A company’s visual identity encompasses all the graphic elements associated with it: its logo, but also the colors, symbols, fonts, etc. A whole that visually defines the brand.
Though the entrepreneurs I cross paths with tend to view their visual identity as important, it’s rarely a priority. I get it. After all, why spend time and money designing and producing a true visual identity for your business?
If you’re in the idea phase, you still have time ahead of you. Otherwise, take a read through my 5-point answer to that question.
1. It’s the first touchpoint between you and your prospects
Your visual identity is what sends the first strong signal to prospective clients, before they have the chance to assess the quality of your services or product, or even decipher your brand name. This first impression plays an important role in getting them interested in the rest. What signal do you want to send?
2. Designing it will get you asking the right questions
To convey the most relevant and eye-catching image of your business possible, its design is something you need to take seriously. Start by asking the right questions: who is your target audience? What are they sensitive to? Which elements could draw them in, or push them away? What do you want to tell them? Answering these questions will help you in many other areas of your business.
3. It conveys your concept, your values and your professionalism
Flyers, business cards, websites, banners… you’ll need various mediums to talk about your business! A strong visual identity will create harmony between the different formats and help boost your visibility. Plus, a professional-looking visual identity infers that the service your company provides is professional too.
4. It can help you stand out from your competition
The Microsoft window, the Twitter bird, the Starbucks mermaid… there are things beyond the logo that stick with us and help people memorize a brand. For a budding company, it’s a great opportunity to stand out that should not be ignored.
5. It’s a good foundation to work from
Yes siree – do not believe that once you’ve got your visual identity, you can move on and never look back! An attractive visual identity is great to have, but there’s more. If you’re developing a website, a platform or an app, you will need to work on their UI and UX too. That’s a whole other chapter, but you will be able to use your visual identity to help those along if it is well established.
I hope I’ve managed to convince you! But before you run to the nearest communication agency, remember you have other possibilities. Even the smallest budgets can get you a strong and relevant visual identity. Here are some of the solutions out there:
- Use your network: maybe a designer friend could cut you a deal, or someone could recommend quality services they’ve used,
- Ask Google: there are lots of freelance websites with very reasonably priced packages (99designs or Upwork to name a few),
- Of course, you can also design it yourself using tools like Canva, for instance. It probably won’t have the same impact as a professional’s work, but it is a less costly option. However, do consider the additional cost of an all-new more professional look once your business is off the ground and doing well.
Be cautious when it comes to all-in-one packages. Does your digital transformation consultancy business really need letterheads and envelopes? Perhaps your restaurant could consider merging business and loyalty cards into one! Take due time to think about your communication needs to make sure you get what you need from the person you decide to work with. Most professionals can help you with this, even if, unfortunately, some are better salespeople than consultants.
After a while, you might come to realize your image no longer matches your offering. No need to panic. You can always rebrand. Give it thought, keep it relevant and plan things out (an example with Blablacar).
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