How to leverage the right Visual Brand Language Strategy for Growth

Part 1

Gregor Mittersinker

Despite the tightening of capital markets, 2023 is projected to be a successful year for mergers and acquisitions, with a 10% to 15% increase in activity. Companies are proactively making strategic acquisitions to expand their portfolio in their core and adjacent markets.

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Avoid the pitfalls of a failed merger

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are often one efficient way for a company to transform their business models and achieve rapid growth. The benefits of M&A include the ability to expand into new markets, increase scale and reach more customers, eliminate redundancy, satisfy unmet demand, drive profitable growth, enhance performance, agility, and flexibility. 

However, integrating different product offerings into a cohesive portfolio needs focused attention and a team with the right skillset. After a merger, it is key to evaluate existing product lines for overlap and redundancy, develop a product roadmap based on customer needs and market trends, standardize packaging and labeling, streamline product development processes, communicate changes to customers and build a unified visual design language for the new organization. 

The last point might be the most critical – if often overlooked – pillar of a successful merger. It can be instrumental in ensuring that the newly minted company delivers on its growth promises and future-proofs the capital investments made for the merger.

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Leverage the power of design in the process

Creating a consistent design language is a crucial step in making product lines cohesive in the market. Disparate design languages can create confusion and inconsistency in the marketplace. To overcome this challenge, a company should create a new design language that reflects the combined identity of the two companies.

A design language should convey the values of the company and define a cohesive brand identity. It should be applied consistently across all products in the product line to create a recognizable and unified brand image. This means using the same colors, fonts, and other design elements in all product packaging, marketing materials, digital platforms and other touchpoints.

Creating a consistent design language can help strengthen the brand identity, improve brand recognition, and increase customer loyalty. By following this best practice, a company can successfully integrate their product lines into a cohesive and unified brand message.

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Building on the right framework

A successful Visual Brand Language (VBL) development will define the design language applicable to all markets, industries, products, and touchpoints. Not each element has to be applied the same way in each vertical, but the overall essence of the VBL should deeply resonate with each of the markets served

At Loft, we use the following framework to define a Visual Brand Language:

Core Values and Brand Essence

Core Values and Brand Essence are the organizing principles for how the brand conducts business and presents itself to the market. These tenets are enduring and unchanging. All brand embodiments and business conducted under the brand must be true to these core concepts to maintain and extend the reach and integrity of the brand.

Visual Identity

The overall Corporate Visual Identity consists of a unique mark and identity guidelines whose consistent use on corporate materials serves to position and differentiate the brand from others. This consistent appearance and style creates a feeling of unity and identity to people within the organization and one of quality and predictability to those on the outside. 

Visual Design Principles

The Visual Design Principles are the strategic visual and conceptual tools that govern brand expression in particular circumstances and can accommodate any necessary variation.

Signature Form Elements

When applying a Visual Design Language to products, it is essential to define signature form elements. They are groups of concrete visual principles that express brand personality through form, texture, logo application, information design, surface and interaction details. 

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Visible improvements

Creating a consistent design language helps a company strengthen its brand identity, improve brand recognition, and increase customer loyalty. By using consistent design elements across all brand touchpoints, such as color, typography, imagery, and iconography, customers can easily recognize and associate these elements with the brand.

A consistent design language also helps to establish a sense of trust and reliability in the brand, as it conveys a sense of professionalism and attention to detail. This consistency in design also helps create a unified and cohesive brand that customers can easily understand and engage with.

When integrating multiple product lines into a brand, a consistent design language can be especially important to ensure that customers can easily understand the relationship between the products and the brand as a whole. By using a unified design language across all product lines, a company can create a sense of cohesiveness and help customers associate the products with the overarching brand.

Overall, creating a consistent design language is a best practice that can help a company build a strong brand identity, increase brand recognition, and foster customer loyalty.

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Connect with us to learn about Loft’s experience in this area. Our years of experience can help you reimagine your Visual Brand Identity and accelerate growth!

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