Don't worry we're not talking about brands delving into your minds, uncovering your deepest darkest thoughts. Like in batman forever where the Riddler (Jim Carrey) is extracting the thoughts of his victims through the TV (although the way people, myself included, become zombified watching TV it's not far from the truth).
Before you reach for your bat cape (don't be embarrassed, I have one too), it's not at all as sci-fi and sinister, rather a way of understanding consumer behaviour to ensure your brand expresses the ideals and values that you uphold and want others to associate with your brand. There is much to think about when you consider the psychological implications of branding across a number of different factors, from logo design, to advertisements, to press releases etc, much of it as a consumer you wouldn't even consciously think about when purchasing. A lot of purchasing behaviour is attributed to subconscious decisions that occur without you realising. Here are a few psychological factors to consider when thinking about branding:
Colour is probably the most essential component to consumer decision making, it has the ability to change a logo into an emotional experience capable of stimulating desire, establish trust and influence purchasing decisions. When it comes to snap purchasing decisions, research shows that people make up their minds within 90 seconds of their initial interaction with the product and 62-90% of the decision is based on colour alone. Much of this snap purchasing decision is based upon emotion and thus the emotions these colours elicit.
Colours have been found to be highly effective when the colour is the appropriate fit for the brand! Let's put this into an example shall we- Let's consider BP, the logo being green helps elicit feelings related to health, nature and tranquillity, as you can imagine BP want to convey this due to the recent oil spills. Now change the logo to red and gone are the feelings of health, replaced with feelings of power, passion and aggression, not feelings BP need to be associated with. While we are on the subject, you will notice that red is used often with food and drinks brands (Coca-Cola, Kellogs, McDonalds, Heinz etc), as it stimulates appetite. Always consider colour when it comes to any branding, from logo design to marketing campaigns, it's not going to make or break your brand, but the right colours will help reinforce positive feelings that customers have for you.
So, now you've looked at the colour element of your logo, billboard advert, TV advert, eNews etc. You think that's it? Think again. What about your font? Font selection is highly important and like colour fonts can also elicit emotions from consumers. The most commonly used font typefaces are Serif, Sans Serif, Script, Display and Modern (they all have sub font styles, but let's stick to the basic font typefaces).
All these typefaces have different feelings, emotions and associations to them. Serif is associated with feelings of reliability and comfort, it's a very respectable and traditional font typeface. A script style typeface is associated with elegance, creativity and affection. Modern text is associated as being strong, stylish and chic. What's important with typefaces and fonts is that they should work with other elements of your brand like colour to tell a similar story and work in unison with each other to tell a clear story.
Branding across all channels should be one thing, consistent! Everything that you do when it comes to branding, advertising and marketing should be coherent. Why? Well, humans are genetically wired to recognise patterns and regularity. The best way to gain great brand awareness is through consistency and consumers knowing what they can expect from you. If you keep all the core elements of your brand similar then consumers will easily be able to recognise your brand and you can reinforce a positive and consistent message.
Humans are social animals, they have an immense need to belong, this sense of belonging is highly beneficial to marketers as it helps them build brand loyalty with people. Because people want to belong to a group, they will be more inclined to purchase a brand that their peers do. It's important that whatever you do you appeal to your target market across all channels, if you can understand who your target market is and create branded experiences that can reinforce this sense of belonging to a select group then you are building a strong brand.