Branding is not just your logo.
Creating a cohesive brand is what sets you apart from the competition in the day of digital consumption. We are all exposed to thousands of ads, pictures, videos and more these days, but somehow we all still have our favorite accounts to follow, publications to read and content to digest. Think about what makes your favorites stand out to you.
By creating a cohesive brand, you are creating a personality for your brand. When users see your content they should already know it’s yours because of the tone and feel of the piece. Every time you publish content, you are telling consumers who you are and what to expect from you.
So how do you present your brand personality to consumers to keep them coming back for more? Here are 5 tips to creating a cohesive brand.
1. Know Your Why
This is one of the most important steps to starting a successful business. Knowing your why will help you with more than creating a brand and should be ingrained in every aspect of your business.
Watch this clip from a TED talk with Simon Sinek, ‘Start With Why’.
2. Know Your Target Audience
You’re creating a brand for your clients. Your brand should encompass your target client’s personality as much as it does your business’.
Ask yourself these questions to define your target audience:
- What is their gender?
- How old are they?
- What is their income?
- What social media platforms do they use the most?
- What are their favorite brands?
- What stores do they shop at?
- What publications do they follow?
Once you have narrowed down your audience, you’ll have a better understanding of what they are drawn to. Compare their favorite brands, stores, and media to find similarities and consider how you can apply that to your branding strategy.
3. Create A Mood Board
While you’re working on creating your brand strategy, create a mood board to display images that evoke the feeling you want to represent your brand. You can create an actual mood board or a virtual mood board with pinterest.
Save images such as:
- Color palettes
- Logo inspiration
- Work spaces
- Business Cards
- Website Designs
- Business Templates
Once you have a decent collection, analyze the results. Is there a trend? Do the same colors keep popping up? Are there certain images that pop out at your more than the rest? If so, separate them from the others. Try to keep the separated group less to less than 20 items.
Are there certain images you think are lacking compared to the others surround it? If so, remove them.
4. Choose Your Colors, Fonts & Images
Now that you’ve created a mood board, you should have the inspiration to create a cohesive brand. Think about how you want your clients to feel when they are on your website or social media pages. This is how you set the vibe.
Choose up to 3 colors that evoke those feelings and represent your target client.
Do you want cool colors that create a calming effect? Do you want potential clients to feel energized by bright bold colors?
You can use this free tool, Adobe Color, to play around with color options until you find what’s right for you.
Were there colors that you loved from your mood board? If so, try using this tool, Coolors, to pull those exact colors from the images.
Choose up to 3 fonts that help to build those feelings.
Do you want a minimalist feel with clean lines? Are you looking to create an elegant ambiance with cursive? Quirky and fun?
We recommend choosing two main fonts that contrast and a third simple font. Make sure that they look good together, are easy to read, and work together to create the feeling you want.
Try using this tool, Wordmark.it, to view all of your fonts together, play with the color, size, positive/negative, filters, etc.
Choose An Image Style
What types of images represent your brand? Keep your images cohesive by choosing a style. You can do this by choosing a specific filter that will be used on all images, always having specific colors in all images, or having a certain type of subject in every picture.
Think about what types of images your audience wants to see and again, what types of feelings the images will evoke.
5. Create Branding Guidelines
Now that you have created a cohesive brand, put it all together to create your branding guidelines. You will most likely reference these guidelines often while creating content, so it’s important to have them all in one spot. It will also help if you ever collaborate or have employees working on content for your business.
What to include in your branding guidelines:
- Your logo (image, along with width & height in pixels)
- Logo variations (image, along with width & height in pixels)
- Icons (social or other icon images, along with width & height in pixels)
- Core color (list where it will be used, Hex & RBG codes)
- Secondary colors (list where they will be used, Hex & RBG codes)
- Font colors (list font, Hex & RBG codes)
- Core (Body) font (List font name, text & line spacing & provide an example)
- Secondary Fonts (List font name, text & line spacing & provide an example)
- Provide any additional brand elements, such as image filters or presets, image subjects, etc.
You have successfully created a cohesive brand. Now it’s time to apply your branding elements and start building your audience!
Check out our blog post: 10 Tips To Grow Your Business With Social Media