Sole Strategies’ Founder on What Makes a Strong Brand
Zee Cohen-Sanchez

When candidates come to us at Sole Strategies, our goal is to create captivating brands that resonate with their audience and tell their stories. We design brands for political candidates, but our strategies and techniques are effective for social media influencers, online marketers, and other industries as well.

The Elements of a Strong Brand

Your brand is so much more than a logo. It incorporates your messaging, campaign slogan, images, colors, and social media content to deliver a holistic experience. The elements that make up your brand are carefully crafted to give your audience an overall feeling about you. Curating that experience well can lead to powerful results.

When our team on-boards a new client, we start by researching the brand that is currently out there. We watch every video and read every piece of content to understand the candidate.

At that point, we strategize. We discuss past issues with branding and how best to move forward. We collaborate until we arrive at a brand that fully encapsulates the candidate’s values and messaging.

Before you design your brand, you have to know yourself. In the case of our candidates, they need to know why they’re running. They need to know the values they represent before they can package and present them to other people. To create a strong brand, you must know what you want to accomplish and how you want to make people feel.

Graphics And Image Quality Are Essential to A Strong Brand

Image quality and graphics are a huge part of your brand. Many people have great content but lack the skill set to bring imagery to life.

Graphics have to grab people’s attention. In a culture constantly flooded with information, your brand has to stand out and make people remember you.

Many assets go into a brand’s overall image. Combining these elements in a united strategy delivers maximum impact. While a photograph may be engaging content, it has the potential to provide so much more value when combined with other aspects of your brand. Pairing powerful photography with a well-crafted message in just the right font enables you to make people feel something.

Social Media Boosts Your Brand’s Reach

Social media is a free voice that can allow your brand to reach a massive audience. The key is to create engaging content people want to follow.

For example, one of our candidate’s messaging focuses on the for-profit prison system. We illustrate meaningful statistics on this topic with colorful graphics and tweet them to his audience. As his followers scroll through their feeds, they learn intriguing facts quickly. If content adds value to your followers’ day, they are likely to digest it, engage with it, and share it.

We find pockets within social media that are already activated, and we get involved. In the cases of our candidates, even a couple of viral tweets get a brand on the map.

Common Mistakes When Branding

The most common mistake we see candidates make is ignoring brand design. These candidates often feel branding is less important than being in the community and talking to voters. We remind these candidates that after they get into the community, the voters will do their own research. In this day and age, research means looking a brand up online.

When candidates get in front of the media, we want a strong brand already in place. As people search for your brand online, they should come across an engaging website and social media content that show exactly who you are and what you stand for.

A well-branded candidate has the edge on their competition. As voters compare candidates, they find some brands with consistent graphics and professional websites. They see other brands with outdated web pages and a hodgepodge of social media posts. Your brand causes people to draw conclusions about your personality, capability, and potential, whether those conclusions are true or not.

Maintaining Your Image After Being Successfully Branded

Consistency is key when maintaining a strong brand. If you’re on a tight budget, it’s fine to design your imagery through a program like Canva. Remember, once you make a graphic, you have to follow that pattern for future graphics.

Consistency doesn’t only apply to branding in the digital sphere. Keep your colors and fonts uniform when creating things like yard signs and door hangers. Maintaining a strong brand is only possible through dedication, commitment, and consistency.

Zee Cohen-Sanchez is the founder and executive director of Sole Strategies, a progressive campaigning company that works to instill true change in America’s political system.