It goes without saying your brand image is so much more than your business offerings and a recognizable logo. Every time someone visits your website, sees your business card, or receives marketing material from your company, it builds a perception of your business. Keeping consistent, professional and authentic branding strengthens your image. Whether you’re a new business establishing your brand identity or an existing business looking to revitalize your image, we’ve outlined where to get started below.
Why is brand consistency important?
Brand consistency is seen through both messaging and visuals of the brand in printed materials and digital media. It is created when all collateral adheres to the brand’s mission, values, and vision. Many brands establish brand standards or a style guide that directs employees, partners, and vendors in the proper use of the logo(s), brand-specific colors, tone of voice, and other brand design elements. A cohesive brand looks more professional than a brand that is all over the place with their identity and marketing.
Logo and brand elements
You can probably recognize a company just from their logo, such as the McDonald’s golden arches or the red and white rings of the Target bullseye. A logo helps establish a brand’s image and increase brand awareness among current and potential customers. Brands should set usage rules for how the logo should be displayed in all company documents, materials, images, etc. However, color, messaging, and other brand elements are just as important to establishing the brand image as the logo. This helps keep your brand consistent and easily identifiable to the public. Visual elements also help with brand recognition and support the logo to a point where your audience begins to recognize your brand’s content and advertisements without even seeing your business name.
Implementing a brand consistency plan
There’s nothing worse than the cringey feeling of seeing your logo squished, stretched, or in the wrong colors on a highly visible piece. No one wants to look bad amongst competitors.
- Establish brand standards or a style guide by working with a professional graphic designer or marketing agency. Brand standards are a set of rules and guidelines that protect the look and feel of your brand. They lay out how your brand’s logo(s), color palette, typography and other designs are to be used in various company and marketing materials. When a brand’s identity is cohesive, it increases the brand’s perceived value.
- Create predesigned templates in native programs such as PowerPoint, Word, etc. or in an online software such as Canva to ensure consistency of branding. This is great for various media types for internal and external marketing use: email signatures, employee handbooks, letterhead, PowerPoint presentations, flyers, social media posts, etc.
- Share designed assets in a company network folder or drive (Google Drive, SharePoint or DropBox Business) with employees, partners, and vendors. This should contain the approved logo(s), color palette, copy/messaging, visual elements, templates, and brand standards or style guide. It’s easier to collaborate and align your team’s presentation of a consistent brand (look and feel) internally and externally to customers when they have access to the same files.
- Designate an in-house expert or external marketing team that reviews and keeps all materials produced on brand. This can be a single person or department that ensures the logo and elements are used correctly both in print and digital media.
Creating a cohesive look and feel across all media makes your brand recognizable and stand out. Once developed, a comprehensive plan shouldn’t need relentless revisions, but even the best-set practices can’t eliminate all the challenges inherent in maintaining a successful brand. If you need assistance establishing or managing your brand’s consistency, contact Baer Performance Marketing at (920) 632-7648 or via our contact form.