Join it all up 01

Join it all up

Priority factor

Cohesion is the aspect that can make or break your brand. Strength in other areas can be undermined by a lack of cohesion.

Your proposition could be crystal clear, but if it’s not consistently expressed everywhere your brand is present, that clarity will become muddied.

Your brand could be unique among all its competitors, but if those unique qualities don’t come across in design, messaging and behaviour, they won’t provide the edge they should.

Your visual identity can be contemporary and compelling, but if it doesn’t reflect the brand’s offer and personality, then it’s sending the wrong message.

And you can build engaged audiences in each of your brand’s channels – but that engagement won’t translate to value unless people can move seamlessly from one channel to the next.

When everyone is pulling in the same direction, the experience for those interacting with the brand becomes intuitive and seamless.

Whether your brand is cohesive is down to the audience’s experience. As your target audience goes from first hearing about your brand to visiting your website, engaging with your content, getting in contact, buying your products and services, and eventually becoming advocates for your brand, does their experience feel like one exhilarating journey? Does it feel like they’ve been interacting with a single organisation, the whole way through?

Every element of the brand can contribute to this cohesive audience experience.

Clarity around your vision, purpose and offer provides a consistent message and a consistent goal. By referring back to these core goals and messages whenever you produce a new expression of the brand, you can ensure everything’s pulling in the same direction.

Differentiation from your competition ensures your audience always knows who they’re dealing with, and reinforces at every touch point why they should continue their journey with your brand and no one else’s. Your brand should always be communicating what makes it special; differentiation shouldn’t only come across in a direct comparison with other brands.

A strong visual identity acts as a system of signposts, pointing your audience back towards your brand if they ever break their journey, and reassuring them that they’re back in familiar territory.

And active engagement with your audience, wherever they expect to be able to engage, can help them feel like their journey with your brand is one smooth, unbroken interaction, not a series of stepping stones with different teams or silos.

This level of cohesion requires everyone to work together behind the scenes in a highly coordinated way. Conveniently, a cohesive brand with a clear vision and purpose makes exactly this kind of collaboration possible. When everyone communicating on behalf of the brand is pulling in the same direction, the experience for those interacting with the brand becomes intuitive and seamless.

This article is from issue 1 of the Redhouse Brand Report.

For more insights and action points to strengthen your brand, download the complete report now.

Redhouse Brand Report – Higher Education