As an entrepreneur, you know by now that the success of your business relies on branding, and one of the core values of a brand is consistency.
In fact, the reason why many businesses fail after a certain amount of time is not that they cannot build a brand, but because they neglect the importance of keeping their brand consistent on- and offline.
Your brand reflects not just your name, but your mission and the value of your products or services.
How Businesses Can Win with a Consistent Brand
While your brand is the foundation of your business, brand consistency is what boosts the value of your brand. Here's how:
- Builds Brand Awareness: Your visual brand is a fundamental component in your ability to generate awareness for your brand, on and offline. When placed in front of your target audience, the more consistent your brand is, the more likely they are to remember you.
- Creates Trust Among Consumers: It's simple, people trust brands that they recognize. A consistent brand shows that you are not only dependable, but
- Gives You a Competitive Advantage: A consistent brand allows you to not only stand out in your niche market but gives you leverage to take ownership in that market
Branding Checklist: How to Develop a Visually Consistent Brand
Your brand will have many moving parts, and it can be hard to keep track of all of them while making sure they are internally consistent.
Color, typography, your choice of a logo and how you reach your customer base all work together to shape your brand.
Every component of your brand should build to a cohesive whole. Any part of it which is internally inconsistent or which does not fit in with the others could create a confusing experience for customers and could cost you business.
This checklist can help you make sure that every part of your brand works in harmony with the others.
- Color Palette
Your website, flyers, business cards, and any other marketing or advertising elements should use the same color palette. This creates a cohesive, pleasing experience for customers and a distinct identity for your business.
You may even want to choose colors that are associated with certain emotions to better appeal to your customer base.
Using different colors across your business can create a jarring experience for potential customers and could cost you business.
Your logo or wordmark should be appropriate to your business and should be prominently displayed on all of your promotional materials. It should have the name of your business displayed, or a very distinctive symbol that is directly associated with your business.
You may have a secondary version which can be placed more easily on materials that have little open real estate. Should you decide to change anything, make sure that your new logo or wordmark entirely replaces your old one.
Test a few different versions out with our customer base before unveiling a new logo to see which ones get the best reactions.
Typography is a vital component of your branding efforts and can help to create an instantly-recognizable marketing campaign.
Choose one or two fonts to use throughout your website and marketing materials. Too many can confuse your audience and could make your business seem less recognizable and organized than your more focused competitors.
You should also make sure your typographic choices make sense for your business. An unusual typeface makes sense for creatives but can seem out of place if you are running a landscaping service.
The right typography can attract customers as easily as it can drive them away.
Brand consistency isn’t limited to the material aspects of your business.
It’s important to continuously advertise your business where potential customers will see it and to keep in touch with past patrons to build loyalty. Failure to do so could cause you to lose touch with your base and lose out to competitors who are more willing to engage your potential customers.
Every business will have a different way of advertising itself based on the buyer personas it targets.
If you best reach your customers on the radio, it doesn’t make sense to abandon that in favor of an online marketing strategy. FInd out the best ways to reach your customers and stick with it so you can keep your business top of mind among those most likely to patronize it.
4 Ways to Maintain a Seamless Brand Identity
1.) Choose Your Marketing Elements Carefully and Think Long Term
Your business name, its defining colors, its slogan and its core values should remain the same throughout time. Therefore, you need something memorable, convincing, easy to market and adaptable, to keep up with future needs, trends and expansion ideas.
The elements you choose should be used for both your traditional and your online marketing campaigns, so take this aspect into account when you choose them.
Your company name should be short, easy to write and easy to spell, so that it may look good both on your business cards and as a website or Facebook page name.
Your defining colors should be joyful but serious, to inspire professionalism and look great both on the background of a website and on the walls or furniture of your office.
2.) Stay Faithful to Who You Are and Strive to Improve
Trying to appear more successful than you really are and lying to your target customers is never a good idea. The technology is now available to anyone makes it easy to discover the truth and expose such uninspired attempts.
A better strategy is to present yourself as who you are.
Learn from your mistakes and listen to your customers more. They will tell you what needs to be improved, give you ideas on how to do it and even appreciate you for treasuring their opinion and caring about their satisfaction.
Maintaining brand consistency is all about being yourself, opening up about it and remaining open and faithful to your values and your customers throughout time, no matter if you do business online or offline if your target audience is children or adults.
3.) Announce Changes, Implement Them Gradually and Give Your Customers Time and Solutions to Adjust
If you decide to give your business a new turn, do not neglect your customers' (or stakeholders) attachment to your existing line of product or services. Maintaining brand consistency also means letting them know what your plans are, asking them what they think, giving them time to adjust and alternatives to enjoy the same values they were after.
You cannot go from cheap to luxury products overnight and expect your customers to keep shopping from you or remove products from your offer completely and expect the new ones to be as successful.
Such transitions should be smooth and carefully planned.
4.) Stay Faithful to Your Old Marketing Strategies as You Embrace New Ones
You have probably already started to invest heavily in online marketing, but if your customers are used to getting printed catalogs, flyers and discount vouchers, do not deprive them of this pleasure suddenly. They will be disappointed and vulnerable to the offers of your competitors.
Start implementing your online strategies, see how your customers respond, ask them if they prefer online materials to printed ones and respond adequately.
Depending on your line of business and the specifics of your target customers, online marketing may not work as well traditional marketing, or the best results could be obtained by combining both methods.
As a business or professional, no matter your niche, you need to inspire professionalism, reliability, and consistency. The key to doing so is keeping your brand consistent and maintaining a close connection with your customers.