The Basics of Visual Brand Strategy

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Way back in the olden days of 2010, I started FIVE12 STUDIO (nee CNICOLE PHOTODESIGN) without any real direction or goal.

I wanted to design and shoot photography, but that's all I thought about. I didn’t identify my target audience, what aspect of design I wanted to get into, or how I wanted to pitch myself.

Eventually, I had clients I designed logos for, but after I sent them their .zip files, they went on their married way.

“Let me know if you need anything else!” I said waving like a parent sending their child back to school after a snow week.

Visual Brand Strategy—Because having a logo isn’t enough.

Being passionate about brands, I want to see their branding on every channel their name sits on. Your website, Facebook page, and business cards need to reflect the same visuals to connect the messaging you want for your audience. 

One day I sat down and planned who I wanted to market to. I was in a local coffee shop downtown and thought, “This could be a cool little strip in 10 years.” 

I wrote my major goal, help local small businesses define and design their brand that keeps within their vision and maximizes their goals. 

I’m a dreamer, but it’s more about what I see for others and less about what I see for myself.

And this is how I approach my business. 

Being people, community, and results-oriented is why I went from a design studio to a visual brand strategy studio. Because I believe anyone can ask you for a logo and you can say, “yes,” design something great and send them on their way.

But then what? How will they execute the logo? How will they use their branding (more than a logo) that you’ve created it for them? What if they love their branding elements but don't know how to use it?

The need for visual brand strategy 

You want to maximize the elements of your brand to help your business make money. After all, you invested in it, right?

When you push on social media, you want people to connect your images and your content to your website. You want your website to connect with your business. It’s a circle of life, your business life.

You have to be proactive with your brand- in every aspect, in every way.

Imagine launching a new product. You built the hype, sent out the emails and posted online. The day finally arrives that you’re no longer just talking about it. The release date is here and you see a spike in foot or web traffic. Sure, there’s hype the first hour you let your audience know there’s something new, but how do you keep that up? How do you invite your audience in and make them brand loyalists? Brand loyalists are people who swear by a certain product and most likely sing your praises. It’s the word of mouth every business needs to survive.

Remember your first love? I do. It was real life boy Casper played by Devon Sara. I remember the super giddy feeling I got in the movie theater as I realized not ALL boys are “icky-nasty.”

This is the feeling your audience needs to have when they talk about you. They need to have that super giddy, palms are sweaty, heart happily racing because they love you so much feeling.

“Look them up on Facebook!” should be followed with, a lot of “oohs and awws” because you took the time to articulate the best you have to offer. 

Why visual brand strategy? 

Because going beyond the logo allows you to exceed your investment and increase revenue. 

Visual brand strategy understands your audience need to see and remember you, create hype, and establish brand loyalty.

Any more questions? Leave me a note in the comments :)


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