3 key elements for maintaining brand consistency: 1. On-Brand Visuals 2. On-Brand Message 3. On-Brand Personality. Consistently showing up with something that’s aligned with your brand helps to solidify your brand in the consumer’s eyes, and keeps them coming back for more!
You have a lot of moving pieces in your business – programs, courses, marketing channels, etc – and you may even have support when it comes to showing up for all those things. So, how then do you ensure everything that you’re putting out there is on-brand?
And what does that even mean, anyways?
Today we’re going to chat about the three pillars for creating on-brand content so that you can show up consistently and cohesively for your community.
IN THIS ARTICLE
What does it mean to be on-brand?
When I think about on-brand content, it’s helpful to first understand the definition of a brand. And here at WCO, we define brand as how someone thinks, feels and acts in regards to your business.
So when a piece of content is on-brand, it means that it aligns with the consumer’s already-held thoughts, feelings and actions of your brand.
That it meets the expectation or perception the person has of your brand.
And it’s important to note that when we talk about something as on-brand, it’s not just the visual aesthetic. It’s also the actual meat of the content – whether it’s a podcast episode, video, blog post or social media caption, the idea of creating something on brand is when both the visuals and the message are aligned and meet the expectation of the viewer/listener/reader/watcher.
Why is on-brand content so important?
In one word? Consistency.
Picture a target. Our goal as business owners and content creators is to shoot for the bullseye. Yes, there may be times when you want or need to create something that’s ‘off brand’ and not necessarily aligned, which is okay.
However, consistency is the goal because it helps to solidify your brand in the consumer’s eyes.
Everything you share that’s aligned with your brand helps to strengthen the perception; to further set the expectation.
The flip side is also true. When you share content that’s off-brand, it may cause confusion. And I think it goes without saying, but… you never want to confuse your audience. If they don’t understand, they don’t invest. Both time and money.
How to create consistent, on-brand content.
Because we’re a strategy-first studio, I can’t NOT talk about the most important piece to creating consistency in terms of content – your brand’s strategy. If you don’t have a communication plan for your brand, stop, go check out the posts and resources in our free Brand Resource Library, and then come back to this.
Your brand’s strategy sets the stage for creating on-brand content. It’s the overarching plan for how you want your brand to show up. So, if that’s not in place, it is going to be a little challenging to maintain consistency.
Let’s now assume then that you have a strategy. What next?
There are three key elements that I always run my content through to make sure it’s aligned with my brand and they are: visuals, message and personality.
When we reference on-brand content, visual design is the most obvious. Think about a brand you engage with on a regular basis. I’m willing to bet, if you were mindlessly scrolling through a social media feed, you’d be able to identify their graphic without seeing the logo. That’s the power of an on-brand visual aesthetic.
To help you achieve this, it’s ideal to have a set of standards for your colors, typography, photography style, graphics and layout. The guidelines can be as detail oriented as you want. Of course, the more guidelines, the better.
Your brand’s message is the common thread that’s woven into everything that you communicate as a brand. At Witt and Company, we distill a brand’s message into four key pieces: the purpose, the belief, the vision and the differentiator.
Your brand’s purpose is why you do the work, why are you showing up every day.
Your brand’s belief is that common truth you hold near and dear.
Your brand’s vision is the outcome that you’re working towards.
And your brand’s differentiator is what makes you unique.
Together, these four elements help you craft a brand message and when communicated consistently, help you create content that’s on-brand. The goal would be to address at least one of these four elements in everything that you’re sharing.
I like to think about your brand as its own entity, with unique traits, just like a human. Your brand’s personality is the voice, the communication style. It’s how you want people to feel when they hear, read, see, engage with your brand.
It’s important to note that your brand’s personality isn’t communicated just through words. Visuals elements like your colors, typography and photography style all help enhance (or take away from) your brand’s personality traits.
The easiest way to stay consistent in your personality is to first understand what type of voice and communication style you’re after and then create a ‘bank’ of words and phrases that support your desired effect. And, from a visual perspective, dig into color psychology and Seasonal Brand Theory – we have a ton of resources that help you understand how to utilize these principles in your visual brand.
Showing up on a consistent basis doesn’t just mean sharing content at the same time, every day or week. It also means sharing content that is consistent with your brand.
Identifying that frame of reference for what is on-brand doesn’t have to be a lengthy process – it just requires you to dig deep and make some decisions about what you want your brand to stand for.
Sometimes easier said than done, I know.
Remember, consistency builds trust with your brand. And trust is the foundation for building a strong relationship with your community.
Happy branding 🙂
All my best,
Rather watch than read?
Need additional branding resources?
Ready to create a brand personality that resonates with your ideal client? This post walks you through the major key points!
Want the full rundown on Seasonal Brand Theory and Color Psychology? Check out this post.
Searching for a roadmap that will guide you through every step of creating your brand strategy? This post makes the process simple.
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