Visual Communication

6 Ways Visual Branding Can Attract Millennials

By Laura Box - 6 min read

Ever wondered why your brand isn’t connecting with millennials? Visual identity can make or break a company.

Millennials are a unique demographic to crack, and their internet-savviness and sceptical approach towards brands means they’ve become an enigma to even the most experienced marketing experts.

But once brands understand the simple foundation of what millennials are looking for, it becomes easy to implement or avoid key visual concepts. Simply put, millennials want brands to be well designed, reliable, personal and most of all – genuine.

Overview: 6 Ways Visual Branding Can Attract Millennials:

  • Be unique
  • Keep it pretty
  • Make it personal
  • Consistency is key
  • Stay true to your brand: Be authentic
  • Show, don’t tell
  • 1. Be unique

    As the first generation to be raised alongside the internet, millennials have seen it all. So to keep them intrigued it comes down to using interactive and unique web design. Keeping visitors on your page for longer means they’re more likely to develop a relationship with your brand.

    Take, for example, Sketch, a London hotel’s homepage that uses interactive graphics to increase the likelihood of users exploring the site. Video content has also been highly successful in engaging millennials – but stay away from stale, corporate methods and try something out of the box, like Tao Tajima’s scrollable video site.

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    2. Keep it pretty

    Coming up with an unconventional idea for your brand’s visual identity is one thing, but making sure it’s aesthetically pleasing is even more important to millennials. Have you ever visited a website that made you decide to close your laptop and take up meditation instead? If you don’t know what that feels like, maybe you should check this out.

    A key factor for building online trust with millennial audiences is through website design, whilst a poorly designed webpage is usually an early deterrent. If in doubt, keep it simple - a straightforward layout with beautiful images can work wonders, as Another Escape proves.

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    3. Make it personal

    When Airbnb started, they decided to find ‘100 lovers’. This meant finding 100 people who loved their brand, rather than a million people who simply liked it. They did this to understand what their core users wanted and to develop an emotional connection – and it worked. Millennials know there are humans behind every brand and they want to see that. Invoking an emotional response in your audience – whether that be through humour or storytelling – can make your brand seem approachable and human.

    If your target audience, or your ‘100 lovers’, are playful, speak to them through playful, fun branding. This doesn’t mean an analytical target audience needs boring branding: Instead use you can use clear, logical graphics, like For The Record, that are no less exciting.

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    4. Consistency is key

    Imagery and branding across your websites and social media should be unwavering. Just like the tone in written copy, a comprehensive visual style guide can ensure your brand stays on-point, always. Creating a consistent image across all forms of communication through logo, typography, colour palette, and imagery will create a cohesive package to attract your target audience.

    French musician Mr Oizo has masterfully used consistent branding to create an image. Across his website, videos and socials, he uses old school computerized aesthetics and a puppet mascot to establish his identity.

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    5. Stay true to your brand: Be authentic

    Millennials want the truth, not a sales pitch. They value transparency above all else and their scepticism helps them quickly determine whether or not to trust your brand. So what should you avoid? Faux social media activism is a big no-no. Millennials are sick of seeing brands jumping on the bandwagon of on-trend social movements without walking the walk.

    So instead of posting #MeToo or selling that feminism tee to make a quick buck, consider aligning the image of your brand with social movements by genuinely giving back. Millennials are loyal to brands that care about more than profits and don’t use their activism as an explicit marketing ploy; rather, it should be an implicit part of the brand.

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    6. Show, don’t tell

    By using the above techniques, you should be showing – not telling – your audience what you want them to know about your brand. Millennials are itching for unique experiences. Are you innovative, unique, fun and authentic? Definitely don’t write that on your webpage. Instead, use your visuals to communicate this. Maybe you’ve seen this Volvo video.

    Perfectly demonstrating the show, don’t tell concept, the video keeps viewers engaged and on the edge of their seat while communicating two important things: 1. Volvo trucks are incredibly precise, and 2. Volvo is an exciting and daring brand. It’s time to consider what your visuals are saying about your brand.

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    Summary

  • Be unique
  • Keep it pretty
  • Make it personal
  • Consistency is key
  • Stay true to your brand: Be authentic
  • Show, don’t tell
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