Is your design successful?

5 steps to create an awesome visual brand language.

There are a lot of factors that go into creating a successful product that people will love. No one thing is ever solely responsible for a product being a hit. But one area that is crucial is a product’s visual and tactile design language. As human beings, we are hard wired to make judgments and have opinions on how things look and feel when we touch them. And your new product is no exception. Here are some points to keep in mind when you get ready to create your next product.

1) What your potential customer sees first matters - Every detail of your product’s exterior design, such as the shape, color, user interface features, and logo help customers identify and remember your products. These are some of the most important factors that make up the visual brand language and how you use them can be the difference between a product that is average and a product that is great. Great products create customer loyalty and built brands. Average products don’t.

2) We live in a highly saturated world - Creating a recognizable brand is really the only way to stand out in today’s crowded product landscape. Your brand is reinforced by your product(s) visual language.  This visual brand is a part of the overall brand and consists of all the aspects of a product experience that the user can see and touch.  A brand is ultimately built on trust, meaning that the product delivers on the promise that is made, both overtly and implicitly.

3) You will be judged by your weakest link - A well thought out and cohesive visual language ties together different products / product lines and strengthens the user’s perception of quality. By creating a product that has been well designed, both from a user interface and visual stand point, the underlying user perception will be that if the outside is done so well, everything else must be too. We make immediate judgments on products based on how they look and feel. Sometimes this judgment can make or break how the user thinks about your product(s).

4) As in all areas of life, consistency is important - Creating a consistent visual brand language between products develops familiarity and can help users intuitively understand how to operate your products, even for the first time. Everyone likes it when they can easily understand how to use a product. And no one likes a product that confuses and frustrates them.  A consistent visual look helps customers easily recognize that different product offerings come from the same company. This builds brand awareness, which can translate into the customer purchasing more products from your company or to the customer attributing more value to your product(s).

5) A product makes a promise, good or bad - The visual product language is the physical embodiment of the products technology. This means that often the technology that powers a product is sealed inside a compartment and not viewable by the user. The user may not even really understand how the technology works. What they see and experience is the physical embodiment of the outside of the product. The quality of the design they can see and touch can be translated to the technology inside, because the user can, and usually does, form an opinion about how the product should function based on the look, feel and quality of the exterior of the product. If the function of the product does not match the user’s expectation based on the exterior experience, the user will feel that disconnect. We have all experienced this. A product looks great and we have high expectations, but it performs poorly and we are upset. The opposite is also true. A product can look dated, or of poor quality, and if we do use it, usually because of a lower price than the competition, we are surprised if it performs well. In this case, not matching your products look and feel to its performance is a major opportunity lost to attract yourself new customers and to build brand loyalty. The proper “brand promise” is that the quality of the look and feel must match the product’s performance.

The Driven team has three decades of product development knowledge. Contact us if you have questions about how to get the best possible visual design language for your next great product.