Icons and Avatars.

22 Jan 2023
3 min read
Building Strong Brands with the Power of Icons and Avatars: A Guide to Visual Symbolism.

Icons and avatars are powerful tools that can help you build a successful brand, as outlined in Marty Neumeier's book 'The Brand Gap'.

A brand icon is a visual symbol that represents your brand and communicates your market position. It should be simple, memorable, and easily recognizable.

An avatar, on the other hand, is an animated or interactive version of your brand icon that can move, morph, or otherwise operate freely as the brand's alter ego. This allows your brand to come to life and connect with your audience on a deeper emotional level.

The power of icons and avatars lies in their ability to tap into the human visual system. Cognitive scientists estimate that more than half the brain is dedicated to the visual system, which means that a strong visual identity is crucial for creating a lasting impression. However, it's not just about sight - icons and avatars can also involve other senses, including smell, touch, taste, and hearing. This allows you to create a multisensory brand experience that resonates with your audience.

Icons, in particular, contain the DNA of your brand. They are the basic building blocks for creating a distinct brand personality that stands out from the competition.

The meanings that are packed into the icon can be unpacked at will and woven into all brand communication, from advertising to signage, packaging to products themselves. This ensures a consistent brand message and a strong connection with your audience.

Illustration: Gugis a a budha
An avatar goes even further by becoming the symbolic actor in a continuing brand story.

It allows your brand to showcase its values and personality, making it more relatable to your audience. It also creates a deeper emotional connection with your audience, as they can see your brand come to life.


In conclusion, icons and avatars are powerful tools for building strong brands.
  • They allow you to create a visual identity that connects with your target audience and differentiates your brand from the competition.
  • They also allow you to create a multisensory brand experience that resonates with your audience and creates a deeper emotional connection.
  • As Marty Neumeier states, "Long live icons and avatars."

If you're looking to build a successful brand, it's worth considering how icons and avatars can help you achieve your goals.


Unlock the secrets of effective branding with Marty Neumeier in "The Futur" Youtube video, "What is Branding? A deep dive with Marty Neumeier"


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