands we know, like and trust. Gaining this likeability and trust factor is not easy, but with the smart strategy and right visuals, it’s possible for you too.