If you’re lucky – or really good at marketing – your brand is everywhere. But is your organization providing users with a consistent brand experience? It’s important that your image and messaging are consistent across different mediums and platforms. This includes your logo and colors to your tone and voice.
If your business is fairly new, it’s important to establish brand consistency from the start.
Across all industries, competition for paying customers is fierce. Consumers want to engage with trustworthy brands. However, they also want a brand that fits their needs – in today’s world, that means digital. It means accessible and responsive. It also means supportive and communicative. In short, people want brands they can count on, and consistency is key.
Think about popular brands you follow and engage with. Starbucks, Southwest Airlines, McDonalds and Coca-Cola are just a few that come to mind. Why? Strong brand consistency is recognizable.
Most likely, if you saw McDonald’s golden arches in lime green, you’d think something was a little off. You might even wonder, “what happened to the golden arches?” Similarly, most people know what airline their “bags fly free” on.
There are four main things every brand should focus on in order to achieve a consistent brand experience – everything from logo, color scheme, tone and messaging.
1 – LOGO
Your logo is your main identity – it’s how most consumers will recognize your brand. So, make sure it fits with your organization’s purpose.
For example, if your organization is “green” and takes sustainability seriously, consider tying the color green into your logo. Stay away from colors like black and grey, which would give off the wrong impression.
If your organization deals with marine science, conservation and preservation, you might think about using blue in your logo, coupled with a design that shows fluidity to relate to the ocean. Your logo’s design will convey your brand’s purpose – make sure it’s logical!
Once your logo is created, establish guidelines for how it should be used. Set an aspect ratio for dimensions to ensure it doesn’t get stretched or compressed. Sometimes, you might need an all-white or all-black version of your logo to put on a very light or very dark background when your full-color logo can’t be used. Create different versions to have at the ready for these occasions.
2 – COLOR SCHEME
Aside from your logo, your colors are probably your brand’s second most recognizable element.
Quick quiz – what brands come to mind when you think red and yellow? What about green and white? Brown and yellow? A mix of red, blue, yellow and green? Some answers might include McDonalds and Mastercard. Starbucks. UPS. Google and eBay. This is because colors can trigger memories and fuel recognition.
3 – TONE
Your tone should reflect your organization’s personality, and it should also allow you to communicate with your audience appropriately.
If your organization is part of the government, a regulatory organization within the financial or healthcare industries or something along those lines, your tone should be professional. If jokes might feel uncouth, don’t make them.
If you’re a marketing or advertising agency, a young tech startup or an innovative software or technology company, your tone can be more creative – fun, witty and sometimes even sarcastic if the shoe fits.
Determine what you want your organization’s personality to be and ensure that it will be looked upon as trustworthy by your target audience before you embrace it.
4 – MESSAGING
What does your organization stand for? What are your values? Craft a mission statement that ties these things together and highlights your organization’s purpose.
This will unite your employees and inspire their work.
It should also drive your company culture, likely resulting in a happy team. A meaningful mission statement will give customers a snapshot of your company and its values, theoretically resonating with them and cultivating customer loyalty.
If appropriate for your organization, create a slogan or tagline, too. So many of today’s popular brands are easily recognized by theirs – Nike has “Just Do It,” Budweiser’s the “King of Beers,” Apple challenges us to “Think Different” and Lay’s Potato Chips says they “Betcha Can’t Eat Just One.”
Once you’ve gone through the branding process and designed your logo, decided on your color scheme and established your tone and messaging, it’s critical that your entire team is informed. After all, they’re the ones who will embody your brand and convey it to others.
It’s important to house all of your branding guidelines in one place. Consider creating a brand guide that can be used internally, especially as your company grows, to keep everyone on the same page and ensure your branding stays consistent.
If you’re just beginning the branding process, it can be slightly intimidating… but it doesn’t have to be! Use the four points we’ve highlighted to take a step in the right direction. If you have any questions about how to get started, or if would like to share your thoughts on the process and the importance of brand consistency, leave us a comment!
Jeannie is the Marketing Manager at Pyxl, a full-service digital marketing firm and HubSpot platinum partner. Pyxl designs and develops custom websites, web and mobile applications, as well as digital and inbound marketing programs for nationwide brands seeking enterprise level support. Founded in 2008, Pyxl has offices across the country in Scottsdale, AZ, Boulder, CO and Knoxville & Nashville, TN.