What is Brand Consistency and Why is it Important?
You’ve likely heard the term “brand consistency” before, but you may not know exactly what it means. This concept is an important part of marketing your business and increasing your company visibility, loyalty, and, ultimately, revenue. In this article you’ll learn the basics of brand consistency, how it can positively impact your business, and how you can start moving your brand toward consistency.
What is Brand Consistency?
Brand consistency is the practice of delivering the same tone, message, and visual aesthetic across all platforms, channels, communications, and pieces of content. It’s the act of creating a consistent and reliable experience for your customers no matter where they interact with your brand.
Why is Brand Consistency Important to Your Business?
According to a study conducted by LucidPress, it takes 5 to 7 impressions before someone will remember your brand. Imagine if every time a customer interacts with your brand they see something different. You’d be starting this process over and over with each interaction. On the other hand, if you present your brand with consistency, it won’t be long before you’ve made a lasting impression on your customers.
Being consistent with your branding creates more opportunities for the public to be aware of your brand and recognize it in any context. You know exactly which brand is represented when you see a check mark logo, right? That’s what consistent branding can do for your business. This level of consistency not only makes your brand more recognizable, it also creates a reputation customers can be loyal to and trust.
Another major benefit of delivering consistent content and messaging is the impact it can have on revenue. According to the same LucidPress study, the average revenue increase that comes with always presenting your brand consistently is 33%. Take a moment to calculate what 33% revenue growth would mean for your business - can you afford not to be consistent?
How Can You Achieve Brand Consistency?
Talking about brand consistency is easy but actually implementing it for your business is a different challenge altogether. There are a few simple ways to create a consistent experience for your customers. Here are some quick tips you can put in place immediately:
Develop brand guidelines for your business (and make them available to your staff) The first step to creating consistency for your brand is knowing what you want your company to look, feel, and sound like to a customer. Are you edgy and bold? Elegant and sophisticated? Authoritative and professional? As you can imagine, each of these descriptors would have drastically different written and visual styles to support them. To help make sure every member of your staff is on the same pages when it comes to your branding and how you want to be perceived by customers, it’s helpful to create brand guidelines. This is a key document that details how to write for your brand (tone, best practices, are slang words accepted, should you use the Oxford comma, etc.), as well as how to present your brand visually (proper logo usage, color palettes to choose from, accepted font choices, etc.). A full guide on developing your brand guidelines is coming soon!
Ensure consistent logo usage Your brand guidelines set the standard, but you and your staff are accountable for the follow-through. A big mistake many companies make is not using their logo consistently. Although your brand is much bigger than a logo, your logo is the most recognizable of the tools in your branding arsenal. Companies will often change the color of their logo, add elements to it or remove elements from it, stretch the aspect ratio of the logo, or even use multiple logos to represent their business. All of these are major branding mishaps. Once you’ve settled on a logo, you should use it consistently everywhere your brand is being presented.
Use consistent tone, personality, and voice across channels In your company, you likely have multiple staff members managing your messaging, and they are likely to write in their own unique voices. As you can imagine, consistency is virtually non-existent when this happens. To prevent inconsistency, be sure to define what kind of voice, tone, and personality your company should have in your brand guidelines. Whether a customer is interacting with your brand via email, on social media, or reading a blog post, they shouldn’t have any clue they were written by different people.
Rebrand carefully and with a clear purpose, goal, or intention All too often I see companies decide they want to rebrand. And while there’s nothing wrong with rebranding your business, there is something wrong with doing it just because you’re bored. If you’re planning to rebrand, go into the process with a reason. Are you rebranding because your service or what you offer has changed? Are you setting out to create a brand that’s more representative of your values? By setting a clear goal or intention for your rebranding, you’ll give yourself a compass to follow in decision making and ensure your new branding will serve your business for years to come.
Ready to See Brand Consistency in Action?
In case you’re still not sure exactly what brand consistency looks like in practice, here are a few of my favorite examples:
Nike’s Brand Recognition
As mentioned previously, Nike’s signature check mark swoosh logo is a staple of the company’s branding. This symbol has become synonymous with everything the brand stands for. By itself, the symbol is meaningless. But because of the hard work and dedication the team at Nike has put into building a consistent brand, the swoosh has become one of the most recognizable logos in existence.
Mailchimp’s Readily-Available Style Guide
When anyone asks me what a style guide should look like, I happily point them to Mailchimp, an email marketing platform, as an example. This is a company that is incredibly well known for its branding consistency, but it didn’t get that way overnight. It’s clear hours of hard work were put into the development of their style guide because it covers every imaginable aspect of their branding, internally and externally.
And even better? They’ve seen so much value in the guide they’ve created that it’s readily available on their website for anyone who might need to know how to present their brand - whether it’s an employee or a business partner. To see for yourself, check out Mailchimp’s style guide.
Orangetheory’s Consistent Color Palette
Did you know color can increase brand recognition by as much as 80%? The branding team behind Orangetheory Fitness sure does. And with a name containing a color, it’s easy to make that the signature color of your brand’s color palette. However, this company has gone above and beyond with it’s dedication to color. The color consistency goes far beyond their website or their logo. Each of their studios has orange walls, orange lights, and even orange rowing machines! With this level of commitment to consistency, it’s easy to make the association between the brand and its signature color.
Starbucks' Values Shared Through Brand Messaging
Starbucks works hard to be more than just a coffee shop. Through consistency in messaging and tone, Starbucks is branded as a progressive, socially responsible company that cares about people. From small steps like referring to their employees as “partners” to their use of sustainable coffee, Starbucks’ values are at the heart of everything they do.
The goal of branding consistency is to create a unified experience for your customers, no matter where or how they interact with your brand. This leads to increased customer loyalty, increased brand recognition, and in most cases, increased revenue. On the other hand, inconsistent branding reflects poorly on your company and can leave customers feeling confused and unsure of what they should expect from you.
By implementing a few quick practices for consistent branding, you’ll quickly see positive results for your business and stay at the front of mind for your customers.
Do you have questions about brand consistency or how to implement these practices for your business? Feel free to contact me and set up a consultation today!