Q. What do Coca-Cola, Lush, DropBox, Innocent Drinks, and Apple have in common?
A. Their branding is completely consistent across every platform.
Your brand is the face of your business. It represents everything your business is about. If it is inconsistent across various platforms, what is it saying about your attention to detail? Inconsistent branding says ‘I don’t care about my business.’ Do you really want to be giving this message to your clients?
Ensure you have a set of strong brand guidelines that dictate colour, typography, dos and don’ts and all the other good stuff that comes with brand guidelines. If your branding looks consistent on your website, stationery, brochures, signage and everywhere else it will ensure you maintain a professional look across all platforms.
Consistent branding is also the best way to make sure your brand is recognizable, and a recognized brand is a trusted brand. If you are inconsistent with your branding – changing your logo frequently, using different colours across different platforms – it will largely decrease how recognizable your company is to a customer. Your customer may have seen your brand in several different places, but not be aware that it’s the same company!
Don’t get fooled into thinking consistency is boring
Some of the most recognized brands in the world have used the same logo ever since the company was born. Think of Apple, Disney, Nike – all instantly recognizable, and all completely consistent in their branding. Do you find any of their brands boring? Changing your logo or re-branding every year might seem like a good way to shake things up, but you know the old saying: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”
Create a Style Guide
Put together a document or leaflet that details exactly what is acceptable for your brand, and give all employees a copy. You should include:
- The full legal name of your company
- The mission statement
- Your slogan or tagline
- Logo designs and where each version should be used
- Typography, and which fonts you use for different platforms
- Imagery style
- Copy and content guidelines
- Examples of poor use of the branding
Make sure each employee has a copy of your Style Guide, or access to an online version!
Give guidelines for every use of your brand
List out every possible place that your branding will be used. It’s a big job; there are a lot of platforms that your branding will appear on. Use this list as a starting point:
- Your website
- Social media – cover photos, profile pictures, Stories, in-feed posts
- Blogs – featured images, in-blog images
- Email footers and email marketing
- External communications – quote documents, client reports, press releases
- Stationary – business cards, letterheads, roller banners
- Advertising – TV ads, outdoor media, magazine placements
- Internal communications – HR documents, notices, job advertisements, meeting minutes
This is a basic list that’s probably applicable to any company. There will be other places that your branding is used, and you need to make sure you identify every single one. Then set out guidelines for which style to use in every scenario. You’ve probably got different iterations of your logo, a few different brand colours, a couple of straplines, different typefaces – which should you use and when? Keep it consistent by making sure you’ve got all this documented. As with your Style Guide, make sure all staff have a copy of your guidelines.
Make sure your whole company understands your brand consistency
As well as producing your Style Guide, run training sessions for all of your staff so you can be sure that everyone in the company understands how to use your branding accurately. Give them an opportunity to ask questions, and go through what’s considered proper use of company taglines, social profiles, forum accounts, logos and other graphics, and anything else that directly affects brand consistency.
Branding consistency is something that you need to work on constantly over time, but if you stick at it, your brand could become as recognizable as Apple or Disney. Remember, customers trust brands that they recognize, so implement our advice and make sure your company is consistent with the brand across all platforms. You can thank us later!
For help with your company branding, contact our branding experts to discuss your requirements.