Every company, whether small or large, will need to focus on their brand if they want to differentiate themselves and create a strong identity in their industry and marketplace. The biggest mistake that companies make is focusing too much on the logo and message. While these two things make up a large component of the brand, the overall visual presentation is missing.

This is especially evident in the web design of these company websites. While the core elements of the brand are there, the visual presentation is missing. That’s why it seems like a generic site with a brand “sticker” attached to the header of the website. There are very few elements (if any) in the design that indicates that the website caters to the audience, nor are their elements that show the uniqueness of the brand.

Visual branding is the key to getting the target audience to identify with the brand and to become aware that the website caters to their needs and desires. A very clear example would be a marketing agency that works with medical professionals, hospitals and practices. It would use elements of the medical service industry in the design while also using the color schemes and shapes that make up their logo.

Sometimes the branding process is done throughout the whole browsing experience rather than simply on the homepage. For example, the images and colors may help give off an idea about the brand throughout the website. As users consume the content, they will get a sense of what the brand is about and will start identifying themselves.

Other times, it’s done through a storytelling format where the goal is to engagement. In this case, the design is built around a specific theme that is tied into the brand. The visual content is used as the primary engagement device and the goal is to create an emotional response. This helps the user identify with the brand and even become a fan.

The main idea that you need to walk away from all of this is that visual branding is a more impactful way to get people to resonate with your brand. It’s about the whole experience rather than trying to deliver a message with a stamp of approval from the brand logo and graphics. And this is not a passing web design trend that will start to falter either. More and more companies are starting to integrate this new approach to their brand websites as it is creating more awareness and engagement than the traditional approach.