HOW TO MAKE YOUR BRAND COHESIVE ACROSS PLATFORMS
When I met Krishna, I was immediately blown away by her energy, her bright personality, and her amazing branding and design skills. Today, I'm excited that she's here to share some of her wisdom and give us some invaluable tips about keeping our brand cohesive across all touch points.
Over to you Krish!
There are so many platforms out there that it can be overwhelming.
Social media platforms, business networking platforms, marketing platforms… the list can go on and on.
That’s why it is super important to ensure your brand and business are cohesive across them.
As a brand and Squarespace website designer with over 15 years of design experience, I'm here today to share some tips on how to make your brand cohesive across all the different platforms.
Brand V brand identity
First things first, let’s get clear on understanding the difference between your brand and your brand identity. They are often confused so it’s always a good idea to gain clarity on each of them.
We’ve all heard the quote from Jezz Bezos “your brand is what other people say about you when you are not in the room” … and too rightly so as your brand is how you are perceived and it is the emotion that is evoked when someone interacts with you. That emotion and interaction can be via email, in person, on social media, in your blog post, in your photography, your podcast… anywhere. Your brand is also more than just a logo, which brings me to clarifying your brand identity.
Your brand identity is the toolkit, or system, that has been designed, created, and put into place to give your brand a representation - visually and emotionally. As touched upon, it is more than just a logo. It is a whole raft of elements that can include, but is not limited to:
Secondary logo (alternative logo)
Submark (stamp or browser icon)
Tone of voice
A cohesive brand
Ok, so now we have identified the differences between a brand and a brand identity we need to tackle how to make your brand cohesive across the various platforms.
In a nutshell, the answer is simple! Consistency.
Consistency is the key to making your brand cohesive.
But how, I hear you say?...
1 | Creating a strong unique brand identity
Your visual brand identity should be as unique as you. Your business may be similar to another business in your industry, but what differentiates your brand is the way it carries itself. A strong unique brand identity can make your brand cohesive across platforms if you have the right elements in your toolkit/system and you implement them consistently and effectively.
I’ll break that down. The bare bones of your visual brand identity should consist of a logo (primary logo), a secondary logo (alternative logo - think for use as a social media profile picture), a submark (like a stamp element or the browser icon), a strong colour palette, complementary fonts and photography.
Ensuring you use the same colours, fonts, visual representations of your logo will aid you in being consistent and therefore make your brand cohesive.
Coca Cola uses their visual brand elements superbly to create consistency across their website, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube accounts:
You can instantly see they use their white logo on the red background for their profile pictures and the use of the bold strong red, which is a part of the brand colour palette is a unique identifier for them when alongside or used in conjunction with their logo.
2 | Develop a website
Think of your website as your online home for your brand. In this day and age, people are so quick on their fingers to look up the brand or business they have just come across, maybe to find out more about the services you offer, to make a purchase or enquire about hiring you. Whatever leads a potential client or customer to your website the first thing they will notice is how it looks (assuming your website loads relatively well).
Your website should without a doubt be responsive, create a great user experience so that your potential clients/customers can easily navigate to what they came to find or do, and it should most definitely consistently carry across the visual brand identity and create the brand experience you want them to feel. This, in turn, will make your brand cohesive on your website.
3 | Don’t forget offline material
OK, so we’ve covered the brand visuals, the website, but what about offline material or business documents. By that I mean your business card, your thank you postcards, your contract, invoice, or even the tissue paper or the branded box that you wrap your thank you gifts or products in… All these elements need to be considered to create brand cohesiveness. For example, if you have a pattern in your visual brand identity toolkit then be sure to use it on these elements to bring in consistency. This will keep your brand connected and cohesive throughout the experience and across the offline “platform”.
Bloom & Wild are a brilliant example of brand cohesiveness especially when it comes to carrying their brand experience through their offline material. Their website is on-brand, utilising their logo, colour palette (that dusky pastel pink) and fonts throughout the site. Their letterbox flowers also arrive in a branded box, the inside of the box showcases their logo variation, fonts, colour palette and illustration style - it’s perfect to create an Instagrammable photo, and within the box along with the flowers, they also include a little booklet that guides and provides you with arrangement tips for your flowers! The booklet again using the same fonts, photography style, brand colours to highlight certain textual elements.
The whole experience and brand cohesiveness is wonderful and really differentiates them as a brand and makes them extremely memorable.
(Images taken from the Bloom & Wild - website)
4 | Social media
Social media is an incredibly HUGE marketing tool. It’s very likely that your brand will be present on one or more social media platforms. Therefore it’s also hugely important to ensuring you deliver a consistent brand experience on these platforms. One thing to consider, and keep in mind, is to ensure your social media handles are consistent - this will help your audience to easily connect with you, and it will make your brand more cohesive.
Using branded photography or imagery with a consistent style is a great way to ensure cohesiveness across platforms as well. Brand photography is also very visually appealing and a natural way to evoke emotion in your brand experience. Showcasing your branded photography on your social media is not only a great way to use your imagery but it can also really help with delivering a cohesive brand.
5 | Have a consistent voice
Your tone of voice can be incredibly impactful. Any written content - whether that be a blog post, your website copy, your social media post, or your email reply, they all need to carry a consistent tone of voice. The tone of voice needs to embody your business personality and characteristics. Imagine someone interacting with your brand on Instagram, and then they visit your website and also send you an email. At all 3 touchpoints, the tone of voice should be consistent, this will ensure your brand is cohesive.
A great example can be seen in Ronseals tone of voice. We’ve all heard the tagline “Does exactly what it says on the tin”, we’ve seen the commercial, but have you seen the text on the actual tins or read one of their blog posts?
I was pleasantly surprised, but at the same time smiling away, when I came across the same tone of voice, the same personality, was carried throughout all the material consistently, cohesively - I could literally hear the voice in my head mimicking the man on the tv ad!
(Ronseal website - "Does exactly what is says on the tin")
6 | Use your brand identity
This final point on how to make your brand cohesive across platforms is often the one that gets forgotten the most. As a business owner, you have many hats on at any given time, so it’s easy to forget, but it’s really important to remember that using your brand identity (visuals and more) can make your brand cohesive. It’s also super important to share your brand visuals, style guide and more with your team or any collaborators so that they also can reinforce your brand across the platforms.
(Brand and website design for Futurum Group - Krishna Solanki Designs - Squarespace website)
(Brand and website design for Futurum Group - Krishna Solanki Designs - LinkedIn Company page)
(Brand and website design for Futurum Group - Krishna Solanki Designs - Business card design)
You see, it’s not a case of what platforms you use or are present on. It’s a case of ensuring you are consistent on those platforms, using your brand identity to build or reinforce your brand so that it speaks to your ideal audience - evokes the right emotions and portrays the right messaging.
By keeping these tips in mind and actioning them you’ll be able to make your brand cohesive across platforms.
I hope these tips help you, if you need any help with your branding please do not hesitate to get in touch.