In marketing and advertising, nothing is arguably more essential than imagery. This is especially true when a computer screen, mobile device, or other medium stands between the individual receiving your message and your product.
When there’s no opportunity to touch, feel, taste, or smell something, sight quickly becomes the most valuable sense. Are you effectively using imagery as a part of your company’s overall strategy?
The Value of Corporate Imagery in Branding
If you want to grasp the value of imagery in the business-consumer relationship fully, you have to stop looking at it from the business perspective and switch to the mindset of the consumer. In other words, think of yourself as the consumer.
What emotions do you experience in connection with particular logos you see on a regular basis? Think about popular brands such as Coca-Cola, Nike, Walmart, McDonalds, Apple, AT&T, and Google.
Whether you realized it before or you didn’t, each of these images might well inspire a particular feeling. It may be related to the physical color or shape of the logo, an experience you had with the brand in the past, or an expectation it evokes.
As you’ll quickly find when regarding your personal experience, brand imagery can have an incredible influence on your purchase decisions. According to Color Matters, “A single image delivers a lot of information in a very short time because we perceive an image all at once, whereas reading or hearing often takes significantly longer to process the same information.”
Which means that an image typically demands an immediate response.
Key Aspects of Successful Imagery in Branding
While imagery, logos and brand visuals may appear to be simple, they contain a lot more than meets the eye. The imagery the customer sees may appear pretty basic. But the work that goes into creating an effective logo or image is detailed and sophisticated.
Here are some of the key elements that go into successful imagery:
Before any of the following details can be developed or even considered, the purpose of a particular visual must be clearly identified. What value is being sold? What does the customer want? What is the purpose of the visual? All these questions as well as others must be answered.
As you’re probably aware, colors are one of the most powerful elements of imagery in branding. Color is often the most memorable visual component of an image, and certain hues will connect viewers with a particular feeling based on color psychology. According to research, color increases brand recognition by as much as 80 percent.
Shape combines with color to drive value and produce particular emotional responses. Shapes are particularly important because most basic geometric shapes have universal meanings that transcend culture, race and rational values.
Symbolism is directly tied to the combination of certain colors and particular shapes. Brand imagery that incorporates preexisting symbolism can hone in on specific emotions and feelings if you want to develop brand equity.
Sometimes the best brand logos and images are the simplest. Think about the simple Nike swoosh, the McDonald’s “M,” colored Google lettering, the Starbucks mermaid, or cursive Coke script. Brand imagery is at its best when it can put shapes, colors, symbolism and purpose together in a simple visual statement.
Standing Out From the Crowd
It’s no surprise that small brands are at a disadvantage when competing against large brands for recognition and marketing. There are certain things small businesses can do, however, to ensure their market efforts are maximized through the use of effective, high-quality imagery.
Chief among these is understanding who your audience is and learning to differentiate between needs and desires. How can you trigger an emotional response? How might this response ultimately lead to a valuable conversion? How do you produce shocking, nostalgic, funny, or enlightening imagery in keeping with your brand?
Second, you need to give consumers a reason to act. “While people may seem random and different in many senses, they are ultimately all driven by the same things. They are seeking reasons to take action and want to be logically — or emotionally — convinced to do so,” says web hosting firm FatCow.
It also requires large doses of patience and commitment to maximize the usefulness of imagery for a marketing and branding situation. Accept that it’s going to take a while for your logo and imagery to develop any traction in the marketplace.
Once it does, though, it will all be worth it. Brand equity supersedes almost any other marketing gimmick and advertising strategy your competitors might throw at consumers.
Trusting Imagery to Work
It takes time and effort to develop logos and visuals to reach consumers effectively and have a significant impact on purchasing decisions. Remember it will take work but have patience and trust that this effort will pay off and eventually have a positive impact on your marketing strategy.
Learn to believe in your imagery and you’ll find brand equity and success will likely follow.
Brand Imagery Photo via Shutterstock
More in: Branding
A brand is more than just a symbol. It should elicit an emotion when seen. You have to keep the look of the logo aligned with the emotions you want to elicit.
Nice point there, Aira. But if a brand is just starting out, they need to wait for sometime before people get a ‘feel’ of who they really are. After all, every company is in competition with one another. So it’s normal that some brands will stand out because they’ve been here longer. We should have confidence in our logo – our products, and our company vision.
Good post. For improving your business reputation in market you have to plan brand strategy in that you target your audience, decide color and design for your logo, create social media profiles etc. Gets all information regarding branding at brandharvest. It is famous brand agency in India.
Good article Drew. Although I might argue that your strategy affects your imagery rather than your imagery affects your strategy. Either way, I agree with the general concept of using imagery that sets you apart. At Mystique Brand Communications we also challenge the customer to broaden their perspectives by viewing the world through the eyes of their customers, employees, competitors and influencers. The process helps identify the values their brand represents – and define the unique character that should exist in every experience with it.