With the new year in full swing and now everyone is back to work, many business owners find the time look at their own marketing and branding strategy for the next 12 months. Something about a new year gives the extra motivation to review and refresh where needed to find those extra sales.
What is brand consistency? Ask yourself this, have you ever seen a billboard or watched an advert on TV for the first time and without looking at the logo you know exactly what company it is? If you have, then you are aware that brand consistency and how important it is. Large organisations pay a lot of time and money in creating brand guidelines to ensure that consistency is never deviated from. I myself have worked for a number of large companies and I have had to pay attention to font size, font style, how far from the edge of the creative the logo should be, what type of photography I can and cannot use etc. But branding doesn’t just stop with visual elements, it is also tone of voice and how the marketing copy is composed. Every element is can be fine tuned to ensure that your customers recognise, or the ultimate goal, subconsciously recognise your brand no matter how or where they engage with it.
It doesn’t matter how large or small your company is, you can adopt brand consistency values and over time, the consistency will promote your brand as trustworthy and dependable.
So perhaps this is the year that you can tighten up on your branding to make sure it isn’t slipping.
It doesn’t have to be a massive project and really doesn’t mean an extra bill from your graphic designer (unless after your review you realise you need help), so start by reviewing all of your companies collateral for brand consistency. Things to look out for.
- Take a look at the fonts being used on your website, your business cards, letterheads and any marketing material, both online and offline. Are they consistently the same font or when you compare them, do they look different? A brand isn’t just the company logo. There has to be consistency in everything you create to establish a strong brand presence and recognition with your audience.
- Review your branding colours. Again just as using too many different types of typefaces, your company colour needs to be consistent. When was the last time you saw Starbucks change the colours of their brand? Everyone associates their brand with the colour green. Changing or adding other colours may lose brand positioning.
- Consistency in voice. Review your strapline, is the tone targeted to the audience you want to engage and is the strapline used consistently throughout all of your branded material. Is the your copy using the same tone?
- Brand Imagery. Have you ever looked at a photograph on an advert and recognised instantly who is advertising without looking at the brand. Identify a style of photograph and stick with it, good example is Made.com, their product shots are always in a grey/white or non descript environment, even the room shots, this helps to make their products 'pop' and the consistent use of this type of background defines their brand and products, making it instantly recognisable amongst heavy competition.
- Create Templates. The best way to enforce your brand consistency is to create a set of rules. In the industry they are known as ‘Brand Guidelines’. Usually in the form of a booklet, either printed or digital. It covers every aspect of how your brand should be used on your website, on social media, in printed literature, in presentations etc. You can go a step further and create a library of images chosen by you, that can only be used to reflect your brand. Or if your sales team are always presenting, create a Powerpoint template for their presentations, to keep their message consistent.
This is your brand and ensuring its consistency promotes brand dependability and trust. If you require any help with your brand consistency, our graphic designers have decades of experience in creating and maintaining brands - including creating brand guidelines, so let us know and we can have a chat.