Brand Identity

A necessary component of marketing—and success—of both small and large businesses

By Robert Pace

Why are we drawn to one product over another? Why do we trust one business over another? And why are some brands instantly recognizable and endlessly memorable?

The answer is simply graphic design. Most of us don’t spend our day thinking about this particular topic, but in one way or another, we are continually surrounded by it: the logo on the dashboard of your car, the signs on the side of the highway, the cereal you poured for breakfast, the poster for the latest blockbuster, and even the magazine you’re reading right now. Every day, in every aspect of our lives, companies are sending consumers visual messages via their graphic artists’ designs.

The importance of professionally created imagery is crucial for creating your identity in the marketplace. It goes far beyond clipart and stock photography: design studios have the ability to turn images and text into compelling visuals and marketing collateral that sell. A business—or product—identity is the launch pad for all future marketing. Visual representation of the services or products you offer, your mission, and your overall philosophy may be incorporated into an image that resonates with both existing and prospective clients.

This form of communication will easily illustrate a complicated idea and earn the trust of a consumer. Design can spur our emotions, encompass principles, and represent quality.

Why should a business invest in their identity?

The role of graphic design in your branding is significant, and this expense should be included in your marketing budget.

Credibility. Businesses that invest in quality graphic design are viewed as more professional and more trustworthy. A perception of competence can make or break a business. Consumers are looking for evidence of quality to earn their trust. A quality logo and a clear brand is the best way to display your professionalism.

Stand apart. As consumers, social media, websites, and TV commercials surround us. We are inundated with choices. Standing out in the deluge of daily marketing that consumers are subjected to is vital. Setting your business apart comes down to the importance you place on the graphic design used to represent your brand. Quality design stands out in the minds of consumers and remains in their subconscious, and can deliberately influence their choices. By investing in this component of your marketing strategies, you may significantly increase your ability to become recognizable in the minds of your potential clients and to be portrayed as an honest and qualified business.

Positive impression. It’s simple: looking good makes a favorable first impression. Influential design also allows you to repeat your message and branding allows customers to remember your organization’s top attributes. Consumers tend to form opinions in moments (literally seconds); a poor first impression can be difficult, or impossible, to change. Think about the power of the “five-star” system we live in today—who hasn’t formed an opinion based on a three-star review? Creating the proper identity may give you a “five-star” review in the minds of decision makers regarding your service, company, or product.

Consistency resonates. What idea would you like to present to the market? What tone are you trying to set? Professional graphic design summarizes an idea. It sets the tone in a way that’s pleasing to the eye. Customers don’t always read a document designed to convince us to trust a brand, or buy a product, but they will glance over an image that may resonate with them. A brand must be consistent; all representations of your company or product should be similar in order to establish brand recognition and trust. Utilizing a professionally developed brand identity enables you to create this vital consistency.

Identity. Brand identity is a significant methodology which heightens how you communicate with your target market. By using branding techniques, your organization will effectively convey your intended message in a visually pleasing manner. Remember, careful attention to detail is required in order to connect the client’s message and to implement your overall marketing strategy. A visual brand includes logos, advertisements, sales materials, websites, social media campaigns, brochures, and much more.

Minor details may go unnoticed by the average consumer, but seasoned designers know the most minute detail can make all the difference in the overall success of your marketing strategies. If your business is new, consider the importance of all aspects of marketing and determine how important it is to your overall success. If you are an existing business seeking to rebrand your company, remember to incorporate the importance of a branded identity into your marketing and business plans.

About the Author:

Robert Pace is Vice President and Creative Director of Allen Wayne Design Studio. Robert earned his degree in Visual Communication from the Maryland College of Art and Design. With 20 years of experience in graphic design and illustration using InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Powerpoint, WordPress and Acrobat Pro, he specializes in logo and brand design. He’s the recipient of three APEX awards for design excellence, two Clarion awards for magazine design, and a Mercury award for magazine design. He is also an active member of the Fauquier Chamber; he is a member of the chamber marketing committee and 2017 vice president of the Wednesday leadshare group. In his spare time, he plays bass guitar, makes scale models and has an interest in all-things Star Wars.

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