They say not to judge a book by its cover but our natural response is to do just that. You don't click on an article if it doesn't have an eye-catching image or walk into a store if it looks too run-down. Your brand is the cover of your book. Without a cohesive and consistent brand, people won't know what to think of you.
Why Do You Need a Cohesive Brand?
In this age of online everything, your presence online, social media or otherwise, is your first impression to potential customers. If your Instagram is inconsistent and visually unappealing, it may turn people away like a messy storefront. The same goes for your website; if it has too many different fonts and colors on the front page, it gives your viewers a bad impression of your business. Bad impressions make for lost customers.
You need a cohesive brand so your customers know who you are. This means your social media, website, and physical space should have the same feel. If your store is very retro with a dark color scheme, your online presence should be too. If you have a very professional and business-like setting, your website should reflect that. When you do this, it allows your customers to understand who you are through any platform.
How Can You Create a Cohesive Brand?
Creating a cohesive and consistent brand seems like a daunting task. It's really just telling your current and future customers who you are through your online and physical presence.
Here are four easy steps to do that:
Having a cohesive design is a big part of your brand. Your website, social media, and physical store should all have the same vibe. There are a couple of ways to do this: you can hire someone specifically for your graphic design or do it yourself. If you hire someone, all you'll have to do is give them a good-quality .png file of your logo and a description of the feel you want the design to be. If you do it yourself, you'll have a lot more work.
When designing your website, you need to coordinate your fonts and color scheme with your logo. Using too many colors or fonts will make it look amateur - giving your customers a bad impression of your business. Your design should be cohesive throughout the website. If you aren't sure it looks professional, have someone else look at your work and tell you what they think of it.
When posting on social media, you should have a consistent and cohesive theme. A good way to do this is by using the same preset filter on all your pictures. You can either use the filters made by Instagram or make your own. To make your own, you can use photo-editing software like Photoshop or an app like VSCO. The content of your posts should be consistent too. As you can see from our Instagram, having consistent content and design in pictures gives the page a cohesive look and feel.
Content is the crux of having a good online presence. Whether it's in blog posts, Instagram captions, or even product descriptions, you need to have the same personality throughout. If you run a blog for a law firm, it will have a different feel than a blog for a coffee shop. You need to match your writing style to your business. You should ask yourself these three questions when writing:
- Will my customers want to read this?
- Will this be interesting to my customers?
- What impression will my customers have of my business because of this?
If you're at a loss for ideas, consider your customer.: look at what they're posting about or what questions they have relating to your business. Keep your content relevant to your target customer on all your platforms. This will allow your voice to be the most cohesive.
The culture of the internet is constantly changing. Your business should be too. To have a cohesive brand doesn't mean to do exactly the same thing as when you started. It means coordinating all of your platforms to cater to what your customer cares about. Evolving as a business shouldn't happen too quickly, however. Your customers should still recognize your brand. That's what having a cohesive brand is: customers recognizing who you are.
One major factor in creating a cohesive brand is your company values. You should build your brand around your values and have them prominently posted on your platforms like this. Having your values written out is only one step in doing this, however. Your customers should understand your values by the way you conduct your business. If your company values transparency, you shouldn't be hiding the prices on your website. If your company values fair and ethical business practices, you should be treating your employees fairly and ethically. The way you conduct yourself both online and in person is your brand, keeping it consistent will help you look more trustworthy to your customers.
An integral part of running a business is having a cohesive brand. You create a cohesive brand based on how your customers perceive your online presence (your website and social media) and your physical space. Everything you post should sound like it comes from one personality. You should feel comfortable evolving as a business for what your customers want and need. Most importantly, your values should be prominent, both in writing and in the way you conduct yourself. If you follow these steps, you will create a cohesive brand your customers will appreciate.