Some of the most common questions I get from my clients have to do with their brand.

What is it, why do I care, and how do I create one?

First let’s start with some quick definitions:

  • Brand – how you are perceived by your consumers (or members, donors, employees, clients, vendors, etc.)
  • Brand elements – pieces of the brand that tell your story
    • Imagery
    • Colors
    • Fonts
    • Voice
  • Brand consistency – the degree to which all aspects of your consumers’ perceptions are consistent or integrated
    • Does your print marketing match your online marketing?
    • Is the font style used on your website consistent with font style used on your business cards? brochures? mailers?
    • Are your online newsletters an extension of your website in terms of colors, graphics, and voice?

I like to think of an organization’s brand identity (if done well) as something that essentially creates the unique “ah ha” moment for your consumer/member/donor that causes them to take action with you (join, donate, buy, “like”, “share”). If your brand identity conflicts with itself on your various forms of media, you can’t consistently tell a story that encourages that “ah ha” moment. People will be confused.

Here’s an example:


Take a look at the fonts and colors on the left vs. the right. The email on the left gives off a more “discount warehouse” feel with bold and red fonts and yellow “star tags.” The webpage on the right has a more retro, soft palette and style. The layout of the email has images that are offset and tend to be more “in your face.” The webpage has white space and minimalistic images. If I were to look at these two “brands” I would never guess they were from the same company. This would not tell me a story about this company and why I should take action with them and I’d probably just move on.

Here’s another example. If you’ve read other posts about me, you know I like to compete in sprint-distance triathlons. One of my favorites is the Esprit de She in Naperville, a triathlon for women.


Even though the background and font colors are different, you can still see a consistent story here. The images at the top of the email and the webpage bothe have a subtle curving edge, the fonts are minimalistic, there is a lot of white space, important words are bolded making it easy to scan. Both of these are very easy to read and use. Both tell a story about women athletes and encourage the viewer to find out more.

If you want help creating your brand or extending it to other platforms (email marketing, print, business cards, etc.), contact me and let’s talk!