5 Steps to Achieving Cohesive Brand Management

Posted by FuseBox One on December 18, 2019

5 Colorful Steps Leading Up to Describe How to Achieve Cohesive Brand Management

 

Many people think that branding means coming up with a cool logo and some company colors – maybe a cool slogan or catchphrase, and you're good to go. However, this couldn't be further from the truth.

Running a successful organization means standing out from your competition in every way possible – and this starts with creating a solid brand. Building a strong brand from the ground up is vital to developing and maintaining a substantial presence in the corporate world, especially among fierce competition.

 

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What is Cohesive Branding?

Your audience may see or encounter your brand in various places. This could be on a billboard, television, internet ad, and social media – you name it. The possibilities are only limited to the channels your brand exists on.

Cohesive branding means maintaining consistency regardless of the mediums or channels consumers see your brand. This means your brand should be immediately recognizable from the rest of the crowd – whether it's on a brochure, sticker, or any other medium.

What does this entail?

  • Choosing the right graphics
  • Proper illustrations
  • Fonts
  • Tone of voice
  • Using consistency

What makes cohesive branding so crucial, though?

First Impressions Matter

First impressions are essential in any situation in life. The corporate world, including marketing, is no different. The first impression of your brand is critical to how customers react and engage with your organization.

Regardless of the first medium clients see your brand on initially, it must portray the message you are aiming to get across. You only get one shot at this.

For example, when customers visit your Facebook page for the first time – if this is the first time they've ever seen your brand – everything will come into play. The colors, logos, and how your posts are responded to all make a difference. All of these things will influence a customer's opinion of your business.

Benefits of Cohesive Branding

There is a massive list of benefits for an organization that accomplishes cohesive branding. Let's examine some of the largest highlights.

Recognition

Brand recognition is one of the main benefits of cohesive branding. Sometimes it's possible to be recognized when there isn't a logo present (this is later when you do a great job of sticking to a uniform voice). However, other elements play a role in this, as well.

Visual elements like layering, colors, and other characteristics will play a role in cohesive branding and recognition. You need something that grabs attention the first time people see it.

Increased Trust

Cohesive branding will also increase the trust that clients have for your brand and organization. Most people won't do business with anyone or any company they don't trust, so this is extremely critical. Trust is the start of many important events in business:

  • Growth
  • Sales
  • Increased engagement
  • Growing a loyal audience

Trust can be built in many ways for an organization. However, branding is one of the most efficient and effective ways to accomplish this.

There are several reasons cohesive branding increases trust:

  • It looks more professional
  • You get more respect
  • It shows you take your business seriously

All of these dynamics roll into one element to create a great deal of trust for your organization.

Create and Maintain an Identity

Cohesive branding can help create an identity for your organization and help maintain it. Whenever your organization's personality is on display, which it is through various forms of marketing, its identity is discovered, as well.

Things like choices of colors, slogans, and other important characteristics will make up your brand identity. You want your brand's personality to shine through, so people can instantly point it out whenever they see it.

Saves Time and Effort

When you establish cohesive branding, it also saves significant time and effort. Why is this?

Cohesive branding gives you an outline for a significant amount of creative content. E-mail templates, flyers, and brochures are already halfway done because of your logo choices. This will save a significant amount of time for your organization.

Create Something Great

It's easier for consumers to remember things that are visual. When your brand is cohesive and sticks out in people's minds, you will be much easier to remember. This means they'll notice it each time they come across it and be more likely to point it out to other people.

Increases Conversions

You can use cohesive branding to increase your organization's conversions. This happens because when customers see your ads, there's no disconnect between the ad and the landing page. Do you know why?

Because cohesive branding leads to a uniform message and brand identity across all mediums and channels. There's nothing lost in translation.

Now, let's take a look at the most important elements in terms of cohesive branding and brand strategy. Does your organization take all of these into account?

The importance of brand identity is no secret, but a lot of companies struggle to understand what brand identity really is. Good knowledge about what makes a brand work can help make managing it a lot more cohesive.

Most Important Elements of Cohesive Branding and Brand Strategy

Analyzing the Competition

Establishing who your competitors are will allow you to develop your identity and gauge what buttons to push with your audience. It will give you an outline of the types of things your audience already responds well to. We're not saying to copy your competition; we're just saying it can simply be a great starting point when you analyze some of their strategies.

Find Out Why

Every company needs "why." This is one of the most important steps in establishing cohesive branding. You need a purpose for your organization or major products. Your purpose will come through clearly in your voice, and your voice should be uniform across every channel.

Mission and Values

What is your mission as an organization? Your mission is actually the core of your organization. The mission of your organization is what your company hopes to accomplish.

Your values paint a picture of what your brand stands for and the principles of daily business. These will guide your organization to your mission on a daily basis and should shine through in your corporate culture.

