Firstly, let’s make the distinction between brand and business.
Your business (it) is (according to Investopedia ) defined as an organisation or enterprising entity engaged in commercial, industrial or professional activities.
Your brand is how your business is presented to the world - the shop window or front of house so to speak.
Your brand is how the general public perceives your business and what builds trust for potential customers.
Straight away when one thinks of brand aesthetic, Instagram comes to mind, followed by a website or store and that’s because more than 90% of businesses use Instagram (the mighty free marketing tool) to generate interest, traffic and sales from fans and followers.
In today’s world where we shop, research, and make purchases online Instagram serves as the perfect platform to showcase a personal brand or business (large or small) and convert followers into paying customers.
"However, whilst a carefully curated and consistent brand aesthetic can have a great deal of impact, having a poor aesthetic can have the opposing effect and be detrimental to your success".
It’s not easy to grow your personal brand or small business on Instagram these days, that’s no secret, but one of the building blocks to your success is with a consistent appearance and brand message - that done, you’re over the first hurdle and away.
No comparison - If you compare your small, or startup business to that of one with a huge following, it won't end well. Brands with a huge follow-ship are likely to be extremely well-known whereby gaining followers is straightforward (because the trust factor is already apparent). Or, conversely, it was established during those elusive pre-algorithm days when following each other was just about all there was to do on the platform making it really easy to grow big, and quickly.
Nowadays, with multiple algorithms monitoring user behaviour, and filtering out the less than popular posts, constant updates and changes it’s definitely more of an uphill slog leaving your account pretty much stagnant if you don't work at it.
What makes a stand-out brand aesthetic?
Your brand visuals - this is all of your visual assets (product imagery, logo, brand colours, typefaces and fonts) and ultimately affect perception, so let’s look at some of those factors :
With a poor brand aesthetic - the perception of your business is:
Lacking in care
With a strong brand aesthetic - the perception of your business is:
You can imagine how a poor brand aesthetic can have a negative impact and when you pour your heart and soul into your small business to have potential customers click away for the above reasons can be a bitter pill to swallow and disheartening, to say the least.
Whilst you can look to your successful competitors for inspiration, it’s important you develop a unique look and feel for your own brand and there is no overnight fix.
Have a look at these two contrasting examples of a curated brand aesthetic:
Think about how your brand's colour palette affects perception and can very easily turn off potential customers. Make sure it marries in with your brand ethos.
Keep your visual assets consistent including brand colours and typeface (it's advised to stick to three at the most) Just to be clear - the typeface is a particular style of lettering and the font refers to variations of said lettering i.e. size/weight.
Keep your aesthetic and content consistent across your socials and website/store.
Try to improve your product photography or upgrade your current equipment to further the visual appeal.
Stay true to your brand message and voice.
Consider the rather notable rebranding of what was Hermes - the most untrustworthy and inconsistent courier company that ever was (general consensus). With many years of distrust and distaste under its belt, Hermes decided to take back control with a shiny new name - Evri. Coupled with a huge branding overhaul and a clever new brand colour - think NHS blue (which immediately and subconsciously connotes trust). let's see if Evri can deliver on its brand new promise of excellence.
Otherwise, why not learn how to create professional-looking, aesthetic reels for your small business and join my Stories In Motion community.