VISUALS & FEELINGS

How are the visuals you're using impacting your brand?  Read on.

When your brain takes in visual information, part of the processing that happens is scanning for associations it has with the data being received.  Those associations affect the mood that's created in the viewer.

Example:  You open a coffee shop.  You're looking for some wall art to put up in the shop.  What's the difference between the feelings created by and associations you have with the two choices below?

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  • In the first picture, can you hear the sound of the espresso machine hissing?  Can you visualize catching up with an old friend over a cup of coffee while sitting in a big comfy brown leather chair?  Can you hear the chatter and occasional laughter of other people's conversations?  What feelings come up for you?
  • In the second picture, can you feel the slight cold from the overcast clouds?  Smell the fresh air?  Imagine the quiet of the early morning?  "The Adventure Begins"...What plans can you dream up for the day? 

So you can see that each of these create a different feeling.  What feeling you do want your audience to associate with your brand?  

The science:  Roughly 1/3 of the human brain is devoted to vision.  The brain has to perform an enormous amount of work to unambiguously interpret the billions of photons streaming into the eyes(1).  Your brain is interpreting color, detecting edges and motion, perceiving depth and distance, deciding the identity of objects, recognizing faces, and lots more, all while you have little knowledge of or access to this processing(2).  In addition, you're assigning meaning to what you see, both in terms of literal definition (do I know what this is?) and emotional association (how does this make me feel?). 

Another example to consider would be the headline picture for this post.  There is a forest fire and a flash flood.  If you live in much of the US, right now your state is likely being affected by one or the other of these, hence you'd have a different emotional response to this visual than say, perhaps, someone who lived in another part of the world.

ENGAGE:  Are the visuals you're using creating the right feelings in your audience?  Do you need help incorporating insights from psychology and neuroscience into your efforts?  Click here to contact me. 

GO FURTHER:  To read more about visuals and the brain, click here to pick up Incognito by David Eagleman(1), or click here for Subliminal by Leonard Mlodinow(2).  

EMOTION DRIVES ACTION!