Brand Consistency: More than Just a Logo
In a world brimming with options for virtually every product or service, how do you make your brand stand out? Brand consistency is one of the crucial elements in achieving this, but it is often overlooked or misunderstood. Branding is not just about a memorable logo or a catchy slogan; it’s an integrated strategy that involves several aspects, from tone to visuals to customer experience. But why is brand consistency so important for both emerging and established businesses?
What is Brand Consistency?
In essence, brand consistency means maintaining a coherent and unified presentation across all platforms and touchpoints where your business interacts with the public. This could include your website, social media, advertisements, products, customer service, and even the way your team communicates internally.
Why Does Brand Consistency Matter?
Recognition and Trust
One of the most important reasons for maintaining brand consistency is the role it plays in customer recognition and trust. When a consumer sees the same colors, typography, and images across your marketing materials, they are more likely to remember your brand. Over time, this builds trust and creates a sense of reliability around your products or services.
Consistent branding also helps you stand out in a crowded marketplace. When a customer is overwhelmed by choices, they are more likely to opt for a brand that they recognize and trust. Your unique brand elements make it easier for customers to spot you amid a sea of competitors.
Beyond the practical aspects, consistent branding also helps in forming an emotional connection with your audience. Humans are creatures of habit; we find comfort in the familiar. When a brand consistently delivers the same message and quality, it reassures the customer and strengthens emotional ties.
Streamlined Marketing Efforts
From a business perspective, brand consistency simplifies the decision-making process when it comes to marketing efforts. A well-established brand guide means that your team doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel every time they create a new campaign or update social media.
Consistent branding goes beyond mere recognition; it adds value to your business. Apple is a prime example of this. Their consistent branding efforts over decades have led to a perception of quality, innovation, and luxury, allowing them to charge premium prices for their products.
How to Achieve Brand Consistency?
Establish a Brand Guide
A brand guide serves as a blueprint that outlines the parameters of your brand’s visual and communicative elements. This includes specific color codes, typography, tone of voice, and even guidelines on imagery and photography. I’ve recently completed the design for four brands of the newly opened Hyatt Regency Blackfriars in London and the brand guide is a proper book – but as this is a brand with lots of different suppliers, it’s absolutely vital to ensure consistency in the use of the new brand identity.
The whole subject of brand consistency applies not just to external communication but also internal. Everyone on your team should be aware of and aligned with the brand’s mission, vision, and values. Internal workshops and good on-boarding sessions for new team members can help everyone start singing from the same hymn sheet – and knowing why…
With changing marketing channels and trends, it’s essential to regularly audit your brand’s presence across all platforms to ensure consistency. A brand manager can focus solely on making sure publications, PR, internal and external messages follow the ‘holy brand grail’ – but for smaller businesses, again, internal workshops or training sessions and mini brand audits can be valuable resources to help create this consistency from the ground up.
Use digital asset management systems to store and manage your brand’s assets. This ensures that your team has access to up-to-date resources, reducing the likelihood of inconsistencies. There are lots of different software products to use – from brand asset libraries to template creator SaaS offerings; the choice is yours.
Be patient… consistency takes time.
Brand consistency is not a one-off task but an ongoing strategy that requires attention, effort, and investment. When executed correctly, it adds significant value to your business, making it more memorable, reliable, and engaging. As Jeff Bezos once said, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Make sure they’re saying what you want them to say by investing in brand consistency.
I am a brand consultant and conceptual designer. I love using creativity to solve problems for our clients. In my spare time, I like jigsaws and probably a bit of a board game geek.