Visual Branding: More Than Just a Pretty Face

Visual Branding: More Than Just a Pretty Face

Visual branding goes beyond aesthetics; it has the potential to communicate the essence of your brand, its values, and its personality. By carefully selecting colors, typography, and imagery that align with your brand identity, you can evoke specific emotions and create a lasting impression in the minds of your customers.

Brandon F.
Chief Expozeur Officer

June 21, 2023

Understanding Visual Branding

Did you know that the human brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text?[1] That's like comparing the speed of a cheetah to a leisurely stroll in the park! In the digital age, visual branding, particularly its aesthetic aspects such as website design, is the secret sauce that gives your brand the zing it needs.

Visual branding is a potent tool that creates a unique identity for your brand. It forms the core of how consumers perceive and interact with your brand. A consistent visual brand has been proven to increase brand visibility and resonance in the minds of consumers.

The main elements of visual branding—logo design, color palette, typography, and imagery—should reflect your brand's core values. When strategically aligned, these components can significantly improve brand recognition, loyalty, and purchasing decisions.

What is Visual Branding?

Visual branding refers to the use of unique visual elements to represent a brand's identity. The most impactful visual branding strategies encapsulate the brand's core values and personality, creating a distinct image that resonates with the target audience. This amalgamation of elements includes:

Logo Design

A logo forms the foundation of a brand's visual identity. A distinctive logo serves as a visual mnemonic, embedding your brand in the consumers' minds.

Color Palette

Color isn't just a design choice – it's a powerful communication tool. Strategic use of color can evoke specific emotions and reinforce brand values.


Typography reflects a brand's voice and personality. A consistent and purposeful font selection across all communications reinforces the brand's identity.


Imagery, including photographs, graphics, and illustrations, complements the brand's story. Authentic and engaging visuals foster a deeper connection with the audience.

When all these elements are woven together cohesively, they form a robust visual identity that significantly shapes consumer perceptions and fosters brand loyalty.

5 Reasons Why Visual Branding is Crucial

  1. Identity and Recognition: Visual branding helps establish a company's identity in the market and makes it recognizable. It consists of distinctive elements like logos, typography, colors, and images that set a brand apart from its competitors. When these elements are consistently used across different platforms, it creates a unified, coherent brand image that helps customers recognize and remember the brand.
  2. Trust and Credibility: When a brand presents itself professionally and consistently, it enhances its credibility. High-quality and consistent visual branding can make a business appear reliable, trustworthy, and authoritative, which can help customers feel more comfortable doing business with the company.
  3. Emotional Connection: Visual branding can evoke specific emotions and associations. Through the careful selection of colors, images, and other design elements, a brand can create an emotional connection with its audience, influencing how they feel about the company's products or services.
  4. Differentiation: In a crowded marketplace, visual branding can help a business stand out from its competitors. Unique visual branding elements can highlight a company's distinctive qualities, making it more memorable and helping it to distinguish itself from other businesses in the same industry.
  5. Communication of Values and Personality: Visual branding isn't just about aesthetics, it also communicates a company's values, culture, and personality. The choice of colors, typography, and images can convey whether a brand is traditional or modern, fun or serious, luxurious or affordable, among other things. This helps attract customers who align with these values and characteristics.

Brands We Know

The true power of visual branding becomes most evident when we look at real-life success stories. It's through these market dominators that we can observe how a strong visual identity can shape consumer perceptions, foster customer loyalty, and ultimately drive business growth:

  1. Apple: Apple's visual branding is a masterclass in minimalist design and consistency. The iconic Apple logo, a sleek silver apple with a bite taken out of it, is instantly recognizable worldwide. This simple yet effective design is reflective of Apple's commitment to creating innovative, user-friendly technology that seamlessly integrates into daily life. But the logo is just the tip of the iceberg. Apple's visual branding extends to its product design, its clean and modern retail spaces, and its elegant packaging. Every element is deliberately designed to evoke a sense of sophistication, innovation, and exclusivity. The success of Apple's visual branding is evident in its strong brand loyalty and its position as a leader in the tech industry.
  2. Starbucks: Starbucks' visual branding strategy is a testament to the power of consistency and familiarity. Its trademark green logo, featuring a mermaid encircled in the company's name, is a universal symbol of comfort and quality. The logo's consistent use across all Starbucks outlets worldwide—combined with the stores' warm, inviting interiors and unique coffee cup design—creates a cohesive visual brand. This visual identity doesn't just make Starbucks instantly recognizable; it also establishes an emotional connection with customers, evoking a sense of comfort and familiarity no matter where they are in the world. The success of Starbucks' visual branding is reflected in its international popularity and high customer retention rates.

