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What is Brand Coherence and Why Should I Care?

Posted on May 24, 2017 in Branding

That includes brand coherence — so what is brand coherence, anyway? In a nutshell, brand coherence is when every component of your brand fits together.

The average business communicates about their brand in at least several different channels — social media, print media, email marketing, flyers, brochures, logos, slogans, and even personal interactions, to name a few. Brand coherence refers to these parts meshing with one another, working as part of a harmonious whole. Regardless of the medium, the look, taste, and feel of every message all fits together. Nothing is out of place and each component reinforces the others, building a strong, clearly defined brand identity.

Consider Disney World, a place that has brand coherence down to a science. The Disney experience begins long before you actually get to Orlando, of course. They mail you colorful magic wristbands along with a stellar shock and awe package, priming guests for the wonderful vacation they’re about to experience.

When you actually get to the park, anyone in their right mind is bound to blown away. Seriously, if you don’t have fun at Disney, then you’re just a jerk. Despite selling hundreds of thousands of soda cups, snacks, toys, and souvenirs, the entire place is impeccably clean — all the time. Meanwhile, every staff member acts as if they’re having the greatest day of their life, even if they’re just a janitor pushing a broom. You can’t buy a snow cone without someone smiling from ear to ear. In other words, every Disney employee is dedicated to going above and beyond their duties to put on a wonderful show for guests.

It doesn’t stop when you leave Disney, either. You can login and download a massive collection of all the photos that the staff took of you and your family while you were at Disney. They continue the experience by sending you a personalized thank you note and a hand drawing of Mickey by a Disney artist. In brief, every single interaction you have with Disney is pure magic. Every component of the brand is dripping with a single theme: Disney World is the happiest place on earth.

The end result? Disney World’s guests know exactly who Disney is. From beginning to end, nothing ever interrupts the feeling that Disney was an amazing, special place. Guests leave knowing exactly what to expect from Disney, and they have no doubts that it really is the most magical place on earth.

So how does you establish brand coherence? Here’s a few key points, with Disney as a case study:

Stress a single simple message. At Disney, it’s a straightforward idea: “Disney is the happiest place on earth.” Notice how simple that is. They picked one message to focus on. This ensures that the message doesn’t get diluted or muddled, and that every guest interaction is an opportunity to convey that same message!

The message is told in the same voice, every time. Maintaining a steady voice helps reinforce the message as well. Disney sticks to a tone and voice that emphasizes family-fun, fantastical adventures, and escapism. After all, it’s not just what you say, but how you say it.

All of the messaging, products, and services have a uniformity of quality. Can you imagine how disruptive it would be to the Disney experience would be if you ran into a disgruntled, rude employee? It would break the immersion. The same goes for quality of your products. If the magic wristbands were made of cheap rubber and plastic, it would weaken the impression that Disney was a special, one-of-a-kind place.

A misstep or incoherent brand leaves audiences confused and without a clear idea of who you are. By tying everything together, audiences are more likely to get the message and will have a strong impression of what makes you unique.

Of course, branding is way bigger than all of this. We’re just scratching the surface here, but it’s a start.

There is so much benefit to developing and keeping a strong brand coherence. If you need help with your brand, comment below or give us a call at (248) 579-9972.

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