Cohesive branding is essential growing your business. The thing about branding is, it’s everywhere. Everything has a brand; every person has a brand, and so on. So, if you have a business, you have a brand already. The goal would be to create cohesive branding, so that people say exactly what you want them to say about your business.
In case you are confused, a quick recap: a brand is what people say, think, and feel about your business. You can influence this, but ultimately you can’t decide it. Branding is how you go about influencing that perception. So if you want to be seen as a fun, exciting, and adventurous lifestyle brand, but people see you as a boring, monotonous, and desperate brand then there is a disconnect somewhere in your branding. Your branding isn’t putting out the right information to create the perception you wanted.
Here’s why being cohesive will boost your business.
Build Trust + Recognition
Creating a consistent experience for your audience – from your social media graphics to your blog content and so on is essential. People will learn to recognize you and your branding, across all platforms, and see you as a valuable resource. There’s a theory, that in advertising, someone must see it 7 times to remember it. The thing is: you want to make sure you are consistently putting out the same message those seven times.
So, whatever your business is about – if you need people to buy something from you – how are you building that trust so they feel motivated to do so? The easiest, quickest, and most effective way is to be consistent in all of your branding and give your audience a cohesive experience.
I really enjoy introducing myself, because I feel really confident explaining what I do. I don’t stumble, I don’t mutter, I don’t look sheepish. You should feel confident, too.
The first part of developing branding is figuring out your vision and mission statements, which involve defining your target audience, and understanding why and how you serve them. I combine those things into a sentence that efficiently and effectively introduces myself to others. You need this too – and the sooner the better. I’ve seen the introductions, or worse, when someone asks you “what do you do?” and you get nervous, flushed, and ramble. “I’m…I’m a photographer? I do weddings. Babies, sometimes, too.” Or “I am, well, okay – I am like a coach. For people, mostly women but sometimes men. Online” … like, what? No. Be clear. Be confident. Be proud!
Here’s the thing – people care about looks. If you sell planners all your content is messy and badly formatted, that’s a problem. If you are a photographer, but all the photos on your website are terrible quality, that’s a problem. If your audience is positive young professional women, but everything you put out is sad, complaining, or angry… that’s a problem.
Having a plan, having a goal, having a target audience, having consistent visuals – all of this makes you look better. All of this makes you sound better. All of this makes you more appealing, more trustworthy, more shareable, more likely to succeed. You know that whole idea of “fake it till you make it” right? You don't have to fake it. Just let your branding be a representation of your skills, your knowledge, your ability, your fresh thoughts and approaches, etc. People will start to realize your value for themselves.
Defines Your Purpose
You need both a vision and a mission statement, as far as I’m concerned. Now, my first thought when I see either of those words is really stuffy, corporate, the first page of the workplace manual that you don’t even read…
Your vision statement is a little more intensive. It’s the “big picture.” It’s where you see yourself in five years, or ten years, or when you sign the company over to your future children to run the helm while you bask in your successful retirement. It’s what still stands true despite anything else. I’ll give you an example, because this might be confusing to differentiate:
My mission statement: “I create cohesive branding for small business owners, so they can find their success, become influential, and stand out as the authority in their industry.”
My vision statement: “To be an invaluable branding resource to women in business.”
See how they differ? A mission statement is more of “why I’m here” versus a vision statement being more of “here’s where we are going.” Now, I get that this is probably giving you a headache, and it’s not something you can just develop on a whim.
Having a cohesive brand can save your brand more than you know. Listen to your inner voice and portray that into your own brand.
With Love | Nikki xo