Visual branding to elicit emotional responses & why it is important

January 19, 2016Uncategorized
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By Lilli Hagan – Marketing Coordinator

The first touch a customer will have with your brand is likely to be with your visual content.

Whether it’s your logo, colour palette or image styles and themes, it’s incredibly important to make a lasting and memorable impression through brand image.

The visual portrayal of your brand should be a symbolic representation of your brand, product or services. Whatever information your customers remember, or whatever they think or feel when your brand name is mentioned – that is your brand.

Two key areas to consider when building out your brand image are emotional and visual branding.

Nike and emotional branding

Emotional branding refers to building a brand’s image with direct consideration to the customer’s ego, emotions, desires and aspirations.

Nike is one of the most effective emotional branding examples on earth. Show anyone an image from a Nike campaign with the branding removed and I guarantee they will still know it’s the sportswear giant.

There are two very key aspects that play into Nike’s recognisable ad campaigns. Firstly, the brand follows clear guidelines when choosing images – they consistently convey authentic, bold, iconic and raw feelings. Secondly, Nike employs a hero archetype to tap into universal emotions. The hero starts from humble beginnings, overcomes challenges and prevails against all odds. In Nike’s case the hero is you, *insert your challenge here*.

With time and repetition of a particular value, emotion or personality, brands can craft a long-term connection with the minds and hearts of their customers. By using this technique, Nike continues to inspire customer loyalty like no other.

Emotional branding tips:

  • Shift your focus to the people: Focus on their desires, needs and pain points. How can your content provide the best experience possible?
  • Create emotionally compelling content: Storytelling goes hand in hand with emotional branding. A good story captivates the audience and builds a connection.
  • End on a strong note: Whether it’s a video or a simple image accompanying a blog, the end mood of the piece will stay with your audience, so aim for an inspiring or happy note.

Glossier and visual branding

Visual branding involves elements like colour, form and shape, which encapsulate and convey meaning without words.

Glossier is a modern beauty brand created by Emily Weiss of Into the Gloss. What originally began as a blog containing interviews with inspiring women about the products they use has turned into a powerhouse brand.

Like emotional branding, visual branding is a creative solution that provides a memorable experience for your customer. Glossier, although only a year-old brand, has developed an extremely strong visual identity. They have built out a consistent theme across all platforms, and content that is so cohesive that their often-curated Instagram and Tumblr feeds are still instantly recognisable to their audience and strictly inside the brand lines (more on visual branding here).

Visual branding tips:

  • Be relevant: Everyone loves a beautiful image. It’s easy to convince yourself that a plane soaring across the LA night sky reflects the content you’re creating for government because the pic is just so damn pretty, but it doesn’t – so you’d better refrain! Run with images that feel authentic to your brand and your audience. Do they make you feel things but also represent the interests of the people you’re trying to connect with?
  • Keep a constant visual: It’s easier for your customer to associate content with your brand when the visuals are consistent. Ask questions like do you want people in your photos? Should they be posed or more natural? What kind of colours are you after? If you’ve been using pictures filled with texture, strictly pale in colour with undertones of pink, it’s probably against the rules to publish a lush green field with horses running across it.
  • Be ‘swipe stopping’: Images should stop your customers in their tracks. Consider different textures, lighting and perspectives. What kind of image would you stop swiping for?

Recently here at King Content we’ve been working on the visual branding across all of our collateral. If you’re a regular visitor to our website or on our mailing list for The Week in Content Marketing then you might have noticed a change in images, font style and design.

In particular, we have chosen to move away from stock libraries. Instead, we prefer to spend time looking for pictures that not only reflect the content we write and the stories we share, but will also make your eyes light up. We want you to really feel the emotion of the image.

Here’s one of my recent favourites: