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How to create a cohesive brand experience when you have a team

Sep 15, 2022 | Brand personality, Brand Strategy, Branding, Rebrand your business

As a growing service based business, here’s what you need in place to maintain a cohesive brand experience, even when you have multiple people responsible for communicating on behalf of the brand.


When you’re just getting started in business, you have the benefit (and curse) of being the gatekeeper for every brand communication. From email to social to website to networking, it’s likely that you’re the one doing #allthethings.

But then there comes a time when you start to bring on a team. Maybe you hire a virtual assistant and then a social media manager and then a project manager, and before you know it, you have a variety of people all communicating your brand.

On one hand, YAY. You’re not the one doing everything. You get to step into your CEO role and do your zone of genius work.

But on the other hand, you’re no longer the gatekeeper for your brand’s communication.

So how do you maintain that cohesive brand experience across all the places your brand is showing up, even if you’re not the one executing every single thing?

Listen up – today we’re chatting all about what you need in place to create a cohesive brand experience when you have a team.

 

In This Article

>> What is brand experience?
>> Why does brand experience matter?
>> Brand experience vs customer experience
>> How to create a cohesive brand experience
>> Additional brand resources

 

What is brand experience?

We define brand as how people think, feel and act in relation to your business. And branding includes the different elements that go into creating those intentional thoughts, feelings and actions – logo, message, font, color, etc.

Brand experience, then, is the entire occurrence or encounter that someone has with your business. It includes the thoughts, feelings, reactions and perceptions to every brand touchpoint, from your website to social media to an advertisement to an in-person meeting.

 

Why does brand experience matter?

Every touchpoint or point of contact that someone has with your brand leads to a perception. It doesn’t matter if you’re intentional or not, that person will still automatically characterize your brand and create an association around its meaning.

The goal is to be thoughtful about those touchpoints so your brand experience is deliberate and intentional – not haphazard and aimless. This will allow you to craft an experience that’s aligned with how you want your brand to be perceived.

The big picture here is that because you’ve put thought, intention and strategy into your desired perception, you are betting that your right audience will connect with it, and ultimately get behind your business goal(s).

 

How to create a cohesive brand experience

Before we dive into the ideas, let’s first get on the same page in terms of what it means to have a cohesive brand experience. Because being cohesive does not equal perfect.

Cohesion is all about uniting different elements together. And that’s exactly the goal with your brand experience; to unite various elements of your brand so they look like they belong together.

While there are a million and one ways to create and maintain cohesiveness, here are five key elements that go into creating a cohesive brand experience.

 

Determine your brand touchpoints
If brand experience is the entire occurrence that someone has with your brand, the first step is to determine what that entire experience actually looks like. That means identifying alllllll the brand touchpoints that your business can have with someone.

Not sure what to include? Here’s a start:

  • Website
  • Email
  • Social media
  • Networking events
  • Podcasting
  • Blogging
  • Pinterest
  • Conferences, workshops, retreats
  • In-person services
  • Video-ing (that’s now a word, just FYI) 🙂

The goal here is to determine the various points of contact that someone may have with your brand so that you can be more intentional about creating a cohesive experience. Because, if you don’t know they exist or if you aren’t paying attention to them, it’s likely they won’t have cohesion with your other branding activities.

 

Maintain a set of visual brand standards
What to include in that set of standards will be different for everyone. But, the goal is the have enough information so that someone can understand what goes into the visual brand to maintain consistency.

You can create this in a single page PDF or if you want to get more detailed, create a brand guidelines document.

Not sure what to include? Here’s a start:

  • Logos and their use-cases (i.e., when the primary logo is this small, use the submark instead)
  • Colors and their various color codes
  • Heading, subheading, specialty and body font recommendations
  • Image recommendations (editing style, layout, composition)

 

Have a working brand personality manual
High level, your brand personality is the characteristics that make up the thoughts, feelings and actions someone has for a business. And, when you have a distinct brand personality and consistently show up with its defined characteristics, you give your audience something to connect with.

Just like the visual aspect of your brand, your brand’s personality also needs structure and guidance to maintain a cohesive look and feel. This is where the brand personality manual comes into play. Think of it as your working document for detailing the experience that someone will have with your brand based on its personality.

Not sure what to include? Here’s a start:

  • A summary of the desired brand experience (i.e., when someone experiences the brand, they feel XYZ and think ABC)
  • A description of the brand voice and communication style (i.e., the brand voice is XYZ and the communication style is ABC)
  • A description of the visual brand direction (i.e., the brand visuals are XYZ to align with the desired brand experience of ABC)
  • A list of words that are commonly used within the brand’s communication
  • A list of words that are NOT used within the brand’s communication
  • A list of phrases and/or statements that embody the brand’s desired experience

 

Establish visual brand implementation guidelines
Having a set of standards is one piece but then there’s a whole additional element of the actual implementation of those elements. And that’s why it’s super helpful to have implementation or application standards. That way, the visual guidelines aren’t as open to interpretation (i.e., you have orange in your brand palette but it’s only meant to be an accent color rather than a primary one). This is especially helpful when you have a variety of people communicating on behalf of your brand.

Again, this section can be as complex or simple as needed, based on your needs as a business. Go back to your brand touchpoints, see how the brand is/will be communicated, and create application guidelines based on what’s being done. Meaning, if you’re not on social media, don’t create implementation rules for social graphics – there is absolutely no need to create extra work for yourself if you’re not utilizing a brand touch point right now.

Not sure what to include? Here’s a start:

  • How the colors of your brand palette will be used (we include primary color combinations and secondary color combinations)
  • The size and weight of the font recommendations (i.e. headings are italics, size 44 pt+)
  • The specific application for font recommendations (i.e., social media graphics use subheading and body fonts)
  • Using images and typography together
  • Website buttons and CTAs (primary buttons are this color, secondary are that color)

 

Assign a brand manager
As a solopreneur, this role is you. But, when you start growing a team, you can assign this role to a team member (unless of course, this is something that brings you joy!) Communications, marketing or operations are all great roles that align well with being a brand manager.

The idea is that you have one person within the organization who has the responsibility of ensuring the brand experience is consistent and cohesive.

The benefit of having a brand manager is that one person gets to be the filter for both the internal and external brand communication. And since everything goes through that one person, you’re much more likely to maintain a cohesive look and feel.

If you’re saying to yourself, “Well shit, that’s a lot of documentation for one brand,” you’d be right. But that’s the point. Creating a cohesive brand experience, especially as your business grows and you bring on (more) team, requires documentation, standards, processes and structure. And while it might seem a little overwhelming, think about the outcome – when you create a cohesive brand experience, you’re creating so many more connection opportunities with your right audience. You’re building trust with them and creating an expectation for what your brand is all about. And I don’t know about you, but I’d say that’s worth it!

But also, if you’re screaming SOS, let’s talk. Because yes, every one of these elements is something that you walk away with when you work with Witt and Company. And it would be our pleasure to help you create a cohesive brand experience for your right audience. Click here to book a no-obligations discovery call and see if we’re a good fit for supporting your brand needs.

With that, happy branding 🙂

All my best,

 

Additional brand resources

Seasonal Brand Theory is an easy way to help you identify your brand personality. This post walks you through the process.

Discover your brand archetype so you can create a solid framework around building your brand.

Here are the top five reasons we hear from clients that it’s time to bring in a branding professional.

This guide will walk you through the process of preparing for an effective rebrand.

 

 

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