When did you last think about your brand consistency? If you can’t remember, then you need to read this article from John Vingoe, Creative Director at The Hideout, which looks at why brand consistency matters.
Brand consistency is important. It creates a visual reference for your target market every time they see or interact with your brand in the wild and in turn, this helps build awareness of who you are and what you do. Get it right and customers will associate your brand with the values and messages you’ve set out to communicate to the market. Get it wrong and you’re at risk of not only sending out mixed messages but also, potentially jeopardising your own brand.
Let’s run through a few ways you can make sure your brand is consistent.
Make sure your brand is on point
It’s time to ditch the clip art logo. If you’re serious about growing as a business then invest in professional design services.
Your visual identity can play a big part in building awareness for your brand. This includes your logo, typography, colours and anything else that people will associate with your brand. The look and feel of your brand will be on everything, so it’s important to get this right and not have something that feels cliché or dated.
If you’re just starting out, you don’t necessarily have to go all out and get everything created, but having a professionally created logo, stationery, website or brochure will go a long towards building trust and professionalism in your brand.
Create a set of brand guidelines
Most large businesses will create a set of brand guidelines to help with keeping the visual look, feel and tone consistent across all marketing and media. Think of it as a set of rules for using the brand.
And while you may understand the need for a set of guidelines for a big corporation, it doesn’t mean a smaller business should go without. A smaller business may not need a thorough or extensive set. It could be something as simple as what colours and typography are associated with the brand and how you use the logo.
Even just by following these simple steps, you’ll start to maintain basic brand consistency and shaping what people associate with your brand.
Think about touch points
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and consider all the ways they might come across your brand.
A print advert, your website, social media? Most campaigns, as long as the budget allows, will span digital and printed media. It’s worth making sure the design and tone of voice are consistent across all of these channels. It should sound like (and look like) it’s from the same person. This means no matter which entry point a customer sees your brand, they always get the same feeling and level of service.
Branding isn’t just for the marketing team
Make sure all your staff know the history of your brand, tone of voice and how you want your customers to perceive you. Obviously, for some businesses certain teams will have more contact with customers than others but don’t underestimate how ensuring consistency across all teams can help to create a seamless brand experience – not only with customers but with suppliers and partners too.
Whether you have a dedicated marketing team or you not, make sure whoever has access to brand assets, and more importantly, has the ability to create them is aware of the brand guidelines. Make everything easy to find and easy to use – creating templates are a great way of ensuring consistency where you have multiple people editing or producing materials.
So whether it’s one of your staff talking to a client, a new advert or someone updating content on your website, you’ll know that each of those touch points will be consistent even though different staff are handling them.
Think about people you trust and why – it’s generally because you feel you know them, they share similar values and you have an affinity with them. It’s the same with brands. By nailing down who you are as a brand and making sure that’s communicated consistently across all of your channels and touch points, your customers will get to know what you’re about, but also and most importantly, trust and believe in it which encourages advocacy and loyalty.