I came across a game titled “Famous Logo Quiz” on the app QuizUp once. As a public relations and marketing professional, I was intrigued. The game presents you with 30 logos or fragments of logos, and the objective is to correctly choose all the companies that go with the logos. Audi, Kellogg, Fruit of the Loom, Pizza Hut, Baltimore Ravens, Sprint…I was rattling them off with no problem! I was amazed at how many logos I could recognize with even the slightest visual cue and no letters or words.
My ability and the ability of other consumers to recognize logos are results of good visual marketing and branding by big corporations. These companies have used cohesive branding tactics to make their brands ubiquitous and widely recognizable. Cohesive branding entails creating a unified image and message through logos, collateral, signage, and text.
The last thing you want to do when creating a cohesive representation of your brand is to confuse your consumers. Imagine going to a new bakery that just opened down the street for the first time. You pull up to the building, which has a sign on the front that says “Smithville Bakery” in plain text with an illustration of a cupcake.
You walk inside, and the business cards have a “Smithville Bakery” logo with an illustration of a slice of cake. The wall behind the bakery has yet a different “Smithville Bakery” logo with no illustration and a different font and color. You are a little confused at this point, right? Which one is the visual brand of the bakery? Does this bakery even have a visual brand? And if you saw the logo somewhere, you certainly would not recognize it from a visual cue alone, because your brain has already been muddled with too many different images.
People are extremely visual, and it is important to build a cohesive visual brand that consumers will pick up on. This means choosing a logo, font, and look, and then placing it on your signage, business cards, business collateral, website, social media sites — anything that represents your business. If consumers are able to recognize your brand based on visual elements, they are more likely to remember it and associate it with your business.
In summary, our tips for creating a cohesive brand are as follows:
Stay consistent with logos, signage, and company mottos or taglines.
Be careful not to confuse consumers with too many visuals.
Include your logo and any other defining imagery on signage, business cards, collateral, website, social media sites, and anything else representative of your business.
Take advantage of the fact that consumers are visually oriented, and make it work for your business. When all of your visuals come together, you will have an effective, eye-catching, recognizable brand to market.