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Is Your Story Showing Your Brand’s Value?

By Ida Cheinman

Substance151 has always recognized the critical role that design plays in society, culture and change. That’s because design – both good and bad – makes a difference in how we perceive and experience the world.

Poor design complicates our lives and negatively impacts our outlook. Products don’t work as well, we get lost, we lose interest, and we can adopt a negative perspective. On the contrary, good design dramatically enhances our lives. Products work well and effortlessly. We more easily navigate our surroundings; we feel positive, optimistic and fully engaged.

Oddly enough, design has not been regarded as a critical influencer by most business leaders. Until recently.

The increasing use of visual storytelling in creating compelling brands is apparent in every form of media today. In fact, digital and social media channels are now shaping tools in a way that puts imagery at the forefront – spending substantial resources on interface and application design that enhances visual storytelling capabilities. The design conversation has made its way to C-level discussions, with leadership as interested in developing the visual story as they have always been in developing the message.

But why is this happening now? More importantly, why should business owners and marketers prioritize the visual aspect of their branding?

In a word: ENGAGEMENT.

Today, the most valuable currency is time. Customers not only expect but also demand greater value for the time they spend with a brand. Visual storytelling adds exceptional value to brands and their audiences because it achieves these goals:

  • Conveys complex ideas in direct, uncomplicated ways
  • Shifts emotions and creates change
  • Adds meaning and dimension
  • Guides customers to action
  • Connects cultures and people
  • Creates communities
  • Humanizes brands

The power of images to attract, retain and magnify our attention is monumental. Simply think about content that’s most often shared online to understand the impact of images on engagement. The fast-growing success of Facebook’s new Timeline format, Pinterest, SlideShare, and other image-based applications is sending an intriguing message about the increased importance of interaction inspired by and based on visual content. In these cases and more, images have demonstrated the ability to seamlessly and invisibly facilitate the relationship between a brand and its audiences, creating immediate trust through a more authentic interface.

Because companies employing visual storytelling as a brand driver are now able to engage their stakeholders in new and profound ways, design as a whole is no longer seen as a decorative layer. Instead,

Design is the visual glue that connects the multiple layers of your brand story and, as a result, connects your customers more deeply to your brand.

In truth, an image is just that. An image. It’s the art and science of design that leverages, manipulates, connects and powerfully converges both visual and verbal messages. Visual storytelling is where branding needs to head, and businesses must employ the power of design to execute their visual story in order to generate real results.

How can business owners, CEOs and CMOs harvest the power of visual storytelling to create more compelling brands and deepen engagement? Thanks to new digital technologies, they can maximize the value and impact of well-designed visual stories in ways they never could before.

For examples of companies creating compelling visual stories in social media, check out the links below. And from there explore the greatest possibilities.

Companies Telling Compelling Visual Stories Using Pinterest:

For more on the “how-to” of Pinterest: Mastering Pinterest for B2B Companies

Companies Telling Compelling Visual Stories Using Facebook:

For more on the “how-to” of Facebook: How B2B Companies Should Use Facebook Timeline


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