A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: The Importance of Visual Communication in Marketing
Why is visual communication a significant aspect of marketing?
Why is visual communication a significant aspect of marketing? Scientifically, the human brain is wired to respond to visuals. Coupled with this is the continuous cultural shift in communication—society has been broadening its communication methods from verbal and text-based modes to text with image or pure visual communication. Television commercials, online banner ads and social media are three obvious examples. Daily, if not hourly, we post, pin, tweet and Instagram images. In other words, we embrace visual communication; we respond to it, use it and depend on it as a medium to communicate with others—the medium is the message and that medium is visually based.
What is visual communication? Visual communication is the delivery of information to an intended audience through a variety of visual mediums, which include, but are not limited to, print, online TV, billboards, film and video, animation, and live performances. While a large portion of visual communication is composed of imagery, that is not the only facet. Developing various visual mediums and methods, identifying new opportunities, and determining the proper channels also contribute to visual communication.
“Great brands are like friends—you encounter a huge number of them,
but you only remember the ones you love.”
~ Luc Speisser, Managing Director, Landor Paris & Geneva
Why is visual communication important?
- Images are memorable while messages are forgettable. An image increases a message’s memorability.
- Images are emotional, influential and persuasive.
- The human brain is wired to process images quickly.
- People look for patterns in their environment to make sense of their surroundings, to help make choices, to understand concepts and to achieve knowledge.
- Visuals simplify communication and can reach a wider global audience. Images cross language barriers.
- Images can reflect the uniqueness of a product or service.
- Images make the invisible visible by creating a visual representation of an intangible service or object.
- Visual communication has the potential to build a brand’s image, identity and equity.
- Images are processed faster by the brain than is text—up to 60,000 times faster.
Remember, the consumer has an abundance of choice; thus, products and services need to differentiate themselves to stand out in a sea of choices. Visual communication contributes to distinguishing the product or service and helps in creating an emotional connection between the consumer and a brand, which ultimately becomes memorable and irreplaceable.
Written by Brooke Allen