The Swoosh. The Golden Arches. Tony the Tiger.

A brand’s identity is only as strong as the characteristics representing it. The world’s most successful brands are able to spark an immediate association with the modern consumer through pronounced attributes that speak to them on an emotional level. Whether this association is positive or negative, these are the attributes by which consumers will define the brand. Although the average person is exposed to more than 5,000 brand messages per day, a brand’s key attributes will help foster recognizability in consumers while, hopefully, causing them to listen.

There are several ways in which meaningful attributes can enable brands to build powerful recall and also separate from the clutter of competitors.

Strategic Color Schemes

Color schemes contribute to the wide range of emotions that consumers will feel upon engagement with a brand. Maybe more importantly, color schemes play a significant role in shaping consumer perceptions of a brand because of the instant differentiation (or lack thereof) that may be detected from this theme. Color schemes also carry the potential to speak to male versus female audiences. Jeweler Tiffany & Co. reflects a strong Tiffany Blue color scheme that sends messages of sleek and fashionable to all who interact.

Symbolic Logo Design

Logos can sneakily symbolize a brand’s objectives or simply articulate qualities about a brand’s services that may resonate with consumers. The Swoosh, a concept spawned from the goddess of victory in Greek mythology, has become synonymous with Nike and will always be the brand’s most iconic characteristic. Amazon has a creative way of reflecting a smile in their logo which is used throughout their brand mix, from packaging to web design to television advertising, amongst other components. FedEx also cleverly embeds a right-pointing arrow into the white space of their orange & purple logo to play on their mission of speed, accuracy and ‘moving forward. Ultimately, logos need to build credibility and an understanding from consumers over time.

Intentional Font Type

Similar to color schemes, fonts add an important emotional element to brands and should communicate a personality about the brand itself. For example, Serif fonts often evoke an impression of being traditional or classic, while Decorative fonts use unique shapes and designs to appear more dramatic to users. Regardless, it’s important that font types are adaptable across both domestic and international markets.

Relatable Slogans

Slogans complement, and sometimes even capture, the value brands want to highlight to consumers about their products or services. This catch-phrase can either be embedded alongside the construction of a logo or operate in a separate capacity that’s still visible to consumers. Slogans can evolve over the course of a brand’s journey to more accurately resemble changes in a brand’s strategy or intended messaging.

In order for brands to distinguish their services from competitors and remain memorable in the eyes of a consumer, a consistent visual strategy harnessing elements like color scheme, logos, fonts & slogans must be considered thoughtfully. It’s imperative for brands to refine these attributes and monitor them closely so that a unique user experience shines through.