Similar to the way New Yorkers find Times Square to be an overwhelming nightmare, many businesses find the digital marketplace to be the same. Whether it’s the billboards on 42nd street or native ad ploys on your Facebook feed, these platforms feature a hodgepodge of advertisements from an array of brands and companies. Yet, there are always those certain images or ad placements that quickly catch our attention because there is something about it that we can’t help but recognize.

This isn’t a coincidence. It’s the result of a well-designed brand.

Whether you’re blogging your way around the world or heading up a Fortune 500 company, understanding the importance of using design to create a cohesive brand identity and establish it across multi-channel platforms is critical to the success of your business. Too often, companies underestimate the value of the image they are represented by. When every penny counts, business owners often struggle to justify investment in fonts, color schemes, and graphics. But if a company wants a shot at making themselves stand out in the 2017 digital marketplace, then they must put effort into creating a thoughtful, cohesive visual identity that will allow people to instantly recognize their brand within a blink of an eye.

Although a quick Google search should lead you to conclude that investing in a well-designed brand is of the utmost importance, we want to make sure the message is clear. Here are 2 reasons why companies should have a consistent and cohesive brand identity:

Leave a great first impression that will turn into revenue
How it’s presented is how it’s perceived. You may have noticed that we use this phrase often. We say it all the time because there’s nothing closer to the truth – first impressions are everything; they can make or break a business in an instant. Your brand should be designed to speak volumes about your business without any accompanying introduction. Therefore, make sure it’s sending the correct message.

Naeme El-Zein from Genesco describes a correlation between dressing oneself in the dark to devaluing brand identity in order to convey the importance of cohesive branding. She explains how a brand’s visuals are what first send a message to its audience, and if not “dressed” appropriately (think colors, patterns, and font weight in place of clothing) it can send an unintended message that might be disastrous to a company’s image… and it’s revenue.

“You’re on the subway, when out of the corner of your eye you spot them. Is that a running shoe paired with a pajama pant? Moreover, are they wearing a dress shirt tucked into said pj pants?…Either way, their appearance leaves us dumbfounded and confused to what message they’re trying to send. And yet, we all do this in marketing. Although we anticipate and adjust accordingly for the daily demands of our life, when it comes to tweaking marketing messaging, it often times seems our branding is guilty of getting dressed in the dark. It’s rushed. It is sending discordant messages. It leaves people puzzled.

Brand identity extends across all touch points with your consumer, each providing a new opportunity to engage, inspire and convert them to your unique brand…you should tailor your message to reflect both your brand voice and the media where it resides. Look at those people with a finely tuned personal aesthetic – they don’t break a sweat at the gym, woo us at work and are #flawless for dinner and drinks . They always look themselves no matter the occasion.”

Become easily recognizable and memorable
A strong brand is recognizable and memorable. Today’s digital marketplace is made up of an audience that is most receptive to visuals that can be easily understood and processed. Designer and creator of Elle & Co., Lauren Hooker, explains how thoughtfully curated details, such as the pairing of colors and fonts, allow brands to leave a significant mark on its audience and consumers.

“If you were to see a green apron or a white paper cup with a cardboard sleeve, which business would come to mind? A strong brand is recognizable even when the logo isn’t present, which is why you most likely thought of Starbucks a second ago. It’s identifiable by its tangible, visual elements (logo, colors, fonts, patterns) and its intangible, non-visual elements (terminology, tone)… If your brand isn’t cohesive, it’s hard for others to recognize it when one of your images appears on social media or when they see one of your products being used by another customer. Each element of your brand helps your audience identify your business.”

Photo Credit 

This article first appeared on Village Print & Media, September 16, 2016. Minor adjustments have been made.