Who Are You and Who Do You Serve?

Kardashian. The name alone creates an instant reaction. People who have never watched a single episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians can probably name at least a couple of them. Hate them, or love them, you can’t ignore them. This is not just the hard work of a savvy stage mom and some valuable…um…assets. This is the power of branding.

Companies looking to improve their web presence or social media engagement are usually all in when it comes to strategies and campaigns with measurable results. They want viral posts, top of the search page results on Google, increased web traffic, etc. Well if shares and likes drove traffic to sites, we’d all have a Merry Christmas. But to create sustainable long term success and growth, you need to establish a strong brand voice.

When we do our initial research phase on a company’s digital presence, one thing we constantly come across is a mismatched brand voice. Their website may be formal and informational while their social media is lighter and more playful. This can create a subconscious disconnect with consumers.

We also tend to see different color schemes and different fonts and logos across digital platforms. These simple design mistakes may seem superficial and harmless, but they can create a subtle message to consumers that your brand is not consistent.

In horror and thriller films, cinematographers use a shot called “Dutch angle”. The camera is tilted causing the subject to appear at an odd angle. You may have never noticed it until just now (sorry you’ll never be able to un-see it), but you’re not really meant to notice. It’s subtle. It creates a powerful subconscious response.

We’re used to watching films with the subject in the center of the frame. But when you tilt the focus, the deviation feels disorienting and confusing. It works great for horror films, as that is the intended response. Not so great for businesses. You don’t want customers equating your website to a horror show. That may sound extreme, but we’ve seen some pretty frightening websites. Deviation from your brand voice can sow tiny feeling seeds of confusion and unease.

So what does branding mean? Think of it less as a catchall buzzword and more as your company’s core values and mission statement being constantly reflected in everything your consumers see.  From the fonts and logos you choose, the other brands you promote and like, to the memes you share, and the Instagram pictures you take. All these things either support your brand voice or detract from it. It has to match across multiple platforms or else your audience isn’t getting a clear and concise message.  

Who are you? Who do you serve? These seem like simple questions. But in terms of answering these in a visual and contextual sense, AND applying it to your digital presence, it can be a bit more complicated. It may take some time, and lots of thought and reflection to decide how your values and mission can be visually represented. If you feel like that seems daunting and unmanageable for you, no worries! There are plenty of creative and talented marketing specialists that can help you with that. We may know of one…

We live in the most competitive consumer market in history and having a strong and consistent brand voice can give businesses the edge they need to stay relevant. There’s a reason the name “Kardashian” immediately invokes a response. What’s the response when people hear your name? Is there one?
If you don’t know who you are, your customers won’t either, and what’s worse, they won’t care.

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