Effective marketing requires understanding how people process information. When you consider that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text (Sources: 3M Corporation and Zabisco), it’s easy to see how important visual marketing is. It’s an increasingly noisy world and visuals can help a brand stand out, resonate with consumers, and be remembered. Consider these stats that show the power of visual marketing:
- 20% is all that people remember from reading text without visuals – Visually
- More than 84% of communication will be visual by 2018 – Reuters, Cisco Report
- 70% of marketers planned to increase their use of original visual assets in 2015 – Social Media Examiner
To further understand the role of visual marketing in marketing and branding, I asked FreshForm Senior Interaction Designer Rami Waiche some questions about visual marketing. In this Q&A, Rami explains the role of visual marketing in branding, why brands need to adopt their own visual style, the importance of color, and stock photography.
How important is visual marketing in branding?
Visual marketing is a very important tool used to help craft a perception or expectation for your product, message or other value you are marketing. What you say about your product is only one aspect of your branding. How people actually perceive your brand is the true indication of the value of your brand and it’s not done overnight with one or two new campaigns.
Is visual marketing more important today than it has been before, or are marketers just beginning to understand the importance of it?
Visual marketing has always been important to companies that value good creative expression. When you see an ad in which you immediately recognize the brand without even seeing a logo, it’s a clear indication of their investment in consistent, quality, and unique brand expression.
What are the potential problems a brand faces without having a distinct visual marketing style?
All things being equal, the brand that takes the time to create compelling or distinct visual design will stand out from the crowd.
Why does color matter?
Color creates emotional responses. Subconscious and conscious response. Red is a powerful color with lots of meanings. Love, anger, passion, even hunger. I’ve heard red can actually enhance metabolism, which is probably a great reason to use red for that next fast-food logo you are working on. People commonly associate blues and greens with healthcare and/or financial products for the trust and stability.
Colors also have very different cultural meanings. For example, people wear white to funerals in China, while here in the US, black is customary. Make sure you are referencing appropriate color theory in your design, especially when you are reaching different demographics.
Marketers also need to be conscious of designing for colorblindness. There are many tools out there for UI designers to test your designs in. It’s not just to be considerate to your users, but depending on the project, can be a requirement. Especially when working on government projects where there must be accessibility compliance.
How do you feel about stock imagery in marketing?
Stock imagery plays a very important role in marketing. It really comes down to investment and value of photography or illustrations to the parties involved. Stock imagery is perfect for mood boards, mockups, or when clients have absolutely no budget for a custom photo shoot. Keep in mind there are different quality grades of stock imagery available. Stock can get a bad rap because there is so much crap out there and people immediately think of the laughable business team meeting or customer service rep on headphones. We’ve all seen an ad with “that one guy” we’ve seen over and over again on the stock sites. Thankfully there are higher-end assets available to license if that’s an option for your project. As designers, we all want the most killer assets available. Sadly, we don’t always get custom shoots with pro-photographers or videographers for all of our needs!
Thanks Rami for lending your expert insights!