Discover Your Top Six Visual Storytelling Superpowers

Discover Your Top Six Visual Storytelling Superpowers

Do you remember the last time that you were enraptured by a product or service? Was it that new TV series that you watched back-to-back, in one long sofa marathon, that new video game; or the designer collection of clothes that you just had to have? Something that was so engaging that you just couldn’t turn away. Most of us, at some time would have felt hopelessly hooked by the emotion behind a product and even felt a desperate sense of mourning and craving for more, once it had been consumed.

If you have felt this way, you were most probably seduced by the illustrious powers of a good story. Stories have been shared in every culture since humans first walked the earth, as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation and instilling moral values.

Shadowed in the mists of time, the origins of the art of storytelling are unknown, but it is believed they originally had two functions. One function was to entertain, but the other, and main function was to quell the fears of primitive humans and to promote a prominent leader to guide the pack. The priest, the judge, the ruler. They were perhaps the earliest and most prolific story tellers, garnering positions of power and respect that settled the minds of tribesmen, solidifying a sense of security when natural phenomena could not be explained.

The art of storytelling is such an extremely effective and unifying tool because it packages important information and emotions into a format that can be easily consumed, remembered and passed down through the generations.

So how can we utilize these lessons to become a market leader with a memorable, long-lasting brand that solves the needs of our consumers, calming and satisfying them? Firstly, we must consider why we create products and their brands in the first place.

The sole reason to develop a product is to create value for the organization and user by serving the specific needs and desires of the target consumer. The purpose of a brand is to communicate the unique mix of intangible and tangible, words, images and feelings that motivate the target market to buy a product. Storytelling is the most powerful means to convey that essence. When creating a brand, you must tell its story, and illustrate its tone of voice, what it stands for and why it matters to the audience. It is the simplest way to reach an audience, and surely the most powerful.

The UAE based airline, Emirates is a prime example of this sentiment and the results are self-evident. Officially ranked by Brand Finance Global, as the World’s most valuable airline brand and the Region’s top brand in 2016, they reported a tremendous 17 percent growth in brand equity over the last year to reach US $7.7 billion. Emirates’ solid brand positioning is grounded in its famous reputation for world-class service, a status largely achieved by its ability to deliver powerful story-telling campaigns, the most memorable being, “Hello Tomorrow”. The brand promise alone delivers a substantial message to its target audience and a strong, aspirational call to action. A message firmly supported across multiple touch points, in their visual, text and face-to-face communication.

However, whilst Emirates’ is an example of a mature brand implementing storytelling, what are the key elements for new companies and their products?

At Brand Lounge, we take a systematic approach to helping our clients uncover the heart of their brand and their core reason for being.  Through extensive questions, we guide clients to deeply consider their brands positioning against competitors, their tone of voice and the character they want to be recognized for.  Each of these elements contributes to the brands overall strategy that will be its point of differentiation.

In a climate of intensifying competition, where there is little functional difference between products, branding is increasingly important to create mood and carry conviction.  According to Psychology Today, each of us is subjected to anywhere between 3,000 and 10,000 brand exposures every day.  Mentally walk through the brands you encounter in your short morning routine and you will realize the validity of those statistics.

So, once a core brand strategy has been defined, we then focus on six key design elements that encompass that emotion.

Logo

This is the first touchpoint that encapsulates your identity and should tick as many boxes of your story as possible.  Far beyond just being aesthetically pleasing, your logo carries deep symbolic and emotional meaning.  Its role must be understood in today’s context and for future relevance.

At Brand Lounge, we followed our five-phase brand development process to create the new logo for the Nigerian energy and investment company, Jagal. The striking element was the partnership between investment and energy, two precious jewels that combine to create something even larger and more valuable.  The logo depicts the value and investment aspect of the organisation through the diamond shape, whilst retaining the structured lines that denote the industrial function of the company and their strategic approach.  The format is simple, clear and timeless, making it legible across multiple formats.

Colour

A great deal of research has been conducted into the subconscious psychological emotions evoked by even the most minute variations in shades and tones of colour.  Personal preference, experiences and culture make colour palettes especially subjective, particularly in the multi-culturally diverse Middle East region, but there are still broader messaging patterns to be found in colour perception.  Most famous of these is the primary colours utilised by fast food branding to induce impulsive hunger.

Brand Lounge ampersand logo is a good example of the use of colour in branding, utilising five specific tones to communicate the five stages of our methodology and the Brand Lounge promise of ‘The Point of Differentiation’.

Photography Style and Imagery

Visual imagery has potentially powerful effects on human psychology and physiology, affecting ideas, perceptions, beliefs, feelings, behaviour and health.  It has been an innate part of the everyday human experience since early cave painters and is an integral part of modern life. The area is gaining growing prominence with the proliferation of simplified digital platforms that rely on the rapid, ‘thumb-stopping’ power of singular imagery.

Brand Lounge differentiated Avivo Clinics in the market through their defined brand identity and particularly, the use of bright images that reflect health and nature in line with their beehive motif. The imagery is positive, calm and motivational, reassuring customers that they are in safe hands and are accessing state-of-the art treatment, technology and service.

Typography

The simplest way to understand the emotional weight of typography is to experiment with laying out everyday words in the typography of famous brands and see how quickly your brain distinguishes their ownership.  This is because of a psychological theory known as the Gestalt principles of design, which says that the brain tends not to focus on the individual pieces of a design, but rather applies a universal understanding to the design in its entirety.  The whimsy and nostalgia of the Disney logo is probably the most famous example of these principles.  The Disney font is notoriously illegible, particularly to its younger demographic, but the brand relies more on the emotional values imbedded in the brand’s identity than its legibility.

Typography was particularly important in the creation of the new AIMS logo and branding. The use of strong, fluid Arabic calligraphy and English typography communicates the company’s solid regional position and international standards in the market, grounded in heritage, but guiding its extensive portfolio to future success.

Graphical Elements and Patterns.

Graphic identities need to reflect the values, demographics, and psychology of their intended audience.  Our brand strategists undertake in-depth research into the long-term market trends and personal habits of your target audience to create these elements.  Specifically, the application of the brand on various platforms, channels and your audience’s exposure to the brand at different times of day.

The graphical approach to Primacare’s branding clearly denotes their positioning to consumers with bright, youthful imagery and stylistic ‘P’ logo.  The curved lines of the ‘P’ reassuringly remind consumers of the familiar, traditional neon pharmacy signage’s, whilst also communicating the company’s integrated service offering that understands and encompass each and every one of their customer’s needs.

Tone of Voice

Whilst it is clear that a definitive shift has occurred from text based to visual storytelling, your brands textual tone of voice of is more crucial than ever and must be consistent across all platforms.  Historically brands relied on longer narratives, but they were restricted to fewer touch points.  Today, your brands tonality must be consistent all the way from product descriptions to your social media presence and customer service instant messaging.

A successful brand, as with any good story, must be well-researched, with a strong emotional hook and clear infrastructure.  Don’t blend in, stand-out.  What will be your point of differentiation?

Brands today sit at the heart of every business, so brand development is about business transformation. We look forward to hearing from you and assisting you with our incorporated branding & design services, that will enable you to deliver a successful and sustainable brand for generations to come. You can take inspiration from the library of client case-studies showcasing their individual brand stories on our website.

Brand Lounge is an established team of brand strategists with extensive knowledge, experience and a passion for branding.  Our five stage methodology, reinforced by solid KPI’s, installs a sound strategic methodology behind your brand that will drive value, growth and overall business performance. Start transforming your company today by contact us on +971 4 4347152 or at info@brandloungeme.com

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