Let’s do a little role play.
Imagine you are a cowgirl, herding a mix of virtual and real life cows on wide sweeping plains surrounded by customers who love cows.
Everything is going well, and then another cowgirl brings her cows into the plain, and her customers love cows too.
Then another cowgirl turns up, and another. The cow trend is taking off – and the plains are starting to get crowded – with cows, and the customers
But now your customers are confused, and you and the other cowgirls have no way of telling which cow belongs to who, so you decide to form a posse and work out a system that helps.
Over the campfire late at night (and a few margaritas), you and your cowgirl posse get to talking about your points of difference. (speaking of posses – you should join up here)
One of you has actually raised therapy cows – to help energise people, one of you has actually raised relaxation cows that helps people get to sleep, and another has raised security cows with the loudest moos ever. Problem is, all the cows are brown and look the same. Can you imagine the customer problems when the therapy cows and the relaxation cows get mixed up – yeesh.
They decide to ethically brand their cows to look a lot more like themselves, using coloured collars.
This starts working a treat, and they realise that they should be consistent with their colours on all their sales materials so the customers really remember who they are, and their cows stand out from the herd, making purchasing decisions much easier.
They got even smarter and started to research about the use of colour in brand and found that certain colours convey certain meanings.
It becomes super easy for customers to identify which brands can help them, and the knock on effects are great. Customer satisfaction increases, the cowgirls find that they are saving time on developing templates and marketing materials, they are attracting the right customers, and everyone on the range is happy. Oh marketing nirvana.
So here’s a challenge for you: If you think about your brand and business, are you consistent across all your platforms?
When it comes to using different apps to create images, sending marketing collateral to print, or setting up your website, you will inevitably find that some apps (or people) require different colour codes.
The three types of colour codes that are worthy of recording for your brand sanity are:
HEX Codes (which are a combination of 6 alpha numeric (some can be all alpha, some can be all numeric, like white and black)
CMYK (standing for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key (Key meaning black)
RGB codes (meaning levels of red, green, blue)
To help you get some visual consistency happening, here’s 10 actionable items that you can use.
- Record your color palette using an app like Adobe Capture.
This is a great tool to help you work out your brand colour palette. I actually used it to take a picture of my favourite artwork which I have at my home that represents me.
How it works: Upload an image (perfect if your designer has given you a colourful logo, but not the colour codes), or take a picture of a colour scheme that represents you and the feeling you want your brand to convey. For example, you can take a picture of your favourite beach, and it will pick up the most dominant colors.
2. Use a color converter
The coding that is used can vary from app to app to print application, to coding your website. I have found it really handy to keep my brand colour codes in all formats in a table.
The following sites are helpful if you have your hex codes, but don’t have access to the adobe capture app
How to convert your hex code to rgb
How to convert hex to cmyk
3. Keep a record of your brand colours and where to use them in a style guide
I generally keep mine in google docs, as if I am working off different platforms, I can access the codes on my phone, tablet or laptop. It makes keeping consistency easy.
To help with this, you can complete your own style guide by downloading the visual consistency guide here (its completely editable) or if you have signed up to access the resource library, you will find it there too.
4. Work out where and how you will use what colours to create brand consistency
This will help in terms of setting up consistency. For example, if you have clickable links in your blog posts, you can ensure that links in your courseware (if it is hosted on a site like thinkific or teachable) are coded the same way.
Be sure to note what the primary or dominant colours are, and if white space or negative space is needed.
5. Set up colour based templates
When doing this, make a few variants of your templates in your brand colours and with your brand fonts. This will save you time when you are crafting content – especially if you have them in the different size formats you need.
6. Look for complimentary regram brands that are “on message”
If getting social is your thing, and you love a bit of Instagram, finding some accounts that are aligned to your personality, and colour palette can be good to make a note of. Even better if they are a different business to your focus, or if they have products that you love. Just be sure to always credit the originator.
7. Get creative with well lit photos, or choosing stock images
Now I am no photographer – just check the Insta feed to see my skills gap. I totally suck. However, I can say that if you have objects that fit with your brand and personality (yep – stationery shopping can become a brand exercise), taking some well lit snaps of those can help. Get professional help if you can.
If a photographer is out of your budget, check out where you can get stock photos that are aligned to your brand style and personality either on a free or paid subscription base (like Boss Latina) or from a stock site (just google free photo stock sites to explore). Just be sure to check licensing on images, and honour the creator – they need to pay bills too!
8. Apply your visual feel to all your touchpoints
For example, if you are a coach or do workshops and use an online booking system like acuityscheduling.com* you can set your brand colours in there. That way, when your customers are going through different system touchpoints, it will still feel like “you”, even though they are using a third party system.
There is a space to list out all your systems in your biz so if you ever need to outsource, or make a change, you have all your visuals covered! Just remember to grab the free editable visual consistency guide by clicking the image below:
Wishing you success mustering up those customers around ‘preneurtown – yee – hah!