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Verbal & Visual Branding

The next step in creating a social media strategy is figuring out the visual and verbal language that you're going to communicate in as a personal or corporate brand.
Mirelle Hassler
Last Updated
October 22, 2021

A verbal and visual style can:

  1. Help you stand out
  2. Make you memorable in the face of competition
  3. Make people notice you through all of the distractions of social media
  4. Grab people's attention
  5. Attract new customers
  6. Create trust and loyalty

What is verbal and visual branding?

The verbal and the visual communication style are otherwise known as a brand. You can consider a brand as the idea or image people have in mind when thinking about a company. It is not just about the physical features that create a brand but also the feelings that consumers develop towards the company or its product.

It's not about making things prettier with colors. It's about developing a style for your brand that distinguishes you.

And it doesn't happen overnight. You have to keep the same visual and verbal language over a long period of time for it to register in people's brains. Consistency and repetition are key to brand recognition.

Verbal brand

🙋For verbal branding, creating a Brand Persona helps a lot.

A brand persona asks the question "If your business was a person, who would they be?"

  • Are they young, middle-aged, or old?
  • Are they fun-loving and careless, or mature and professional?
  • Are they emotionally-open, understanding, or are they all-business?

It may not be one or the other, but answering these questions will help you find out who your brand is, or more importantly, who might be interesting for your customers to interact with.

Here's a library of adjectives to choose from 👇

One mistake businesses, especially B2Bs, make is that they create a very generic, forgettable brand. That defeats the purpose of a brand.

So choose adjectives that help you stand out when you embody them.

For example, it doesn't say much about you if you choose "trustworthy" and "honest" to describe your brand persona. They're good characteristics, but every brand wants to be perceived as trustworthy and honest.

e.g. Brands that choose 'honest', are honest about their mistakes. They're honest about problems in their industry. And they're honest about the progress they're making.

Important: Your brand persona must be someone your customers distinctly remember. Focus on one particular quality that matters most to your business and embody it in all your communications.

To create a verbal brand, you will need to establish your:

  • Tone of voice
  • Brand values
  • Mission and vision
  • Target audience

Visual Brand

Use the information gathered in the previous step to guide your visual brand. Your visual branding should attract your target audience and should translate your brand's personality.

At its most basic level, consistently using the same font and colors whenever you're communicating creates a coherent visual brand.

You can already start using Canva to create images and videos using those fonts and colors.

When you have figured out your brand persona, it might be wise to hire a graphic designer to suggest a good color scheme, a font, if not a complete brand guideline to follow.

This will allow you to show your brand off on your digital platforms like your website, social media, and other digital assets.

Remember, the key is not to be a pretty brand (you can certainly be that), the key is to be a memorable brand so that people always associate that visual style with your business. You don't want to look like just another brand in your industry.

To create a visual brand, you will need to establish your:

  • Logo
  • Color palette
  • Fonts
  • Images
Brand Palette

A simple and fun place to start with creating your visual brand is choosing your brand palette. The colors that you will use consistently to represent your brand - whether it be in your logo, graphics, website, etc. There is no set-in-stone answer to how many colors you want to choose for your brand palette, but a good general amount to go by would be 2 or 3. You don't want to confuse people by rotating between 5 to 10 colors. This leads back to the point of creating a memorable brand persona - using a couple of dominant colors will have more of a lasting impact than using 10 colors.

Color psychology

Colors carry emotions. That's why you need colors that fit your brand's personality. For example, banks often use blue as a brand color because blue is associated with stability and reliability.

Primary Color

As we mentioned before, there is no exact rule that you must follow when choosing your brand's color palette, but there are good recommendations that you should try to follow. One (which you can clearly pick out from most successful brands and companies) is that you should decide on a primary color for your brand or business. This should be your core brand color. Think of your favorite or most prominent brands - there is probably one clear color that comes to mind when you envision this company. Let's test it out. What color comes to mind when we say "Netflix"? What color comes to mind when we say "Spotify"? What color comes to mind when we say "Paypal"? All of these companies have one and only core color.

Secondary Colors

Now the vast majority of brands only have about 2 to 4 brand colors. So apart from your memorable, core color, you'll only need an additional 1 to 3 secondary colors. A good stepping stone into deciding on your secondary colors would be to choose 1 to 3 variations of your core color. It is very aesthetically pleasing to keep a complimentary color scheme. The other option is to add an accent color that compliments while also contrasts your core color. A third option is to choose a couple equally as bright colors - this gives your brand a fun & memorable persona.

Font psychology

Fonts also convey feelings and emotions.

  • Sans serif fonts are modern, clean and informal. These are good for HR for example.
  • Serif fonts are classic, sophisticated and formal. These are good for lawyers and accountants for example.

You will generally need two to three fonts that have enough contrast. You can for example pair a serif with a sans serif, or a bold with a light font. As an example Futura, Times New Roman, Helvetica, Bodoni are popular fonts.

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