Brand consistency is the repeated transmission of your brand identity to your audience; branding is the sophisticated art of actively creating your brand identity. Consistency is crucial since it makes your brand known and trustworthy. Customer loyalty is, in the end, a reaction to trustworthiness. Returning clients, regardless of sector, will have expectations that are set in stone. They’ll be aware of what your brand represents, how it seems, and how it communicates.
You wouldn’t expect to leave Bloomingdale’s without a brown bag if you made a purchase. Because we’ve been conditioned to assume red and yellow, finding a blue and green McDonald’s would be difficult. Without a branding sticker, an Apple product is incomplete. It’s all about repetition, which is crucial for imprinting your brand in the consumer’s memory.
Whether you’re creating a brand style guide from the ground up or trying to make an established brand more consistent, the three pillars of brand consistency will help you succeed:
1. Defining and embracing your values and vision
2. Creating a distinct visual identity
3. Creating a clear message
1. Defining and embracing your principles and vision
As a brand, who are you? What are your hopes for your company’s future? What measures will you take to bring your brand to life and achieve your objectives? When determining your vision and values, ask yourself these questions. Ideally, everyone associated with your brand is aware of, supports, and maintains these principles.
Customers will know who you are as a brand if you know who you are. Your target audience should understand your vision and beliefs, so don’t be afraid to tell them who you are and what you believe in—this is how you’ll connect with them and earn their respect.
Your brand identity and values will, of course, differ depending on the sector you’re in and who your target audience is. These distinctions will also influence how you communicate your brand to the rest of the globe. For example, a fitness company may include fitness-related pictures on its social media accounts to express its enthusiasm. They might build fitness-themed inspiring campaigns based on real members of their clubs, which may include anything from physical signs inside and outside of the gym to marketing emails and YouTube video.
There are some rules they’ll need to set and uphold in order to keep this messaging consistent. This would involve utilising precise phrasing to convey your brand values (think taglines or using specific vocabulary to describe the gym and services), maintaining the same tone of voice across your branding, marketing, and advertising, and establishing a consistent look.
Reinterpret your missions… again and over.
Explicitly and indirectly express (and reiterate) your brand values to your audience using your brand standards. When designing marketing materials for various platforms, stick to your colour palette, typefaces, and tone of voice.
The Farmer’s Dog is an example of a website that accomplishes this successfully. This healthy dog food company’s purpose is communicated through simple language about their ingredients, which they manage to repeat across the site without being tedious to the user. As users go down the landing page, they utilise a parallax scrolling gadget to display the customer all of the ingredients in one piece of their dog food. #longlivedogs is their hashtag, and their motto is “Smarter, healthier pet food.” Even the no-frills packaging reflects the brand’s simplicity and honesty.
S’well adopts a similar strategy, being open and honest about their aim to eliminate plastic bottles from the planet. One way they accomplish this is in the “about” part of their website, where they build a strong emotional connection with potential consumers who are eager to invest in reusable, sustainable items.
Their simple style extends from their principal bottle goods to their modern website design. S’well’s designs mirror the purity of their eco-friendly purpose and display their support of clean water organisations, with the recognisable text logo cropping up frequently. Overall, these elements work together to build the relationship between the brand and the target audience.
Keep in mind that your visual identity and messaging are frequently reflections of your vision and beliefs. We’ll get to that later.
2. Have a visual identity
The simplest approach to maintain brand consistency is to create a clear, coherent visual identity. This is where your style guide for your brand comes into play. Creating a detailed and comprehensive guide for all of your workers helps to build your overall brand identity. It’s something that has to be maintained and changed on a regular basis to keep the language and appearance current.
When a logo, colour palette, and collection of fonts are utilised regularly, clients get a sense of trustworthiness. These characteristics may then be reused across a variety of mediums, including packaging, digital designs, signage, and other marketing materials.
Find a logo that works for your company in all situations.
The perfect logo design is one that identifies a brand with little to no text. On a grand scale, we’re talking about companies like Target, Apple, and Nike—but plenty of startups, like Study Now’s creative pencil form or Readibots’ contemporary colours and shapes, do an excellent job of revealing their personalities through their logos.
As you can see, logos may be utilised consistently in a variety of contexts. To compliment a brand’s logo, different colour schemes, sizes, or backgrounds, as well as versions with more or less detail or text, can all be employed. This not only makes your designs feel new and interesting in multiple formats, but it also reminds your audience of your brand’s identity. To put it another way, it keeps you identifiable in any situation. Use a scalable file type (such as a vector file) for your logo so that you may scale it without losing dimensions or resolution.
Allow colour to communicate your message.
Let’s speak about colour now. These colours highlight brand identity, whether it’s the stunning pink stripes on a Victoria’s Secret bag, the brown and gold tones of a UPS truck, or the vivid red of a Coca-Cola logo.
