Same Brand, Different Networks: Visual Branding 101

  •    Freelance journalist covering women, business, policy and social good.

When you consider that the human brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text, it's no surprise that visual branding is such an important component of any business identity. Creating a strong visual brand for your website or store not only helps customers to identify your business, but to remember it as well. What's more, a memorable visual brand can help to create consistency for your site or store across different social media platforms.

Creating Consistency

The secret to creating a strong visual brand is to maintain consistency among all the design elements in your marketing channels, including your business logo, distinct color palette and high-quality imagery. Of course, each social media platform has a distinct audience and presentation. Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat, for example, are focused primarily on visual images while YouTube offers more direct engagement through videos. LinkedIn focuses on business users, in contrast to Twitter's younger, more global audience.

Creating a comprehensive strategy of visual unity for your logo, colors and images, will enable you to adapt your marketing message to different social medial channels without losing your brand identity.

“The visual elements of your brand are a powerful reinforcement of what you're trying to achieve," said Jayson DeMers, CEO of AudienceBloom. It's important to use your logo in all of your social-media profiles, he said, and to position it the same way each time. Using the same color palette and images in each channel creates further consistency, as well as creating a common template for all your social media graphics.

“A logo is the central, identifiable visual element that helps customers discover, share and remember a company's brand," according to Gerren Lamson. Whether it's a symbol, a logotype, or a combination of both, your logo should be both simple and memorable. Once you create your logo, it should also inform all other design elements of your visual brand.

To get started, you can try using an online logo creator or build a logo yourself using the Logo Maker app in the Weebly app store.

Choosing A Color Palette

A distinct color scheme is critical to visual branding. Think about how many iconic brands are identifiable by a single color. Research shows that customers make subconscious judgments about products within 90 seconds of their initial viewing, with up to 90 percent of that assessment based on color, according to the Institute for Color Research. Again, simple is key when it comes to choosing a color palette for your website or store, with one signature color and up to three different hues. Use the same color scheme across all marketing materials and social media platforms.

To change the color palette on your Weebly site, you can easily change the theme from your dashboard, customize your background, change email colors, or use the Change Colors button in Weebly Promote to change button colors or backgrounds in email campaigns.

Selecting An Image

High-quality images are also essential to strong visual branding. You can create or purchase a set of high-resolution images that are consistent with your brand identity and can be reused across different marketing and social media channels. You can easily create a photo gallery of brand images for your site, or take advantage of Weebly's extensive photo library, which includes a searchable database of free-use and paid photos.

Some 75 percent of customers say they make judgments about a company's credibility based on its website design, according to Kinesis from Stanford University. By creating a unified visual brand, small businesses can effectively engage customers across multiple social media channels.