• Sunday, July 14, 2024
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Why it’s crucial to keep your brand consistent

Why it’s crucial to keep your brand consistent

Brand consistency is presenting your brand with a uniform look, voice, values, and culture. In other words, it is presenting the brand in a visually consistent way while staying true to your company’s core values and culture in every interaction you have with potential and existing customers. If you had to sum up brand consistency in a few words, just remember this: it’s how you represent the who, what, and why of your business across multiple media platforms (print, digital, social, etc.).

An industry rule of thumb is that a customer needs seven interactions with a brand before considering to purchase from or use them. If the brand is inconsistent, then the interactions do not count towards that tally; people won’t recognize it as the same brand. A consistent brand makes the most of every impression and interaction with a customer. It all adds up to a brand experience that makes a person more likely to engage (i.e., purchase, donate, read, mention, etc.) In aggregate, those consistent interactions build brand equity.

To practice brand consistency, you first need a clear understanding of who you are, what you do, whom you help, and how. Did I hear you say this is starting to sound a lot like brand identity, right? That’s because it is.

Brand Consistency vs. Inconsistency
A consistent brand’s logo, colours, imagery, copywriting, and tone are all predictable. With an inconsistent brand, customers don’t know what to expect. It’s easy to understand why a consistent brand is more valuable than an inconsistent brand. Yet, some businesses present themselves so inconsistently that they cannot get even the basics aligned.
On the other hand, a consistent brand does not plant seeds of doubt in the minds of customers. Its consistency is a badge of honour and makes the company look more professional than less consistent brands. People are naturally more trusting of consistent things.

Consistency of Brand Voice
Writing with the same words and personality while adapting to the context.
Besides your brand’s visual attributes, you’ll also need to ensure that your brand messaging is clear and consistent, particularly your voice and tone. Let’s take a quick second to review what these two are and how they differ:

Read also: Driving brand affinity through sponsorship

Brand Voice: Your brand voice is, well… just that. It’s how you talk to your customers. Think about your brand personality. Would you describe your business as fun, playful, and energetic? Or informative yet approachable to a general audience?

Brand Tone: Though your voice stays pretty much the same, your tone may differ, depending on the audience you’re speaking to or the channel you’re using to connect with users. For instance, the tone of your e-newsletter may be slightly more conversational and informal to your loyal subscribers. But a blog article on your site may be positioned to educate readers on new trends and news in your industry

How To Keep Your Brand Consistent
A brand style guide is the best way to maintain brand consistency. A brand style guide is a set of standards and guidelines that depict how a brand should look, sound, and feel. Think of your style guide as an instruction manual that explains how to use your brand in real-life situations. A well-developed brand style guide also ensures your branding stays relevant and up to date with design trends and industry standards.

Though these guides are meant to be used by internal design teams and marketing departments, their value extends far beyond that. New hires, contractors, and long-time employees should also encompass your brand identity, culture, and mission.
A style guide is a communication tool for people inside the organization to explain the brands to outside workers, agencies, and suppliers. The style guide is a stand-alone crash course for other creative professionals who will contribute to the brand; within 20 minutes, they can understand the brand identity and apply it to their specialty.

Is your brand creating inconsistencies? Rein them in!
Tightly control your brand if you want to compete with the big guys. Big businesses have to deal with forces that erode their brand’s consistency—product fragmentation, multiple departments, offsite agencies, rogue franchisees or distributors, etc. But the brands from large organizations are mostly consistent despite all of that. Why? Because they highly value brand consistency.

They know that their brand is nothing if not consistent.
Smaller organizations with less bureaucracy and moving parts should have an easier time keeping their brand more consistent. Yet small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) tend to be less consistent than their larger competitors, which may look less professional in comparison. Designers, brand managers, and executives need to hold consistency as a value and diligently work to maintain it.

Last line
When building a brand, visualize where and how your brand will live and breathe in the real world. How will your logo and brand identity appear on brand collateral, websites, social channels, and exterior signage? How can you maintain consistent elements, so the brand is cohesive? To keep this consistent, follow your brand style guide, and your brand will shine!