Most of us like consistency and that is one of the reasons successful and consistent branding works. We know what we are getting from Starbucks, whether that is in London or Moscow and we know that because the branding is, like the coffee and service, consistent throughout. The brand wants to both attract new customers but also turn those customers into friends. Sure, the product matters, but not so much as the consistency of the branding. The consistency allows the brand to drive customer perception, helping to differentiate the brand and encourage positive sentiments and loyalty.

 

Further, consistent branding allows the customer to switch off when thinking about the brand. We unconsciously have had positive feelings about it reinforced and no longer need to make a conscious decision to use the brand. It is the safest option. By being made to remember, via consistent branding, why a brand made us feel good, the why and wherefores no longer matter. We stroll into Starbucks not because we want a Starbucks over any other coffee, but because the brand has done its job. Consistency is at the very heart of this. Not being consistent will prevent you building a rapport with your target audience or, for established organisations, potentially upset your existing customers. New Coke anyone?

 

No matter what size, shape or type of organisation yours is, it could benefit from more consistent branding. Here are a few tips to consider when starting out:

 

  • To create a consistent brand you must start thinking about it at the beginning of the branding (or rebranding) process. If you have a strong brand strategy in place, consistency is all the more likely. Start with the question, what do you want users to think about when they think about your brand? It will help create the overarching strategy and inform the brand guidelines.

 

  • Brand guidelines should include everything from a visual imagery and messaging perspective. That includes your team. Make sure the entire team is onboard. Consistent branding is so much easier if everyone who represents the brand sees things through the prism of the brand and communicates accordingly.

 

  • As well as being recognisable, your brand needs to evoke similar (or even the same) feeling across all touchpoints. Consistent branding is built from the ground up on details. Exact colours, voice, logos, typography etc, guided by the brand strategy.

 

  • Don’t get distracted. Sure, be aware of the competition – then don’t worry about them. Focus on what makes you special and aim to consistently reflect that in your branded output.

 

  • Always weigh up the needs of the brand versus the needs of any particular promotion/event/product. The brand should always win but it must also be flexible enough to work for your range of services and customers.

 

  • Authentic brands are consistent brands (and vice versa). Off the top of my head I can’t think of an industry that doesn’t reward authenticity. Keeping focussed on core values (whether visual, written or otherwise) will earn trust in the long run.
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Our design team has significant experience in both creating brands and collateral that fits perfectly within existing brands. If you would like a chat about how we could make your brand more consistent, get in touch and we will show you exactly how.