15 ways to use visual branding

visual brandingVisual branding involves using a unique combination of logos, shapes, fonts and colours to stand out from the crowd. Most business owners come up with a visual brand by employing the help of a graphic designer.

It’s then a case of displaying this visual brand in key places. This guide details some of the best places to use visual branding and the positive effects that this could have.

Signage

Signage is the most obvious form of a visual branding. If you have business premises – whether it’s a store or an office – it’s always worth having a sign outside, allowing visitors to identify your company building. It’s also possible to use interior signage to further build upon your visual brand – everything from toilet signs and shelf pricing can be displayed in a certain colour and font to help build a clear brand identity. Signage could also come in handy at events. If you’re an online business and you conduct all your work digitally, you may have no use for signage.

Packaging

In the case of products, it could be worth considering branded packaging. This could include anything from cardboard boxes to plastic drink pouches. Branded packaging can help your product to stand out on the shelf. It can also show people that you’ve got a serious mass-produced product and that you’re not just a producer of one-off craft items. When designing packaging there are all kinds of things to consider from tessellation to recyclability – you’re best off hiring a packaging designer to help you choose the right type of packaging.

Shopping bags

When it comes to shops, bags serve as an important method of visual branding. Many shoppers will take bags home and re-use them – when re-using your bag, they may be reminded of your company in the process. Other shoppers may also see these bags and become aware of your brand. Finally, bags can create brand loyalty – many companies now offer bags for life which then encourage shoppers to revisit in order to get use out of these bags (most consumers don’t like to enter a store with a branded bag from another shop and would much shop at the store from where the bag came from).

Uniforms

Some companies may also consider branded uniforms. Having a branded uniform for your staff to all wear can have many benefits for your employees such as encouraging camaraderie and equality. When it comes to your customers, branded uniforms can make your employees easier to distinguish – it can be awkward walking into a store and not knowing who the staff are because they’re all dressed casually. There are custom clothing companies that can produce uniforms for you.

Your vehicle

You can all display visual branding on your company vehicle if you have one. If clients are waiting for you to arrive in your vehicle, this makes you easy to identify. It can also turn your vehicle into a moving advertisement, helping you to generate leads. Vinyl wrapping is the most common way to display visual branding – it’s cheaper than printing directly onto the bodywork and less permanent. Other forms of visual branding could include bumper stickers or magnetic roof signs.

Flyers

Flyers are one of the simplest and most versatile forms of marketing. They can be handed out to strangers on the street, targeted at specific people’s mailboxes or placed on noticeboards in key places. Along with offering some brief information on your company, flyers can help to boost your visual brand. You can design and print off your own flyers, however some people may find it easier to approach a flyer production company. A great advantage of flyers is that they’re cheap, making them suitable for those marketing on a budget.

Business cards

Business cards are often used to quickly exchange contact details. However, they can also be used to spread brand awareness. Like flyers, you can distribute them in key places. Meanwhile, many shops will keep a stack of business cards on their counter that customers can take away. Most people keep business cards in their wallet and they can serve a constant reminder of your company every time you look through your wallet.

Loyalty cards

Another form of card, loyalty cards inspire return customers by allowing users to collect points or stamps which can be used to gain discounts and freebies at a later date. Like business cards, consumers will constantly be reminded of your company every time they open their wallet. Loyalty cards can similarly be placed on a shop counter for shoppers to take away.

Billboards

Billboards allow you to take advantage of visual branding on a large scale. Because billboards are often position at the roadside and viewed by drivers at a glance, they generally have little text and focus on eye-catching images and colours. There are professionals that can design billboards for you. You’ll need to find an available billboard to place your ad, which isn’t always easy – this is something you should look into beforehand.

Newspaper/magazine adverts

Newspaper and magazine adverts could also be worth investing in. Readers may see your adverts and may be familiarised with your brand. When it comes to magazines, you should try to target magazines that have content related to your business so that you have the best chance of generating leads. Local newspapers meanwhile could be great for spreading awareness within your local community, which could be ideal if you’re a local business. The cost of these ads depends on the size and the placement within the publication (a two page centrefold ad is likely to very expensive).

Your website

Your website is also a form of visual branding. A professional designed website tells consumers that you’re a professional company and it can help to win over the trust of visitors. Whilst you can build your own website using free builders like WordPress, such website can often feel too ‘template-y’ and may take away from the individuality of your brand. You want a website that uses the same fonts and colours as the rest of your branding – this can help to build a sense of consistency online and offline. Most websites contain a logo at the top or in the top left hand corner. You can also design your own favicon to display next to your web address in the web address bar.

Social media

You can also use social media to further promote your brand. Facebook cover photos and Twitter banners are a great opportunity for visual branding, whilst you’ll also need to settle on a suitable profile picture. You can also create branded infographics to share on social media and even branded memes.

PPC ads

PPC ads will help to build awareness of your brand across the web. These are online adverts that will display until a certain amount of users have clicked on them – you pay for the amount of clicks you want hence the name Pay-per-click (PPC). Whilst this includes text ads on search engines, it’s display ads that will really be your chance to take advantage of visual branding. You’re best off hiring a graphic designer to produce one of these ads. These ads are similar to newspaper/magazine adverts with the bonus of being able to make them animated.

Your emails

It’s also possible to incorporate visual branding into your email signature. Signing off your emails with your name and logo can give your emails a more professional edge and could make consumers trust you more. Setting up an email signature is relatively easy – just make sure that your logo is a suitable size.

Apps

Apps are one of the most modern forms of marketing. An app allows you to leave a physical reminder of your brand on your customers smartphones. Ideally, an app should be something useful such as a digital loyalty card or a virtual catalogue for your business. Try to keep to the same fonts and colours as your website so that it feels like an extension of your digital marketing. You can also use your logo as an app icon.