Color is used by many excellent businesses, large and small, to improve their brand identity. Take a look at the Sweetly Cute ice cream’s pastel colour pallet. Many individuals associate eating ice cream with healthy imagery of eating ice cream with friends or family, which are generally recalled from memory. This is the image conveyed by Sweetly Cute’s branding, which is based on nostalgia, innocence, and sugary pleasure.
To guarantee that your branding is consistent, you must consider it as a whole. From ice cream tubs to labels and digital graphics, Sweetly Cute has thought of everything. The product packaging has a bright linear design that resembles hundreds and thousands (a popular ice cream topping), with a happy face on the ice cream cone in the logo. These characteristics are then reinterpreted to work with the logo in different settings.
Make use of typefaces to establish brand awareness.
Font selection is another key component of brand identification. While Trader Joe’s branding and packaging will vary depending on the product, the firm has created a visual identity with its Road Jester font. It’s bold and entertaining, but not too much so. It incorporates the brand’s distinct identity with a combination of stunning curves and sharp, serif-like points. The artwork, along with the content, clearly demonstrates what Trader Joe’s does: it offers high-quality products while providing personalised service.
With a more conventional typeface like Arial or Helvetica, the Trader Joe’s logo would feel entirely different. The Trader Joe’s typeface is unique in appearance and vital to the company’s brand identification. In fact, it’s so well-known that Trader Joe’s doesn’t always use the entire logo. Instead, they constantly portray themselves using their trademark name and font, resulting in better brand awareness.
It’s fine if you don’t have the resources to create your own typeface for your company. Always keep in mind that typography may speak to your brand’s identity and mission. It’s one of the simplest ways to boost a company’s status to that of a luxury brand, or to make it feel more approachable and down to earth. In fact, several high-end fashion labels have begun to use the same font in recent years, demonstrating the power of branding repetition.
3. Establishing clear message
After you’ve defined your principles and created a visual identity, your messaging is an important tool for maintaining brand consistency. The benefit of consistent, repeating message is that it allows people to come to know you and relate to your entire brand. The content on your website, a slogan on your product packaging, or the caption on your most recent Instagram post are all examples of messaging. Your messaging should speak from the same voice across all channels to generate consistency and hence strengthen your brand identity.
It’s excellent to get your message out there, but don’t go overboard. Remember that a goldfish’s attention span is currently less than a human’s. This means keeping your messaging brief, sweet, and to-the-point can help you capture the customer’s attention straight away.
Keep it brief and sweet.
Spindrift, a sparkling water brand, is an excellent example of constant clear and simple marketing. Spindrift reminds clients that their product is made entirely of natural fruit juice and has no additives at all.
Spindrift openly and indirectly reminds the consumer who they are as a brand and what their beliefs are via their marketing. They take pleasure in maintaining open lines of communication with their customers and focusing on natural ingredients and genuine fruit.
Spindrift hone in on this message of authenticity and quality with headings like “real fruit. really,” “the best ingredients,” and “made by real people.” dotted down their landing page, using a full stop in each to let readers know that’s it—no hidden surprises or additives when it comes to Spindrift.
This consistency extends to their cans, which feature the phrase “yup, that’s it.” in reference to the fact that they only contain genuine fruit. When it comes to the design of the cans, there are just two colours to consider: green (which represents the lime taste) and white (which represents Spindrift’s simplicity). This simplicity represents Spindrift’s direct attitude; it appears fresh and modern, much like their products. It’s another chance to highlight Spindrift’s brand principles and persuade customers that the company is dependable and trustworthy.
Arthur Cosmetics is a cosmetics business that takes a unique approach to branding. Strength, straightforwardness, and adventure pervade the graphics on their website. Their thrill-seeking clientele appreciates the beauty of the alpine scenery as well as practical and dependable organic skincare.
The tagline “approved by men” paired with the description of Arthur’s main product “3x the size of an average lip balm” stresses its efficiency for the audience, building a trusting, emotional relationship with them.
Use keywords to keep your brand consistent.
Establishing brand-defining keywords is a fantastic initial step to knowing your company’s voice, regardless of the sort of message your brand will employ. Examine your brand and the services you provide. Then, make a list of ten adjectives that best define your brand. Use these adjectives to shape your whole identity, including your messaging.
Highlight brand-defining terms and particular phrases that should be used to define your brand and its product, as well as the tone of your brand’s voice, in your brand style guide. Do you want cool and casual messaging, such as “relaxed, easy, laid-back,” or sharp and direct message, such as “fierce, bold, impactful?” Always be consistent with your brand, no matter which road you choose. More information about brand messaging may be found here.
The secret to brand stability
Consider all of the well-known brands in existence. Whether large or little, each has maintained a level of stability that has aided its overall expansion. Identifying and embracing your vision and values, creating a visual identity, and developing clear messaging are all ways to create brand consistency. It takes time to build and maintain, but it is doable and worthwhile—we guarantee it!