Brand consistency gone wrong = Toto, I’ve a feeling we aren’t in Kansas anymore
Have you ever been happily scrolling through your Insta or Facebook feed, find an account you LOVE; great content, gorgeous pics and they’ve really got something that speaks to you. So, you click the link to view their website and er, wait a mo, this doesn’t look right, did I click the right thing!?! Yep, the logo is there at the top, but the feel of the website is totally different to their ad and their social account. What do you do? You peddle right on back outa there and back to scrolling.
If your branding isn’t consistent everywhere, including your website, you are at best giving your crowd mixed messages and putting up a huge barrier to them getting to know you and trust you enough to buy and, at worst, just putting them off you altogether. No brand consistency? Bye bye.
We’ve got the attention span of pre-schooler when it comes to the internet. We don’t read things properly, we scroll through looking at the pretty pictures and click the next shiny thing that catches our eye. Decisions are taken in a split second and are often unconscious. The decision to like your brand can be instantaneous. So, mix your messages at your peril! Da da Daaaaaaaaah!
Building a strong visual brand can be as complicated or as simple as you like. Just don’t trip yourself up and keep to these few simple rules to stop you shooting yourself in the foot.
1. Your logo isn’t everything
I had to put this one first, because it is the NUMBER ONE thing that business owners get wrong. They think their logo is the NUMBER ONE thing that matters in their branding. It is NOT!!!!!
A logo is one of many visual cues that identify your brand. A really well designed logo can be an asset, build recognition and communicate a core part of your brand. BUT its primary role is to identify and separate your business from all the other noise out there. A shiny new logo is just a shiny new logo, it’s only when it gets to work as part of your brand, your message, your other visuals, the way you talk, the things you sell, quality and service that your logo carries any meaning.
So, use your logo to accompany your marketing and at the top of your website. But DO NOT RELY ON IT. Making the ‘logo bigger’ will not make your message clearer.
2. Give your Colours meaning
Choosing a colour palette to communicate your message is powerful stuff. Settling on the right branding colours will:
- Evoke the right feelings about your brand in your customers
- Help build that brand identity so they recognise you instantly
- Save you time wondering what colours to use every time you create new visuals
Just keep the same colours across all your marketing, including your website. Don’t opt for bright neon pink buttons on your website because it will ‘stand out’ and make people press it when your branding colours are earthly greens and soft greys. They might think that this product is aimed at a 7 year old girl with a barbie obsession and move on past.
3. Fonts have feelings too
I choose a couple of fonts for my clients, often one full of character that we use for big headings and conversational visuals and the other for easy to read text. Both on websites and on other marketing.
It’s amazing what we associate with different fonts, at a glance. A swirly script font can seem old fashioned or elegant or traditional. A thin serif font can seem classy and remind the reader of fashion mags. A handwritten font can seem personal and friendly. Using a plain easy read font can seem approachable and straightforward.
Choose one that says the right thing about your brand and STICK to it. You don’t want to entice a new customer over from the Gram with your fun handwritten visuals to your website full of a boring standard font that ‘just came with the theme’. They loved your quirky fun and are now faced with just a bit dull.
4. An image says a thousand words
Just don’t let them say the wrong ones!
A website full of obviously stock images is going to be a bit of a shock after your facebook feed full of selfies, energetic videos and shares that demo your love of what you do. Social media is of course the ultimate opportunity to show off your wonderful character but so is your website.
If you only have selfies then use them creatively on both platforms. If you need to use stock images, choose ones that light you up and would make sense in all your marketing – pair them with your own words and make them yours.
Don’t just add an image because you feel you have to add an image. If you don’t have one that says the right thing and ADDS to your message, then just use words. A character font and the right colours can visually communicate just as well (all those viral memes prove this point!)
5. Patterns and shapes
Don’t have background images but your page is looking plain? Choose some interesting patterns or shapes to give it some oomph. Just remember to use them in your other marketing too!
Having some accompanying patterns, backgrounds and illustrations can be a way of tying together your visuals AND will save you time hunting for another stock photo of a woman twirling on a beach.
Above all the most important thing to remember is that your website is just another marketing tool for your business. It’s not a separate entity to all the other stuff you do. It’s not just something you have to have. Play with it the way you play with your social media marketing or your videos and it will be a fantastic asset for building your brand.