Every brand has a unique mission, voice, and point of view. But just because you understand how you’re different from your competitors doesn’t mean you know how to communicate that clearly to consumers.
Creating a cohesive brand marketing strategy is critical in a competitive marketplace. Not only does it help you stand out amongst the competition, but it also helps you build trust with consumers, build awareness, and (eventually) generate more sales (or at least, that’s the goal!). Here, I’ll show you why establishing a unified look and feel across your online and offline assets is important and share some tips for how to do it.
A brand needs to build trust with consumers before they’ll do business with you. You’re asking them to hand over their hard-earned money (and their credit card information!) in exchange for your goods or services, so they want to be sure that yours is the best business for the job.
The way you present your brand can make or break your ability to build trust with consumers who don’t already know you. And it makes sense: Brand marketing that take the time to cultivate a professional appearance online and in person are more likely to win consumers’ trust because they took the time to invest in themselves.
Think about it like this: If you were conducting a job interview, how would you feel about hiring someone who showed up to the interview with a wrinkled shirt, untied shoes, and tangled hair? They could have the most impressive resume in the world, but you would still have some serious doubts if they arrived looking unprofessional. It would likely make you doubt the claims they made on their resume.
The same principle applies to businesses. If you look great online and then sloppy in person (or vice versa), you’ll immediately introduce doubt, rather than trust, into consumers’ minds.
If someone is unfamiliar with your brand, the greatest way to build that recognition is through consistent messaging. That’s precisely why brands create logos – because a logo is easily identifiable as your calling card. When you’re driving down the highway and see golden arches up the road, you immediately know that a Big Mac and fries could be yours in a few short minutes.
While that example is from a highly visible and popular brand, a great logo and consistent branding can do wonders for a lesser-known business, too. When people see your logo and messaging over and over again – on their Facebook feed, in a display ad on another website, on your business’s Instagram page, and in print ads in your local paper – you suddenly become the top-of-mind brand for that consumer when they think of your industry.
Let People Know What You Do
Businesses want to communicate what they do quickly and why they do it better than any of their competitors. Smart, consistent brand marketing can help you get that messaging out across all of your marketing channels.
If your company has a generic name that doesn’t indicate the industry you’re in, creating a logo that incorporates what you do into the image can immediately communicate a lot of important information to consumers. Similarly, a business that develops a catchphrase or tagline that they use over and over again gets their mission out there in a way that really sticks in people’s minds.
Take, for example, Geico. From their name, it’s not immediately apparent what they do (provide car insurance). They even have a bunch of different ad campaigns running, often simultaneously (some with a gecko spokesman, some with cavemen, some with a talking pile of money). But their catchphrase, “15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance,” is steeped in the public consciousness.
Suddenly, everyone knows what this company with a generic-sounding name does. If you were to say that tagline to a friend or family member, chances are good that they’d associate the correct company with it immediately.
How to Create a Cohesive Brand
So you can see why there’s a lot of value in building a consistent presence in all of your on- and offline assets, from social media pages to websites to print ads and direct mail. But how do you do it? Here are some ways to keep your business’s image consistent.
1. Use the same color palette everywhere.
Developing a consistent color palette for your brand is a great way to build that instant recognition. Big companies do this effectively in their brand marketing campaigns.
When you see pink and orange, you automatically think Dunkin’ Donuts; when you see a drink with a green straw in it, you instantly know it came from Starbucks. There’s a lot of interesting research out there about the psychology of color, so think about developing a color palette that makes the most sense for the messaging you’re trying to convey about your brand. And, if you’re not a design expert, you can work with a brand marketing company that has their own experts to help with this (hint, hint!).
2. Put your logo on all assets.
Your social media pages, any advertising (on- or offline), your website – any place where you can include your logo, you should include your logo.
On social media, creating consistent cover images is another way to maintain a cohesive look. A site like Canva can help you resize images for each social site so that your logo and cover photos never look squished down or stretched out.
3. Create brand guidelines.
Part of building a cohesive brand is establishing the same voice across all of your assets. If the copy on your website sounds like it was written by a serious British butler, but the posts on your social media account seem like the work of an emoji- and meme-obsessed teenager, people are going to be confused.
This is where a messaging document and brand guidelines come in. Establish the tone you’re going for, and include examples from other brands who strike the right balance. A brand guideline document can help to ensure that anyone–from your head of marketing to the intern who started yesterday–can write messaging that sounds like it came from your business.
No matter what industry or line of work you’re in, a cohesive image is critical. Presenting yourself consistently across all of your assets helps establish trust, build recognition, and ultimately win over business.
If you want some help with brand marketing across the board, we’re here for you. Give us a call today to learn more.