Brand Development, Branding, Design, Local Brands, Marketing, Technology

Branding Cohesion, Online and Off-line, Is Important

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Brand digital presence vs offline presence

Building your brand online is the best way to have a multitude of customers at your fingertips. But some businesses overlook the importance of having a cohesive brand online and off. If someone were to access your website while standing in your main office, would they be able to sense continuity between the two? Here are some ideas to bring your online presence into your workspace and vice versa.

Design Elements

Let’s talk about your logo. This is the avatar of your marketing campaign. If you’ve designed your logo well, it should be emulated in both your interior and your web design. Pay attention to what kinds of lines you’ve utilized and be aware of what expectations your logo has created in the mind of the customer. Soft curving lines in a logo shouldn’t be dropped into a Spartan warehouse-like office, unless you’re pursuing the eclectic modern look. Try to choose furniture pieces and lighting fixtures that are reminiscent of your logo for optimal cohesion.

The font you’ve chosen for your logo (at least, the most prominent iteration of it) should be repeated throughout your site. Every tab for site map or locations should harken back to that logo. If you’ve planned carefully, you can also use that font in employee nameplates (http://www.cengraving.com/), form headers, and general signage in your physical space.

Color is important, as well, and can act as a signature for your company. Some of the most successful brands on the planet have achieved results by being recognizable. The red of Verizon, the white of Apple, the purple and orange of FedEx, all of these corporations have chosen representative colors for recent campaigns and it has paid off with recognition. Work your chosen colors into your office space through furniture, folders, and light fixtures- and into your digital presence in your app design, website design, and even the photos your share on social media.

This is not to say that you shouldn’t be adaptable. Staying in-line with current trends is a powerful tool when branding. But a stable, familiar color scheme is a good way to make sure that customers have a knee-jerk recognition of your company even before they realize they’re looking at your logo.

Office Branding

The easiest way to make your online presence reflect your workspace is to have your workspace resonate with your online presence. The two should work in symbiosis. The ambience of the office and the site should be similar enough that you can borrow elements of your web team’s ideas and implement them into your office design, which can coincidentally improve the communication between departments (and encourage creative input from all levels of your company).

Everyone hold onto something. I’m about to freak some people out. Anything you put on your physical walls should be acceptable to put as a background on your website and vice versa. Some of you might be thinking that this is ludicrous- of course you can’t put your website background on your office walls! It’s inappropriate! That’s exactly my point. If you can’t put it on your walls because it’s a terrible design or because it clashes with your office, those are things that are fighting against your brand cohesion.

So why not play with that? Get creative in your design ideas. The use of wall paper murals (http://www.megaprint.com/wallpaper.php) is great for this- you can splash your logo, mission statement, or even your artfully designed home page, onto your walls. Also try utilizing QR codes in your office as well, especially if you expect heavy customer foot traffic in your offices. Place them around your reception area in strategic places, linked to pages on your website and to your social media. To mirror that in the digital world, whatever page you link to can feature a picture of that piece of furniture or wall. To anyone who hasn’t been in the store, they can get a glimpse into your location. But to people who have been to your store or are standing in it, it’s a delightful surprise to recognize where you are on the site.

Brand Personality

In a world where corporations are treated more and more like people, consumers want to know that your company has a likable personality. That is, if a consumer were to think of your company as a person, what would that person be like? The obvious answers are friendly, dependable, trustworthy, and ethical. So how can that be reflected in your online presence?

Brand personality extends beyond how pithy your tweets are (though that helps). Your brand’s identity should be cohesive from your mission statement to your employees. The kind of language you utilize to explain your brand’s values should be used in your website.

If you claim to be a green company, your office had better deliver on that in very visual ways. Your light bulbs should be compact fluorescent and your paper (http://www.recycledpaper.com/) made from recycled waste. To make that evident on your site, consider having a blurb on your “About Us” page about what efforts you’ve taken in the office and how they can be replicated. Supply links to your favorite green suppliers and have pictures of the green features in your office.

In that same vein, your site should showcase your brand’s charitable efforts. Any awards or recognitions you have hanging in your office shouldn’t be sequestered to walk-in customers. Morality might be a sought-after trait in a brand personality, but modesty is not.

I don’t believe in wasted space. So when you’re designing your online presence, look for opportunities to connect with your other branding ventures, especially those on your home turf. The modern customer values interconnectivity and personality, so don’t disappoint them by falling flat in the digital realm. Giving customers a cohesive experience across all of your mediums will make you look solid and help you build your brand.

Chris Garret is a freelance writer and branding specialist from Boise, Idaho. His background in photography and design has fueled his desire to foster soulful, cohesive branding online and off. See what he’s up to by following him on Twitter

 

 

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Administrator and Chief Editor for TLB. Loves to talk. Super freak about publishing. Loves watching obscure movies, good cook and overall gentle fellow. Reach him if you want to write an article for TLB. Email him on marty@thelocalbrand.com
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