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10 Key Elements of Your Small Business's Visual Brand Identity

Date published: June 23, 2020
Last updated: June 23, 2020

Your business might be small, but that doesn't mean your visual brand identity is any less important.

Actually, your need for a visual identity that interacts with your audience is even more significant because of your size, as it's how you'll stand out from the thousands of other small businesses within your market place.

Your visual brand identity of the visible images associated with your business. These elements help you convey how you want to be perceived by your audience. And in business perception is everything.

To ensure you nail your visual brand identity make sure you include the below elements.

1. Audience

Successful businesses know the key to creating a winning visual brand identity is by focusing on what information their target audiences are looking for, rather than what they think their brand should be saying.

By understanding your audience's needs and wants, what's important to them, and what challenges they have, you can begin to shape your visual branding to connect with their core values.

The more in tune your visual branding is with your audience, the more likely they'll relate to it. 

2. Logo

A lot of small business owners start and finish their visual branding identity with a logo, which isn't that surprising.  Many people think that a logo is branding! But, it’s only one element in the overall brand picture that you are drawing. However, it’s a super-important element.

Your logo is the first visual branding customers see. If designed correctly, it can convey your business's values, connect emotionally, and be used throughout your marketing campaigns. While, it’s easier (and cheaper) than ever to design a logo, this doesn’t mean that the value of a logo is less. And sometimes ease, leads to complacency.

Your business logo is one of the lynchpins of your branding. It’s a key brand element. However, many new businesses don’t put too much time into really thinking about what they want their logo to say and express. Because, although small, your logo say’s a lot.

3. Color

Color schemes play an essential role in your visual branding identity because they convey numerous subliminal messages about your company directly to your audience, and colors can connect on emotional levels that are proven to influence customers buying decisions.

You can find the color palette best suited to your market place by looking at which ones your competitors are using, and by delving a little deeper into the world of color theory.

Once you have your palette, you can fine-tune it by adjusting the color contrast. Color contrast probably plays an even more critical role than the color itself and has been proven (when used effectively) to have a direct influence on increasing conversion rates.

4. Typography

The typography you choose will have a lot to say about your business.

As with color, one of the first visual design decisions you have to make is which font style you'll use for your branding identity. This is because your typography will be visible throughout your branding, and it has to suit your market place and platforms by being readable on numerous scales.

The general rule is to use three or fewer font styles, one for headers/titles, another for body content, and an optional third for your logo, as it helps create continuity with your site and other platforms.

5. Social Media Branding

As previously mentioned, your overall visual branding identity should be designed with your customers in mind. Still, this approach is even more critical when it comes to your social media branding.

Yes, you have to focus on small elements like color and typography, but when it comes to social media marketing, it's more about your overall strategy, get that right, and the potential for growth is endless.

However, there are some golden rules that you should follow:

Stay consistent across all your channels by post regularly (there are social media tools that can help with this) and using the same color schemes and profile images, etc. By doing so, you give your business a consistent visual identity that appears professional and creates familiarity with your audience.

6. Content

Content takes many forms, a blog, a website, social media, podcasts, images, videos, live-stream, and data-driven research. While they all require a different approach, they do have one thing in common, your visual brand identity.

Regardless of the platforms you use, your message has to correlate with your brand. And this makes life easier for you because once you have chosen your visual identity's core elements, you can apply them to every type of content you use. Before long, you'll have a brand that online communities will easily recognize.

7. Strategy

Your visual strategy has a purpose. To communicate your message by using visual strategies proven by analytical research to connect with your audience.

And connecting with your audience is what it's all about.

To do this successfully, your marketing decisions must use the principles of visual communication. You have to develop strategies that put your content in front of your audience and convey it in a way that engages and motivates them to act.

Start by finding the platforms that your audiences are using, then research the marketing tactics used on them (for example, on Instagram it's images), then base your strategies around them.

8. Value

A brand's values are what your company stands for and believes in; it could be environmental, profit sharing, sustainability, quality of the workplace, or providing a much-needed solution.

These values are what gives your business a personality, a soul, a conscience, enabling customers to feel they can relate, connect, and bond with your brand over a common cause, without them you're just another faceless corporate machine.

While the values you align yourself with might not suit every potential customer, those that are suited often become lifelong ones, your values also help you stand out from your competitors.

Knowing your brand's values, sticking to them, and communicating them to your market is essential, ensure that they're reflective in everything you do as the public doesn't tolerate hypocrisy.

9. Brand Story

Your brand's story is your brand's personality. It's what customers would say about you behind your back, or in reviews!

A popular way of finding your brands story is to think of it as a person, what would they be like? How would they act, etc.? Or a celebrity, who would it be?

How your company is perceived is based on how it talks (your brand's voice), and it's you that has to set the tone.

When you have a person or in mind, reduce every aspect of their personality into a short description, one that you'd be proud to use to describe your brand.

10. Memorability

A recent statistic shows that consumers need to see a new brand seven times before they'll trust and buy from it, and three-quarters of consumers make their purchasing decisions because of a brand.

This is why your visual brand identity must be memorable, and your business doesn't have to have huge advertising budgets to achieve it.

By focusing on your brand's values, story, content, excellent customer service, high-quality products, and authentic marketing strategies created around your customer's needs, you can build a memorable visual brand identity.

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