How Aesthetics Can Influence The Perception of Your Business

brand colours

You will often hear me say, branding is not just about making something look pretty. But aesthetics are important. Very important. It’s about utilising design to communicate a particular message. Putting the creativity to work for you! As your silent partner. A partner that pays for itself over time. Your brand identity really is in many ways silent and subliminal. Brand guru, Marty Neumeier says this about branding, “A brand is not what you say it is. It’s what they say it is.”  It’s a gut feeling a person has about a business. You can use design to help influence this. People don’t look at your brand identity and make a decision there and then. It’s more subtle than that. It’s more about consistent exposure to the presentation of a business that subconsciously seeps into the mind.


How do you put aesthetics to work?

Your brand identity is based off of your brand personality. The personality of a brand can be established by looking at areas of your business such as, Positioning, Values, Culture, Behaviour, Tone of Voice, Look and Feel. It’s like the personality of a person. People are drawn to certain traits in a person that makes them appealing. And this makes them want to be friends with them. For the purpose of this article and since we are talking about aesthetics I will  focus on Tone of Voice and Look and Feel. When we describe a person, we usually use certain adjectives. With your brand identity you’re looking to define a set of words/attributes that accurately describe your business. Once these are defined they are translated into the style and tone of how you visually present and communicate your business. They will influence the style of your logo, the choice of colours, fonts, graphics, imagery and copy used.

Here’s an example of some descriptive words:

Approachable or Formal

Affordable or Luxury

Vibrant or Calm

Colourful or Minimal

Reliable or Edgy

Refined or Rugged

Innovative or Traditional

Exclusive or Inclusive

Loud or Humble

Mainstream or Unconventional

Casual or Elegant

Friendly or Authoritative


There’s so many words that can be looked at. You’re looking to find a set of individual attributes that authentically represent your business. Let’s take a look at three big brands, what they represent, and how they communicate it.



Refined, Luxury, Authoritative, Exclusive

The Mercedes brand is all about status. To be part of an exclusive club. A symbol of success. The imagery used is largely focused on the superior finishes of the car and models fitting their target customer. The copy speaks in an authoritative tone. And the font they use is a serif font, which is more classic in character.




Minimal, Innovative, Creative, Simplicity

Apple uses a minimalistic approach with everything. It’s what they stand for. It’s all about the products. They speak for themselves. The innovation and design. They usually pair this with succinct copy, using a modern sans-serif typeface. I couldn’t leave out an image of their packaging. Again, so simple, yet beautiful. They really put a lot of effort into packaging and the experience of opening it.



Inspiration, Innovation, Empowerment

Nike is an inspirational brand. Their “Just do it” tagline encourages and challenges people to be better. Their approach leans heavily towards using imagery to tell a strong story and it’s always paired with compelling copy.


In the examples above they show you a broader use of a brand identity and how it is used in advertising. Now, let’s narrow it down a bit and look at it in it’s simpler form.



Sustainability, Connection, Warmth, Openness, Welcoming

Starbucks uses the colour green in its logo. The colour green has a strong association with nature and this aligns well with their sustainability attribute. The logo is within a circle shape. Circle shapes are softer than other shapes and are more friendly, which is appropriate for their warm and welcoming attributes. With their packaging and interior design they pair the green with a brown which also links back to nature and they use wood that is sustainable. Their brown paper bags and burlap coffee sleeves are also eco-friendly.



Pink Lady

Premium, Uplifting, Positive, Fresh, Fun

I thought this was an interesting one to include. The Pink Lady is the worlds first apple brand. Not an easy thing to achieve… Their brand purpose is to “feed the world with moments of WOW!” Their identity, from the vibrant, pink heart logo and script font, to the energetic colours used in ads clearly communicates their uplifting and fun attributes. I do find the Ad with the woman a bit scary though… It’s definitely impactful and memorable.



Aesthetics play a powerful role in influencing the perception of a brand. There has to be a ‘why’ behind them though. A purpose. You are trying to draw people in. And make a meaningful connection. You’re looking to inspire belief. Authenticity is the key to getting there.

Echo that!

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