We should all know about the importance of having a cohesive brand look by now, right? Since branding is all the rage these days (I’m not complaining), we hear about it in every other sentence. At least in some circles.
That means we’ve heard it all: you need a brand; that brand should represent you + your biz; it should be consistent + cohesive; it should be appealing to your customers; it should grow trust; etc.
But hearing these things over and over doesn’t mean we actually understand what they’re saying. Or that we’re successful in how we do it.
What does a cohesive brand look really mean?
It means staying consistent. I know, a circular argument.
But really. Consistent = Cohesive = Consistent = Cohesive.
They go hand in hand. If everything you create for your brand has the same (consistent) brand elements, you’ll have a cohesive brand look.
By using the same colors, fonts, image styles, logo, and writing tone, your audience will be able to recognize you wherever they bump into you.
Do you guest post? Have social media accounts? Do pop up events? Advertise on Facebook?
If your audience sees your brand out and about in the world or online, they should be able to instantly recognize you. They should see a graphic you created and be able to say ‘Hey, that’s Jennifer from X Company,’ even when there’s no logo or name on what they’re looking at.
Why is it important?
This is easy to explain with a statistic from Action Card: “It takes an average of 5–7 brand impressions before someone will remember your brand.”
Think about that. First, people don’t remember your brand unless they’ve seen it 5–7 times. That means if I scroll past your Instagram ad once, twice, four times, I probably won’t give you a second thought. I might think ‘oh cool,’ but I’m going to keep scrolling in my Insta feed.
Once I hit that fifth time, I go ‘oh ok, that’s Jennifer from X Company.’ And I start to remember you. Now every time I see you, I recognize you. I start to interact with you. We become online BFFs in my mind because I comment on your posts and you respond. We build a rapport.
But what if I go over to Pinterest, or Twitter, or wherever, and see something you’ve posted that looks completely different than what I’m used to on Instagram? I’m going to assume it’s done by someone else.
Or, I might realize it’s you, and suddenly I’m not as confident in your ability to do what you say you can, because you don’t even know how to keep your brand consistent. If I was on the verge of buying from you, I’ve now lost my intention to do that. Which means you just lost a customer.
Do you see how this works? How customers can go from warm leads to cold ones by seeing something out of the norm? We, as humans (especially as ONLINE humans), are fickle beings. We change our minds in a split second, and we judge others based only on what we see online. Because we can’t sit down and have coffee with you, realize you’re scatterbrained but decide to love you anyways. We only have the parts of your brand that you publish to determine if we like you and want to buy from you.
That’s the bottom line. That’s why consistency and a cohesive brand look are so important.
How do you achieve it?
There are a number of things you can do to give your brand that cohesive look + aesthetic. And really, they all just depend on you making the same selections whenever you’re creating new graphics and content.
- Use the same fonts: pick 2–3 that you’ll use for everything. Including decorative stuff, headlines, and body copy.
- Use the same colors: anywhere from 3–6 colors that you’ll use consistently for your graphics, website, social media, and more.
- Use the same image style: choose images that all have the same basic appearance. If you can’t find decent stock images that work, consider taking your own.
- The same filters + lighting
- The same overlays
- The same orientations + sizes
- The same content in the photos
- The same colors in the photos
- Use the same writing tone: choose a tone of voice that will resonate with your audience. Do they respond to professional or casual? Sarcastic or friendly? Humorous or straight-laced?
- The same language
- The same emojis
When you put all of this stuff together in the same way, consistently, you have a cohesive brand look.
How does it benefit you?
Designing and writing things the same way builds trust among your followers. They get to know your style, trust in your brand, and believe that anything they might hire you to do for them will have the same quality.It makes you look like a pro. It creates a positive reputation for your business. It leads to new clients and sales. It makes you more successful at what you do. What more could you need?