Visual branding and its impact on business

I’ve always been intrigued by the visual branding of businesses. Logos can make a big impact (either positive or negative) on brand recognition and attitude. Some studies even suggest that a good logo can lead to better company performance. Certain colors of a logo often evoke unique emotions in viewers, and rebranding can also affect consumer perceptions.

We’ve all probably read an article or five about the evolution of famous logos like Starbucks and Apple. Some even predict the future of logos (albeit in a satirical manner). I’m not here to discuss those same over-analyzed brands, though I do love to poke fun at Gap’s failed rebranding.

 

Starbucks' logo evolution is often cited in articles regarding the minimalism trend.
Starbucks’ logo evolution is often cited in articles about the spread of minimalism.

 

Instead, I will be commenting on the visual branding of local businesses in Chapel Hill, primarily those located on Franklin Street. My commentary will extend beyond logos into external building signs. Over the summer, I visited a typography museum in Berlin, which aims to preserve unique signage in an era of globalization that standardizes many building signs. It made me appreciate the branding of small businesses here in Chapel Hill.

I will also be observing the websites of local businesses. In an era where web design is constantly modernizing, I suspect (but haven’t yet confirmed) that it is tough for smaller companies to keep up.

Taking all of these facets of visual branding together, I plan to analyze the non-visual aspects of a business’s strategic communication: slogans, social media, events and more. How do the visual and non-visual fit together? Do they complement each other, or is there a disconnect?

With such high turnover of businesses on Franklin Street, what are the successful ones doing right? I look forward to investigating these local gems and examining the effect of branding on business performance.

If you have a favorite local business that you’d like me to discuss, feel free to comment with suggestions below.

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