Seeing is Believing

How do the visual components of your brand affect buying decisions in your customers?

Wendy Ruyle 6.17.2020

Don’t judge a book by the cover, the old saying goes. Unfortunately, your customers are judging your business by the image it projects. Here are a few ways to make sure you are communicating your true value.

Even if it’s subconscious, the visual components of your brand are often the first thing customers react to. Are your brand’s visuals conveying who you really are? Are they expressing your true offerings, culture, and value?

Tap into emotions

We’ve written in other posts about the connection between emotions and decision making. Particularly buying decisions. It’s true that we decide to engage with a brand based on our emotional tie to them. Photos, illustrations, typefaces, color palettes, and other visual elements can make us feel happy, sad, empathetic, joyous, or enraged. They can feel comforting and familiar or unique and intriguing.

Your visuals need to match the emotions you are seeking. Do you sell soft, fuzzy blankets? Then your visuals might need to be cozy and warm with soft, inviting colors, using rounded typefaces with lots of airy white space. Are you selling sports drinks? Then bright colors, loud graphics, and bold and blocky typefaces might do the trick.

Gain trust

When you pay attention to the details of your visuals you communicate your professionalism, which leads to trust. A British study analyzing health-related websites found that the design of the site, not the content, determined the level of trust among participants. This is not to say the content isn’t important, but no one’s going to get to the content if they don’t trust you first.

Make sure your visuals are appealing, but more importantly, that they reflect your true culture and value to your customers. If your visual components match the experience they have with your brand—online, in person, over the phone, on social media, etc.—you will gain trust.

Elicit action

The better your graphics are, the more likely they are to be shared on social media, worn on garments, and displayed on bikes, backpacks, and bumper stickers. You know you’ve truly gained a brand ambassador when they are willing to put your design on their personal item and share it with friends.

Better can mean a lot of things. It could be cool, hip, trendy, elegant, profound, peaceful, joyful, empathetic, raucous, subversive, or just plain cute. Again, what matters is it reflects your brand values and where they intersect with your customer’s values.

Taking the time to create a visual system that is appealing to the emotions will make your customers trust you, choose you, and recommend you.

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