More often than not, a consumer’s opinion of a retailer results from a quick snapshot. Sometimes it’s an ad seen on TV. Other times it’s walking by a storefront and seeing what’s on display. Or even just seeing a brand’s design on a co-worker’s shirt.
One thing is certain when it comes to a retailer’s image and reputation: first impressions matter.
And quite often, those impressions are established by the visuals a brand leverages to represent itself and its services or products, making visuals a very important aspect of the marketing efforts of businesses of all types and sizes.
This isn’t simply based on anecdotal evidence, either. Research shows that 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and our brains actually process visuals 60,000 times faster than text.
With the use of visuals being so vital to establishing a business’s reputation and brand image in the eyes of consumers, how can retailers look to integrate visuals that align with recent trends and consistently resonate with their audience?
Here are five ways visuals can amplify your business:
1. Tailor your messaging.
The importance of providing a good first impression of your business through visuals goes beyond simply picking the flashiest and brightest designs; this is your opportunity to truly tailor the message you want to send to consumers.
The outcomes of this opportunity can be stark, too, with well-tailored messaging more likely to lead to increased brand awareness, whereas poor brand messaging can only hurt you. Research shows that 71 percent of businesses agree that inconsistent brand presentation most often leads to customer confusion, and subsequently a damaged brand image.
2. Stand out from the crowd.
Along with ensuring any messaging that you represent your brand with in the visuals you employ is in line with your goals, this also provides an opportunity to stand out from your competitors.
By using visuals that are attention-grabbing and stimulating, you can leave a long-lasting impression that’s much more likely to establish your brand in the minds of consumers.
For those looking to truly stand out from the crowd, this is a prime opportunity to establish a visual identity for your brand, such as a signature color or color scheme, which research shows can increase your brand recognition by 80 percent.
3. Tap into the trends of today.
In the past, staying in tune with the most recent visual trends would require the employment of a large market research team, which is a strategy that simply isn’t affordable for businesses of all sizes.
However, with modern technologies, such as the innovative data-driven design engines available to businesses today, retailers can keep a pulse on the most recent visual trends with more accuracy and timeliness than ever before.
By leveraging a data-driven design engine — powered by the analysis of global fashion trends, search trends, download transactions, and subscriber requests — retailers can provide the trending designs that are in demand, all while saving themselves a significant amount of time and money.
4. Resonate with the right audience.
Similar to the challenges of staying in tune with the visual trends of today, retailers often struggle to ensure that all of the visuals they use actually resonate with the right audience.
By employing a data-driven design engine, retailers can leverage the added visibility and insight into the market and their core audience. This can help ensure that any visuals they use truly resonate with the audience they’re seeking — at a fraction of the price of old-school strategies like employing market research teams.
5. Do it all with scalability and affordability.
The overall approach of using visuals to enhance your brand, leveraging the trends of today, and ensuring you’re using visuals that resonate with your audience may not be groundbreaking, as they’re time-tested and proven strategies. However, what has changed is the viability of these strategies for retailers of all sizes.
In the past, affordability and scalability of these strategies made them inaccessible to a large section of retailers. However, with the technologies of today available to retailers of all sizes — most notably data-driven design engines — leveraging visuals that resonate with audiences and align with the current trends is more affordable and/or scalable than ever before.
Matias Colotuzzo is the co-founder and CEO of Vexels, the design driven platform for creators.