Fact it, your potential customers don’t really know you. They don’t know if you’re well established or fly-by-night. They don’t know if you’re honest or if you treat your customers well. All they have to go on is what they see in your logo, business cards, website or other marketing materials. In an eyeblink, you’ve formed your first impression… and possibly your last.
Visual branding is about harnessing this at-a-glance sense to boost your business success. It’s about using your business’s “dress and body language” to attract more customers – and in order to do this you will need to appear trustworthy.
Most of your future customers won’t have word-of-mouth to rely on. They’ve got to decide on their own whom to trust. That’s the mission of your logo, website or brochure—your business dress and body language. Your visual branding.
To underscore this idea’s importance, take it a step further. Gaining your potential customer’s trust and belief can also be called credibility. The more credibility you build, the more likely they will buy from you. The word “credibility” comes from credo, Latin for “I believe”. Not coincidentally, the word “credit” also comes from credo. You can obtain lots of credit when lenders believe in you and your ability to repay. That’s not all. The green folding money in your wallet is backed by “the full faith and credit” of the US Government. If it wasn’t for this belief, greenbacks wouldn’t be worth the high-tech paper they’re printed on. So our entire economy, and your business in particular, are built on a foundation of credibility. Belief. That’s how important visual branding is, and your expression of it in things like your logo, website and brochures.
Here are a few basics to help your business look credible:
1. Aim for simplicity and lack of clutter. (Think Apple, the master of simplicity in branding.)
2. Create or demand a clean, well balanced graphic design.
3. Use one or two basic colors that go well together, not a hodgepodge.
4. Choose one font and stick with it. You can express almost anything by using variations within a single font family: size, weight (boldness), Italics, etc. If you really must, choose a second font for major headlines. But first try it with one font.
5. Coordinate a single look—design, colors, etc.—across all marketing materials, including your logo, website, brochures, ads and signage.
Give your business the dress and body language that will literally show your future customers that they can believe in you. Harness their highly evolved at-a-glance sense to build instant credibility.