When it comes to your business, brand consistency is essential, yet so many businesses fail the 5 basic steps every business should follow.
The ultimate goal of any brand or logo is to ensure it provides an identity for your business that can be easily recognisable, and this means that consistency is the key.
Your branding represents your business, so if it looks sloppy, disorganised, amateurish or disjointed, then most likely it means your business is the same, and that’s obviously not a good thing if you’re trying to create or run a successful business.
Why many familiar brands succeed while newer brands don’t will often come down to brand consistency. When you see a familiar brand and recognise it across multiple mediums (eg signage, social media, business cards, brochures, TV, etc) you familiarise yourself with the strength of the brand, and a well recognised brand means a more trusted brand.
So, when you create a consistent approach to branding people are more likely to trust the brand, as well as associate the brand if they have used their services in the past.
And your brand doesn’t need to necessarily stop at the design elements of the brand. By utilising newer mediums such as video, radio and social media PPC advertising, people are exposed to the brand from multiple mediums, creating the psychological phenomenon known as ‘mere exposure’, and are more likely to like the brand through the exposure created.
BRAND STYLE GUIDE
Consistency of a brand starts with ensuring you have a style guide to ensure your primary brand elements remain unchanged (eg logo distortion, colours, etc).
It is amazing how many businesses opt for a cheap online logo design solution, or worse, they create it themselves in CorelDraw, but haven’t actually given any thought to their brand before embarking on creating a brand which could potentially be worth millions of dollars and a successful business.
So many times I hear of businesses that opted for a $99 logo design, and ended up with JPEG file, with very little thought put into it. If you are only willing to invest such a small cost into your brand then you are obviously not serious about your business.
Related Article: Who really owns my logo design?
Understanding your values, your brand’s personality, your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) are all elements which should be reflected through your branding. It gives your brand the true identity of your business. To create a logo and brand should always start with a brief with your brand designer to ensure they understand your brand, your competitors, your target audience and your product, and what you represent in general.
If you already have your visual branding elements and logo done, it is recommended to conduct a self-audit, or contact a brand designer to ensure these elements represent your brand properly. And if they don’t, then maybe it is a good time to refresh your brand and take your business to the next level.
Ensuring your branding elements work correctly across all mediums is all essential when developing a new logo design. The dimensions that might work well on a letterhead might not possibly work on your website or social media, or the size of the print or colour gradients might not output correctly when printed on uniforms or in a greyscale or mono output. A good designer will know this, but it is worth determining where you will be using the logo and branding before you commence the design brief and any concepts.
BRAND STRATEGY & POSITIONING
Every brand needs a plan, and your brand strategy should be something that is carefully planned out right from the start. When you look at the major players in any industry you’ll find the brand strategy is actually more valuable than the product they sell. Why does your local McDonald’s sell tens of thousands more burgers than the little burger shop down the street? One has a brand strategy, and the other doesn’t. You don’t need to have the best burgers, you just need to have a great brand strategy.
And while your brand positioning may change in time to reflect your products and services (eg McDonalds McCafe, and healthy options), your brand strategy and positioning should always stay closely related to the original to stay authentic. When you start making big sudden changes you scare consumers and lose their confidence.
DELIVERING A MULTI-CHANNEL EXPERIENCE.
The days of just having a storefront, a business card and a Yellow Pages advert are long gone. These days you need to be across multiple mediums, from websites, multiple social media platforms, billboards, email marketing, video, and possibly even mobile apps. And you need to provide interaction with your brand, whether it just be general support online, or interaction via social media comments, reviews on Google business.
Your brand experience needs to be entertaining and engaging, and also show you are accessible to your audience. This is a representation of your business, and now more than every we have the tools freely available to reach a much wider targeted audience than ever before.
There are even thousands of courses available online on websites such as Udemy or Lynda, where you can learn all the knowhow required to manage your branding in today’s world, or if you don’t have the time you can outsource the services to experts to manage it for you. Whatever you choose, delivering a multi-channel strategy dramatically strengthens your brand’s reach.
TRAINING YOUR STAFF ON BRAND MANAGEMENT
If you run a business with staff, ensuring they are committed to your brand is essential. Your staff’s representation of your brand is carried across many areas of value, from the uniform and how they wear it, to their personality and connectivity with your customers, through to their own personal lives such as what they post on social media. When you hire someone you should outline what your brand stands for, your brand values and positioning, and ensure they fit your brand, and if they are willing to represent your brand. They should feel their brand is partly their own, and ultimately it is the service they will be providing for the company that greatly reflects the success of the business, so their understanding of the brand is essential.
If you require branding and logo design, contact the team at Smartfish Creative. Our brand specialists have been creating successful iconic brands for over 20 years.