First impressions matter

The 3 'Cs' of visual marketing

Exposure Group, Benjamin Feltham

Whether you are meeting a person for the first time or shopping for a new product, we all know that first impressions are important. The way a person initially perceives something, regardless of what it is, has a massive effect on their attitude towards it thereafter. It is therefore essential for businesses to ensure that all aspects of their visual branding, including their logo, website, and trade show booths, are geared towards creating a good first impression in consumers.

According to research by Google, it only takes about 50 milliseconds for a person to make a judgment about aesthetic qualities like visual complexity and prototypicality. Google argues that the visual first impression is a critical moment for catching attention and generating interest. With that in mind, here are three 'Cs' that encompass the aspects of achieving good visual marketing.

1. Colour

According to digital solutions company Prescient Digital Media, colour is a vital aspect of effective design. It is able to evoke a range of connotations and emotional responses, so it's important to think about the particular mood you want your brand to convey when choosing which colours to use.

Forbes says that the effective use colour psychology, in which you have a good understanding of how colour affects mood, can be used to give your business an edge over competitors. For example, green symbolises nature and growth and can be used to suggest creativity, while orange is associated with good value.

Colour can also be used to make certain features stand out and play down others. Prescient Digital Media recommends using no more than three, as having too many can be associated with immaturity. In addition, make sure that you use the same combination of colours throughout your marketing, including in display booths.

The aesthetics of your business should embody its mission and be easily recognisable.

2. Creativity

Another essential aspect of visual marketing is to be unique with your design. You want to create an image that's different from your competitors, and instantly recognisable to consumers. Forbes reveals that the best way to stand out from other businesses is to create a design that grabs attention and shows that your company has something to offer that others don't.

For example, you might use a surprising website layout to give your business a better online presence. Similarly, a custom exhibition stand can be used to provide a unique experience for customers using innovative displays and interactive technology, all while conveying your overall image.

"Great design not only conceptually reflects the mission of your company, but also, functionally, it's the embodiment of that concept," said Ty Walrod, CEO of Bright Funds, to Business News Daily.

It's important to remember that you don't just want people to notice your brand, you want them to actively engage with it, so use your visual design to connect with customers in a memorable way and keep them coming back.

Having consistent design can help consumers to distinguish your brand.
Having a consistent design can help consumers to distinguish your brand.

3. Consistency

Finally, a key part of making a lasting impression is to maintain visual qualities consistent across different channels, and this can help consumers identify your business on multiple platforms.

According to Shutterstock graphic designer Adriana Marin, Apple is a great example of a company that used consistent design to distinguish itself and become widely known.

"Through design, Apple was able to craft a positive brand presence that is slick and modern yet simple," she told Business News Daily. 

Consistency can be achieved by ensuring that the same aesthetic features reoccur throughout all your marketing avenues so that your brand is embodied customarily across the board. For example, if your logo is crisp and simplistic, you would also want this to resonate with everything from your website to your portable trade show displays.

By incorporating these three 'Cs" into your approach to visual marketing, you can help to ensure you make a positive and lasting first impression on your customers in every medium.