In the first article in my branding series, I covered what it takes to create a total brand experience, including the promises a brand makes to customers and how people associate certain thoughts and feelings with brands. Now, let’s delve more into the details of visuals and how they can enhance your brand in some different ways.
You Need More Than a Primary Logo
Although your logo is the center of your branding efforts, it’s only the beginning.
While you may have developed a primary logo for your business, it’s important to have more than one version of it to use in different scenarios—and to keep your brand from becoming boring. The logo you use on your website might also not be appropriate when it comes to your printed materials and social media profiles, and vice versa.
But you might need to use a secondary logo if space on a web page or printed document is limited. Some firms, for example, have a version of their logo that contains only an image, rather than including the name of the firm itself. This allows you to maintain your brand image while meeting the different demands of various platforms.
How Your Color Scheme Reflects Your Brand
Although many studies have attempted to find the color schemes to which consumers will best respond, colors are extremely connected to each person’s feelings and experiences, and so these studies have been largely inconclusive. More broadly, however, it appears that the impact of colors on consumers depends on the types of products and services the brand in question offers. Essentially, the colors you use should fit your offerings.
In one study, researchers found that purchasing decisions might be profoundly impacted by color simply because they have an enormous effect on how people perceive a brand. Most law firms, for example, opt for bold and traditional over bright and flashy, as they typically aim to establish a sense of professionalism and authority in their branding.
It’s easy to see why color is so important to a brand’s effectiveness. A University of Loyola study found that color increases individuals’ recognition of a brand by about 80 percent, while 92 percent of consumers surveyed said that they place top priority on visual factors when making purchase decisions.
Furthermore, there’s evidence to suggest that color increases one’s ability to remember something, as it allows the brain to process and store images more efficiently than it does with grayscale images.
When it comes to choosing the color scheme for your brand, it’s worth looking at the different feelings with which certain colors are generally associated. For example:
- Green: This color displays a sense of health, wellness, and wholesomeness. Examples include Whole Foods, Android, and Starbucks. Law firms focusing on family law might want to use green in their branding.
- Red: Energetic and bold, this color is at the center of brands like Target, Coca-Cola, and YouTube. Firms focused on personal injury law might use red if they want to convey they will fight aggressively for their clients.
- Black: Brands that use black as a core color typically want to display class, dignity, and sophistication. Examples are Bentley, Adidas and the New York Times. Many business and corporate law firms make heavy use of black as well.
- Blue: This color is used to display a sense of honesty and reliability. LinkedIn and Visa use blue at the core of their brands, for example. Blue might work well for a law firm focused on estate planning.
Using Visuals in Your Content
There are a number of ways to use your logo and visuals for your brand, including on printed materials like your letterhead, business cards, brochures, and billboards. You should use the same logo (or a standardized variety of it) on all of this marketing collateral, as it will help you reaffirm your brand in the eyes of your current and potential clients–along with your fellow attorneys and other partners.
Visuals also play a significant role on social media, going far beyond which logo you use. When you post to your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles, be sure to include photos of you and your staff, and you may use stock images that are relevant to your posts. Social media posts that include visuals have much higher click-through rates, as images grab the attention of users and encourage them to read more.
The same goes for your blog posts and email marketing efforts. Each piece of content you create and post should have an image associated with it, whether it’s a headshot of the author or a photo of something relevant to the topic of the content. And if you’re engaged in an email marketing campaign, be sure to feature one or two images within each message, as it will increase the likelihood that the recipient will actually read it.
Visuals are a cornerstone of your firm’s overall branding efforts, and there are many different ways you can use your logo, images and messaging to convey the value your practice and its attorneys offer to clients. Be sure to keep this in mind as you continue to develop your unique brand and reach out to legal consumers in an increasingly dynamic digital world.
Read the next post in this series: "14 Visual Identity Systems to Inspire Law-Firm Brands."