To build a successful business, one of the many strings you will need to add to your bow is a cohesive brand, but I can hear you say: “But I have a logo – that’s enough right?” – although a logo is usually the first thing people notice about your company, it doesn’t create a brand.
Cohesive branding involves ensuring consistency in your brand no matter which platforms you use so that your brand is immediately recognizable. For example, Nike has been using their famous ‘swoosh’ logo since 1971 and although consumers may identify the product/advert as a Nike product, the feel or identity of the brand isn’t felt through that icon. It is everything surrounding the ‘swoosh’ that defines the brand.
Many business owners begin their journey with a logo – a recognisable design that is included on business cards, flyers and on their website/social media account, but they may not realise that their brand is more than that.
Dilution of a brand can be major issue with companies that haven’t necessarily found themselves yet. The use of colour can help either build a stronger identity or completely destroy an already established brand, for example if I asked you to close your eyes and imagine a Coca-Cola can, what colours would you think of? Red and white? Maybe Silver or Black? This is due to Coca-Cola keeping a very consistent set of colours. If you were to see a Coca-Cola can that was blue or a burgundy red it wouldn’t sit well with customers!
Tone of Voice within advertising is important. Without the correct Tone of Voice a brand can become stale or confuse the customer. Imagine if Rolls Royce tried an advertising campaign in which they used Text speak and Emojis – This would be completely against their target market (Self-employed, heirs to large fortunes, royalty or entrepreneurs; with three or four homes and a net worth of around $30million). A “swing and a miss” campaign like this can be the difference between a success and a complete failure of a business, or at very minimum can cost a small fortune to rectify.
Many design companies will design a Brand Style Guide to help direct the use of a company’s logo/colours and tone of voice, these restrictions allow a constant brand style and ensure that the consumer experience stays the same.
With a well-designed high resolution logo, a consistent font choice, a strict colour palette and a brand style guide laying out how to use these things together you should have an unstoppable brand which will allow your customers to immediately recognise you amongst the rest of your competitors. The key to a successful brand image is restrict yourself on how you use the above items. Don’t try to force your company’s hard-earned identity into something it wouldn’t fit with – if you want to do something different, make it in-keeping with your brand and follow your Brand Style Guide.