Key Takeaways

Powerful visual branding:

  • Is instantly recognizable
  • Reflects brand mission/values
  • Exerts psychological influence
  • Drives customer connection
  • Sparks growth and shareholder value

In an era of sensory saturation, a memorable visual identity is increasingly vital. But surface styling alone will not suffice. Powerful branding transforms how audiences perceive and interact with a brand's deeper purpose through the experiences it provides. When visual, verbal, and experiential mediums unite to authentically reflect and fulfill a brand's meaning, connections arise which transcend the transactional – to build lifetime relationships. This is the fundamental aspiration behind all visual branding that leaves a lasting mark.

When Brands Need Rebranding

Branding is not just a luxury for large corporations; it’s a necessity for businesses of all sizes. A strong brand can differentiate a business from its competitors, create customer loyalty, and drive growth. However, there are times when a brand needs to reinvent itself through a process known as rebranding. This can involve changes to the brand’s visual identity, messaging, or both. Let’s take a look at the results of strategic consideration of visual branding.

Case Study 1: Uber’s Transformation

Uber, the ride-hailing giant, underwent a significant rebranding in 2018, which included a redesign of its mobile app and an update to its logo and visual style. This was in response to customer feedback that found the previous app interface to be complex and confusing, particularly for new users. The rebranding was not just about aesthetics; it was a strategic move to improve user experience and customer satisfaction.[2][3]


  • Uber’s Net Promoter Score, a key measure of customer satisfaction and loyalty, increased by 25%.[4]
  • Uber’s market share increased by 5-6% year over year compared to competitors.[4]
  • The company cited the simplified user experience and refreshed branding as key drivers of customer acquisition in its 2018 annual report.[4]

Case Study 2: Spotify’s Sonic Boom

In 2015, music streaming platform Spotify refreshed its brand identity, introducing a new logo, color scheme, and marketing materials. The new design was bold and vibrant, aiming to highlight the emotional experience of music.[5][6]


  • 92% of customers felt that the new visual brand aligned with Spotify’s mission to bring people closer to music and each other.[5]
  • Spotify’s stock price increased by 63% from 2015 to 2020.[5]
  • The rebranding played a significant role in Spotify’s success and dominance over competitors like Rdio, which shut down in 2015.[5]

Case Study 3: Gucci’s Fashion Forward Move

In 2015, luxury fashion house Gucci embarked on a brand revival strategy, which included a change in creative direction and a new visual brand identity. The rebranding involved updating its logo, introducing bold new product designs, and launching marketing campaigns aimed at younger, more social media-savvy audiences.[7][8]


  • Gucci’s sales increased by 36.9% in the first year following the rebrandand maintained double-digit growth annually.[7]
  • The brand gained over 10 million new social media followers since the rebrand.[7]
  • Gucci was named the fastest-growing luxury brand according to Interbrand’s 2019 rankings.[7]
  • Gucci’s brand value increased by 250% from approximately $12 billion in 2015 to over $30 billion in 2019 following the rebrand.[7]

The results across these case studies prove that strategic visual branding, when aligned with audience needs and values, has the power to transform metrics that matter: customer satisfaction and loyalty, brand equity, market share, social reach, and revenue growth. But the impact depends on the cohesion and meaning behind the brand experiences that visual upgrades aim to reflect and fulfill. Surface changes will fall flat if not built on a foundation of brand purpose.

Consistency: The Key to Visual Branding

According to a Forbes article, consistent presentation of a brand across platforms can increase revenue by up to 23% on average, and color raises brand recognition by up to 80%.[9] Zippia states that a consistent brand presentation increases revenue by up to 33%.[10] Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that consistent visual branding across all platforms can increase revenue, but the exact percentage may vary. Additionally, Zippia cites that it takes seeing five to seven impressions for someone to remember a brand.[10]

Is there any merit in a visual brand strategy? We think the answer is obvious. A solid brand strategy leads to a brand identity that leads to awareness and growth in a market.


[1] Humans process visual data better than text

[2] Uber's latest rebrand isn't about beauty - it's deeper than that

[3] Uber rebrand looks to reflect how the taxi app is “changing”

[4] Uber's Powerful Rebrand and What Your Business Can Learn From It

[5] Spotify undergoes colourful brand refresh

[6] What do you think of Spotify's new look?

[7] Reinventing Gucci

[8] How to Fix the House of Gucci

[9] 10 Marketing, Web Design & Branding Statistics To Help You Prioritize Business Growth Initiatives

[10] Branding Statistics: 39 Must-Know Branding Stats for 2021

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