If we were to ask you to name the companies that come to mind when you think of successful branding, which ones would you choose? Take a minute and make a mental list of two or three.
Got it? We’re willing to bet your list includes a brand like Nike, Coca-Cola or Google. These businesses not only create quality products, but they also have remarkably consistent brands. Coke has had the same script logo for more than 110 years. Now that’s consistency.
Even if your company doesn’t have the same history or high profile as these big corporations, it’s still critical to create a consistent brand. When done well, a strong brand can improve awareness, build trust and even increase sales. However, it can be tough for businesses to know where to get started.
The Importance of Brand Consistency
If staying on brand has not been a priority for your business, you might be wondering why you should start now. People tend to link consistency with trustworthiness in their minds. When customers have to decide which product or service to choose, most actually rely on their emotional gut reaction rather than hard facts. If your brand is one that consumers trust and recognize, they’ll be more likely to choose you over your competitors. In fact, according to a survey from Edelman last year, 81 percent of customers need to trust a brand in order to make a purchase from them.
Over time, consistency can go beyond simplifying customers’ purchase decisions for your brand. We’ve seen firsthand how consistent branding can turn one-time actions and decisions into long-term habits. As your customers continually recognize your brand, it becomes a comforting and familiar choice. A consistent brand paired with a thoughtful, quality product will leave customers feeling confident and secure in their purchase. That confidence can lead them to choose your brand over and over again. Eventually these choices turn into a loyalty that will be hard to break.
Brand consistency also goes beyond recognizing a familiar name. Having a famous logo like Apple simply isn’t possible (or necessary) for a smaller business, but we can look at Apple for an example of brand consistency beyond their well-known symbol. Each part of Apple’s product experience, from their stores, packaging and the products themselves, are designed with a consistent sleek style. Every piece fits with all the others, leaving an intentional and thoughtful impression on their customers. This consistency and harmony is completely achievable for any business.
How to Create a Consistent Brand
To develop a truly consistent brand and a loyal audience, start by analyzing your business from the top down. Before you change your logo or pick a tagline, you need to gain a full understanding of your business’s mission and values. The brand you create must make sense for your unique company and send the right message, or it won’t have the same lasting affect. A brand that is aligned with strong company values will reflect the sincerity that customers really appreciate.
Once you’ve developed an appropriate overall brand direction, you can move on to brand guidelines and individual messages. This includes your slogan, brand statements, colors and logo. Your design features and language should be consistent among all these different elements to reinforce your same key message.
Finally, gather your final choices into one playbook to serve as a guideline for everyone in your company. It’s hard to stay consistent if your whole team isn’t on the same page, or if different groups are still using outdated branding materials. Include your brand’s color codes, font styles and logo formats to avoid slight variations that could confuse customers. This is especially important if you choose to rebrand. New guidelines will help everyone at your company transition to the new materials to avoid confusing customers or looking disorganized.
Brand Consistency on Print
Print materials are often your new contact or customer’s first impression of your brand, so it’s important to keep the styling of each one consistent. From the first business card they receive to the brochure or catalog they take home, each print element should be coordinated to keep communicating your same overall brand message. Across each piece, you’ll use the same font you establish in your brand guidelines, your section headings will all be the same size and color, and your logo will be placed in similar areas. Each image you use should look they could have come from the same photo series, and the overall design of the piece will fit your brand’s style, whether that’s minimalistic or bright and bold. Printers can even nail specific details like the kind of paper that will be used on each material.
To ensure you get high-quality materials that fit your needs, we recommend partnering with a local printer. These print shops will be committed to giving you amazing personalized service and will even sit down with you to gain a full understanding of your brand. Developing this relationship with your printer will give you confidence that each material will meet your high standards. They may even be able to provide advice or ideas you haven’t thought of before. If you have more questions about communicating your brand consistently on print, you can reach out to us at http://moellerprinting.com/contact-us/.