There are a myriad of ways companies embed their brands in the minds of their audience. From the distinct scents, feel and textures to unique logos and other such elements, brands have the means to reach out to their audience, even outside the context of advertising and marketing.
Perhaps the most significant way brands reach out to their audience is through visual stimuli. Try strolling outside for a second and notice how plenty of visual elements out in the open are actual branded messages/stimuli that correspond to a multitude of brands. If there’s any direct, uncontrollable access point to our brains (i.e. memories, perception and emotion), it’s through the eyes. We are visual animals, after all.
Here are some of the most significant visual components used in branding campaigns for salience, recognition and consistency.
It’s not a secret how colours have distinct meanings and interpretations based on context and mental resonance. Brands use colours and their near-infinite variations 1) to differentiate themselves from one another and 2) to evoke emotions or establish a mental image.
Just look at how Facebook and Twitter both use blue, a colour that stands for trust, intelligence and confidence, in different hues to differentiate their brands. Another example is Kodak and its iconic Kodak Yellow, based on a colour that usually denotes optimism, happiness and enthusiasm.
Design and graphic elements
Keep an archive of digital elements and visual assets that your brand can use to sustain a consistent image. Even minor design elements like breakers, banners, buttons and layout affect your brand’s perception as a whole.
Logos and logotypes are used to represent brands visually across all media. Often placed in advertisements and marketing collaterals, the logo is a standout asset that immediately gives an idea on what a brand is all about. Brands typically use logos that have something to do with their industry for better recall and salience.
Apple’s logo is instantly recognisable, and has evolved many times to appeal to their audience. On the other end of that spectrum, WD-40’s classically timeless logotype never really needed to evolve throughout the years.
Typography and fonts
The devil is in the details. When creating a consistent and salient brand, note that fonts and typography are crucial elements.
Fonts are the voice of your brand on paper (and online) as they communicate your messages. Professional brands call for professional and sophisticated fonts while other brands can adapt playful (but still readable) fonts. Stick to font families that represent what your brand is all about.
While not all brands have mascots, they are visual brand elements that create good recall especially in brands that appeal to young audiences. Mascots are used as fictional spokespeople of brands and products. From anthropomorphic objects to animals and plants, mascots are used to make the brand seem approachable.
Here’s an example: While their mascot is atypical, Dos Equis, a Mexican beer brand, became known through the viral success that is its mascot, The Most Interesting Man in the World.
Visual elements can develop into brand assets that hold value and denote your brand’s reputation. Harness these elements in your branding campaign to create a visually distinct, salient and memorable brand.