Do You Involve Employees?

Do all of your team members have a vital role in your marketing process, thus leading to cohesive branding? After all, your employees encompass your organization's core values and lead it on its mission. If your employees aren't involved, it's hard to take the right steps towards establishing a cohesive brand.

Objectives?

What goals does your organization want to accomplish – how do you plan to accomplish these goals? Your objectives should be specific and clear. Without objectives, it's impossible to measure your results and decide what needs to be improved upon.

Identity

Your brand's identity is vital to cohesive branding. We touched on this earlier, but it can't be stated enough. This is how your organization will be identified, whether through a logo or a slogan. You'll need artistic direction and creativity to develop a strong brand identity.

Image

Your brand's image is how your customers perceive your brand, regardless of what your identity is. This also entails what they expect from your organization and brand. When you know your brand's image, it's easier to make decisions that are more in line with what your customers want and expect.

Positioning

This is all about how your brand fits into the specific industry it's involved in. How do you plan to make yourself different? What's going to set you apart from the competition? Brand positioning means you must appeal to your target audience and give them a reason to believe in your brand.

Story

Any great brand has a great story. Think about any notable brand you've heard of in the last 10 years. They all have a story, right? Yours should be no different.

The story of your brand should continue to evolve and grow over time. Honestly, there should be no end.

Personality

Your brand's personality is the type of character that represents your company. We don't mean literal character, but character as in values. You must bring your brand to life with values, character, and morals.

Your objectives and values should be reflected by your brand personality. This is a large portion of how you communicate your brand to the public.

Promise

A brand promise is a commitment made between a brand and its audience. Your brand's promise is the best way to develop a strong following of loyal customers throughout the years. Loyal customers are the gap between your brand's promise and the way your brand is communicated.

Value Proposition

Your value proposition articulates the value your brand brings to potential customers. The value proposition should be equal among all channels if you wish to have cohesive branding.

Communication and Messaging

These two are tied together when it comes to cohesive branding and brand image. Communication delivers your messaging through collateral, your website, slogan, logo, and other elements. Both communication and messaging should be tailored to fit your brand image for cohesive branding to come together.

Artistic Direction

The artistic direction of your brand entails a lot of different elements. This is the way you will go for several different dynamics, including your logo, colors, slogan, font, typeface, and other major creative elements.

Extensions

Brand extensions present opportunities for your brand to branch off into different areas and mediums. These are ways to build that could change the entire face of your organization. This is how you get big and scale.

If your company doesn't possess most of these elements, achieving brand cohesion may be quite difficult.

The importance of brand identity is no secret, but a lot of companies struggle to understand what brand identity really is. Good knowledge about what makes a brand work can help make managing it a lot more cohesive.

Brand identity defines everything that you want to impress upon your target audience. Your mission statement, messaging qualities, visual style, and more – all of this is part of what you want to keep consistent with all of your marketing operations. Entrepreneur mentions that a consistent brand contributes to a look of professionalism, authenticity, and clarity to all current and future clients.

Think about your messaging from the eyes of a prospective customer. What is the first thing they see? Usually, it’s something that voices your brand identity. This is why it is important that you manage your branding to look consistent across all of your channels. Whether a consumer’s first point of contact is your website, a printed advertisement, or your social media page, the voice should be the same so that everyone in the market has the same experience with you.

At Fusebox One, we believe in the following five steps to achieving a cohesive brand management style. Consider getting into the habit of following these steps for a more efficient marketing system moving forward.

Step 1: Write Your Company’s Branding Guide

If you are a global organization with a number of channels and marketing divisions, it can be difficult to convey a communication out to all of them at once. Individuals are bound to be different, and a marketing structure that exists in one part of your company may not be practiced in another. One sure-fire way to ensure that everybody across every department stays cohesive with brand management is to create a company brand guide.

This is a set of standards that dictates how your branding is to be used. Make sure to give important visual guidelines such as the official brand color palette, font style, and messaging outlines. Give a “do’s and don’ts” list so all marketing departments are aware of how they can do their part to maintain brand consistency.

Our Fusebox One marketing management platform comes with automated product templates that make it easy to stay on point with your branding – simply plug in and go!

Step 2: Start an Employee Training Program

Expedite the onboarding process for new hires with a customized training program to deliver pertinent information about brand voice and style. Make sure that new employees are given ample time to get accustomed to the guidelines you’ve set for your brand, so they know how to keep things cohesive moving forward.

Implementing a testing system is never a bad idea. This is a good way to get live, relevant feedback. Based on the comments received, you can try to adopt new changes that will help your employees keep things consistent moving forward.

The training guide should have some important elements highlighted about your brand. Obviously, these elements will include slogans and other important information about your brand identity. However, it should also include important information regarding corporate culture and the type of behavior and ethics expected of team members.

