To survive in a world full of companies offering all possible products, you should find your way to stand out. Strong, effective branding determines the uniqueness of a brand. Over the last decade, a whole section of marketing has emerged, with the primary purpose of making products recognizable.
Why do brands involve teams of specialists to brainstorm over a logo, name, or slogan? Because branding is much more than these three components. It’s a symbiosis of visual and textual expressions that companies constantly adapt, update, and optimize to communicate with the audience.
We at Arounda offer a separate set of services for brand identity development. Our team starts with a general mood board (learn more about it here) and comes up with a full-fledged brand book to support the visual language. In this article, we will tell you about verbal and visual branding definition and compare these concepts.
Let's kick off with the basics. Before comparing visual vs verbal branding, it’s necessary to understand the importance of this phenomenon as a whole. Here are some reasons to explore branding and put its power into practice:
Branding is what the user sees and perceives. Potential clients will know how hard the experts worked to get such a remarkable result only when you tell them about it. Branding represents the ideas and efforts you invest in your business transformed into the customer-oriented language.
Branding is a chance to stand out. Everyone tells their consumers what a high-quality, reliable product they’ve created. Special symbols, words, and associations improve and personalize this narrative. Here, standing out means being remembered.
Branding is a statement. Your business can function without elaborate communications and slogans. However, it will be an inconspicuous survival rather than notable competition and development. Collecting all your attributes in one brand book and defining every detail establishes your brand in customers’ eyes.
Now that you’re familiar with the essentials, let’s discuss visual and verbal branding in greater detail.
Any branding consists of two fundamentally different components – visual and textual. Of course, they should work as a whole for a full-fledged result. But in reality, one of these approaches often prevails in a brand.
Visual branding is a way of presenting brand identity by emphasizing colors, shapes, and characters. These visual elements are in your logo, website design, and other creatives. So, are visuals better than words? Let’s find out.
The picture is easier to remember. A successful logo is quick to recognize (even faster than any viral phrase). But to make customers notice it among millions of other logos, ensure it’s clear, bright, and unique.
Instant understanding. The era of TikTok reduced users’ patience to a few seconds. Getting a person to read a slogan or a complete paragraph about your brand requires significant effort. Visual branding is an attempt to instantly capture attention and convey the key message.
Bright association. It’s easier for a human brain to form associative links between ready-made images and existing symbols. Words also leave an impression that turns into recognition. However, a visual identity creates an association with your brand more effectively.
High chance of getting lost. Even the best logo has a high chance of getting lost among the tons of content consumers view daily. To avoid it, add more value to the visual branding strategy, such as an original name and slogan. This proven combination increases the chances of being noticed.
Lack of information. Putting all the information about the brand in several colors and shapes is challenging. Often, it’s not even necessary since users won’t understand a logo full of meanings. Visual branding forces designers to be concise and involve alternative ways of expressing brand identities.
Adaptations. We should change the brand's logo and other visual components when translating product descriptions into different languages. Before entering any market, study the cultural aspects and check your logo’s colors, symbols, and meanings again. If at least one appears hostile in a new region, it’s time to change or adapt your approach.
Verbal branding is the elements of identity expressed in words. Some verbal branding examples include names, slogans, stories, songs, and articles. Like visual elements, verbal branding requires careful thinking of ideas, clarity, and comprehensibility. Now, what are the strengths and weaknesses of this identity component?
Informative approach. Words put much more meaning and association than a logo. You can add a slogan that explains some visual identity elements and brings new value. It forms a more precise and complete brand vision for your potential customers.
Simple adaptation. Changing each creative is critical when adapting the brand’s visual parts to the new conditions. It includes social media posts, website design, and packaging. Also, introducing new meanings into the logo means breaking your overall branding integrity. Changing the words is much easier since it doesn’t require involving the entire design team.
A chance to tell a story. You can express nearly anything with words. Even a brand logo is primarily an idea formulated in thoughts. Using the words’ power, you can tell your audience a whole story associated with your product and increase the chances of being noticed.
Sense overload. Only some of the stories and ideas gathered during the branding period are worth communicating to the audience. With verbal tools, you risk overwhelming users with meaning, trying to say too much at once.
Additional audience efforts. Text can’t be the primary and only branding element. Ensure to include a bright visual component to attract attention and make users seek extra meanings. Verbal parts of branding require effort and time investments. Therefore, users need encouragement to dive into your brand’s written story.
Adaptation to fit the new markets. As mentioned, any identity tool needs specific adaptations before the brand expands to a new country or region. For instance, texts require correct translation. Also, it’s worth re-checking slogans to convey the proper meaning. These aspects might determine your brand’s international success.
Visual and verbal branding are two inseparable elements of a single process. All images begin with words, just as stories turn into pictures when we imagine them. That’s how the human brain works – and how you should treat your branding strategy.
Branding consists of multiple stages and requires various tools. Brand identity should organically contain visual symbols and precise meanings conveyed by text. Of course, you can emphasize one type of branding. But completely abandoning words or images is impossible.
Product branding consists of two core elements:
Visual branding – all visual content of brand elements, such as colors, shapes, symbols, and characters
Verbal branding – all text content of brand communication, from the slogan to the mission statement
Balance these components to effectively communicate your brand’s message and engage the audience. Use each method to your advantage.
At Arounda, we work on the essential visual elements of the brand identity. Our experts create logotype concepts, define the proper colors, and develop the brand typography. If you are interested in carefully designed branding, contact our team.
Visual language is the symbols that the brand conveys in colors, shapes, and images. In contrast, verbal language is the text content of branding and its tone of voice.
Visual branding is a component of the complex branding process, which includes graphic and text tools. The visual branding phase focuses on colors, images, shapes, and more. However, verbal elements are also critical.
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