Why is a visual brand important? Is a visual corporate identity necessary?
These are questions the branding experts at How to Build a Brand are asked quite often, and the best answer runs much deeper than the standard “It’s a good investment.” Most consumers judge brands by their appearances, they infer story and meaning from the visuals they see, they determine the values (and value) of a brand, they receive a message…and there’s something even more important.
There are real, concrete, and psychologically backed reasons for developing a visual corporate identity. And before I waste any more time on the introduction, here we go…
Visual Corporate Identity, as Processed by the Human Brain
Literacy is unique to the human race; however, the reading of text isn’t our greatest literacy skill. Visual literacy outweighs all other forms of communication digestion.
According to psychologist Albert Mehrabian, 93% of all communication is nonverbal. This is largely due to humans’ development throughout history. Before written communication, which came about only 3,700 years ago, we had already been communicating with visuals for approximately 26,300 years. And so, our brains practically grew around this type of literacy. Even today, children see, recognise, and comprehend…all before they can speak (and eventually read).
Even today, the human brain digests visuals much more efficiently than it comprehends text. A grouping of visuals is interpreted simultaneously (and therefore instantaneously), whilst text is read and digested in a linear, sequential fashion (which takes longer).
Images are also more memorable than text. Words are processed by the short-term memory, and there’s an approximate seven-bit limit to what can be absorbed in one sitting. To the contrary, images are transported directly to our long-term memory banks—and are therefore difficult to forget.
Another reason visuals are so important to corporate identity is the emotional punch they deliver. Not only are emotions stronger when images are viewed, those emotions are felt more quickly than with words. Remember that our reptilian brains developed alongside imagery and are therefore highly reactive to it. And as most marketers know, you only have a few seconds to grasp the attention of a prospect. After that, you’ve lost them. This is the reason road signs indicating hazards are generally depicted with images: Emotions, strong and with urgency.
Visuals are processed 60,000 times more quickly than text.
Visuals elicit emotions immediately.
Consumers’ decisions are based on emotion.
Make more sense now? Can you see how a visual corporate identity is crucial for recognition, memory, and loyalty?
Your visual corporate identity is your brand message, in imagery. It conveys your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) and conveys both the values of your brand and the value (£) of your brand. And when your visual corporate identity is perfectly in-line with your text, audio, video, and spoken brand language, you will build trust and bolster your brand’s reputation in the market.
Interested in learning more about the importance (and implementation) of visual corporate identity? Sign up for our next B.R.A.N.D. Building Bootcamp, where you’ll learn to make your brand more visible, credible, and profitable…all in one fully immersive day of branding wisdom. Register now. Seats fill quickly.