 

Download Your Free  Branding Assessment Worksheet

 

Step 3: Audit Your Current Assets

Do you know the current state of your brand management? Are things already cohesive, or do you need to implement some overhauls moving forward? The best way to answer these questions is with available data. Business intelligence records can give you an idea of your current brand control and the cohesiveness of your assets over time.

Audit your assets by working with your marketing team to identify similarities and differences in the way you are advertising across your different channels. Count your asset use over time, analyze the top assets that bring the most success, and determine whether you are staying true to your company’s voice.

It’s also worth it to do a visual check as well. Is your color palette consistent? Is your logo being utilized enough? Are there official catchphrases or messaging statements that are missing from some assets? Now is a good time to update existing materials to stay in line with your mission and voice.

Your marketing team is vital, but sales could also play a role in this audit. They have the most constant firsthand contact with customers. Ask them if they believe any significant creative content or assets are being mentioned when they talk with clients or attempt to close sales.

You also need to take into account the psychological effects of your brand's imaging. Consider the following characteristics regarding the imaging of your brand.

  • Colors and Emotion. Certain colors invoke specific emotions in people, and customers are no different, especially in terms of your brand. A person's background specifically will have a lot to do with how these colors and emotions affect them, but there are important things you should know regarding the psychological effect of branding colors. For example, green promotes health, peace, and growth. Red can bring out feelings of excitement. Bright colors project a happier image, while darker images can bring out negative emotions.
  •  Typography. The typography you use plays a huge role, as well. Did you know specific fonts can trigger certain moods or emotions in a human being? For example, serif fonts tend to exude a more serious mood and can manifest that mood in someone reading them. Script fonts can make your brand seem elegant or fancy. Display fonts are more fun and promote moods of randomity. Experiment with different fonts and scripts for your logo or tag phrases. Different types of lettering can be used and have different effects across various channels. Record the types of results you get when you experiment and stick to what garners the best results.
  •  Consistency. Our brains seek patterns in everything we see on a daily basis. Patterns help us recognize things that we consider important. For example, if your brand logo or imaging to do with your organization has any specific pattern, noticing these patterns may elicit certain feelings in customers. If your brand is trustworthy, seeing these patterns will elicit these types of feelings when a client sees your logo. Additionally, if these patterns are noticed elsewhere outside of your logo or branding, the trustworthiness of your organization may come to mind randomly, reminding clients of your company in a positive way. This may encourage them to spread positive news about your company at random times or whenever these patterns are noticed! The human brain is incredible – especially when it comes to subconscious learning and relating certain things.

Keep these elements in mind when your creative team is putting together the next campaign or working on important assets. They may just provide a change you need in customer attitude or experience!

Step 4: Consider a Brand Rework

If you’ve discovered that your current branding is not as cohesive as you want it to be moving forward, it might be the perfect opportunity to go through a relaunch. Many companies update their logos, catchphrases, or visual styles over the years. And when they do, they typically announce it. Not only is this a good way to start from scratch and implement a better marketing operation system, but it can also be a good opportunity to bring some attention to your business by announcing a rebranding.

This is a logical step to take after the asset auditing process. If you’ve found that your brand identity could use some freshening up, use this to rework your entire brand’s voice. This can be the time to work on an official brand guide as well.

Step 5: Schedule Future Updates

Once you’ve relaunched your brand and created a set of guidelines that everybody on your team can work with, start planning for the future. At Fusebox One, we schedule an annual meeting to update our brand plan. Doing this every year can make sure that everything is maintaining its consistency across your advertising platforms, and you are staying relevant in the job market.

If necessary, use this time to plan for another rework. Look at your design elements and audit live assets that are being used in current marketing campaigns. Styles and preferences can evolve over time, and your dynamic voice should reflect that.

Start Your Brand Anew with a Marketing Asset Manager!

 

ll-in-one resource like a marketing asset management system can be a powerful tool for your rebranding efforts. Share all of your assets and upload them to templates that can be used in compliance with your brand guidelines every time. Establish a system with your employees to keep your company’s voice and mission in mind.

 

Download Your Free Marketing Asset Management EBook

 

Start Your Brand Anew with a Marketing Asset Manager!

Using an all-in-one resource like a marketing asset management system can be a powerful tool for your rebranding efforts. Share all of your assets and upload them to templates that can be used in compliance with your brand guidelines every time. Establish a system with your employees to keep your company's voice and mission in mind.

 

Sources:

https://spadedesignlab.com/5-steps-to-creating-a-cohesive-brand-identity/

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/281523

http://customerthink.com/10-simple-steps-for-building-a-cohesive-brand/

https://marcom.com/blog/five-steps-to-cohesive-brand-management/

Topics: Brand, Brand Compliance, Marcom