How To Make Your Brand More Consistent
Having a brand is good for your business, but having a consistent brand is even better. If a brand is about gaining customers’ trust, making it consistent is about keeping it. However, for small businesses and big corporations alike, it is easy to stray from the initial ideas regarding your brand when you want to try something new. Changing a brand is a difficult thing, and for those who truly want to create something special, it is far better to have one brand and keep it consistent. These ideas should help you to stay on track.
If you are going to keep your branding consistent, then you need to understand why that matters. It’s essential that this information is something you have before you start planning anything. Otherwise it will be all too easy to go off course when you really shouldn’t.
As well as you getting to grips with what a consistent brand is and why it is important it is essential the rest of your team knows too, especially if they are involved in the creative branding department. They will need to be able to see the value in your branding so that they can sell your company’s values to their customers and keep everything in line with the branding ethos.
So why does a consistent brand matter? Firstly, a brand that stays on track and the same no matter what shows a deep level of professionalism; it shows that your business is intent on following through with what its brand promises and doesn’t need to keep changing its mind about what it really stands for. It also shows authenticity because if you can stay true to those promises, it shows that they are real and not something just thought up to sell your product.
A consistent brand position also clarifies what it is your company does and stops any potential confusion that people might have about what you do.
Create A Brand Guide
Once you know what it is so important to create a consistent brand, it’s time to also create a brand guide. This is an important document that will form a big part of your business, and all companies should have a brand guide to help both current and future employees stick to the brand that has been chosen.
Within the brand guide, there should be a brand mission that explains the importance, as mentioned above. It should also have what differentiates you from your competition in terms of branding but also in terms of how your business works in general. Then it should have details about the voice and tone to be used (whether it should be formal, light and friendly, playful, and so on). Where and how to use the logo, which is the brand colors, what fonts to use and all other pieces of information that a graphic designer would need should also be included.
Having this guide means that your brand can easily be reproduced whenever it is needed, thus ensuring the consistency of the design elements.
Give The Brand Guide To Employees
Simply creating the brand guide and keeping it in a safe place isn’t going to help you out. You are going to need to let each member of the company have a copy. It is worth adding to the company handbook that many businesses give their new recruits when they join. Although branding may seem like something that only the marketing and design teams need to know about, it is actually important for everyone to have an idea of what is expected.
The brand guidelines explain how the company is presented, but also about what ideals the company is founded on. The sales team, for example, will find this useful because they can then accurately present those brand values to potential customers. People love to buy from people they like, and if a salesperson can provide likable details about what the company stands for, sales may happen more easily.
It is also important to give this guide to those who make and build your product – it will definitely need to match up to brand guidelines otherwise it could cause confusion when it is bought. Your product needs to be an advertisement all by itself, so if it is nothing like the rest of your branding, how will you ensure there is a connection? If you use freelancers to do any of your content or design work, they will also need to know what guidelines to match up to.
When you have established your branding guidelines, and when they are clear and concise, and everyone understands them (and understands why they exist) it is time to use them. Take a look at all of your branded materials and change anything that doesn’t match with your branding message. You won’t necessarily have to dispose of items; some of them can be updated.
The first thing to look at should be your website. This is often the basis for any kind of branding as it is the place where most of your customers and potential customers will look first when they want to know more about you. Keeping your brand consistent on your website is essential. The same is true for social media profiles that your business may have. If your social media and your website don’t match up, this sends out a confused and unprofessional message.
Then there are the tangible marketing items such as brochures, business cards, presentations and presentation videos, signage, uniforms, and your vehicles. These all need to have exactly the same branding on them. If the branding changes, so too do these items – no one should be using any older branding as this will stick out and look very strange indeed.
After this initial audit, carry out regular audits every six months to a year. This way you will spot any discrepancies and remove them when you need to in order to provide a cohesive, consistent brand for everyone to see and understand.