CONTINUITY

How to achieve brand consistency & why it’s vital to your success.

Further to our series of tips to help you benefit from the positive effects of top-notch branding we’re going to explore continuity.

If you’re running your own business you’ll know how the months and years slip by, seemingly in a day. Your business has probably come a long way since your original brand identity was designed. Have you looked at it recently to make sure your marketing material reflects your current offer, position and message?

If you’re just starting out with a new business venture this post applies to you too! By reading it you’ll avoid some of the pitfalls even the most experienced entrepreneurs make.

THINK AHEAD

Many businesses start out with a limited budget for design and marketing, initially commissioning a logo, business cards and a website and not always from the same designer.

As the business grows, additional requirements might include flyers, magazine adverts, signage, emailers, icons, stationery, apparel; the list is endless. These additional requirements tend to be commissioned on an ad-hoc basis and it’s easy to lose focus and waste your valuable resources.

Maintain a consistent approach and focus on the customer experience of your brand through each interaction.

Your audience’s perception of your brand is formed through each of the interactions they have with your company, from the marketing material they pick up, to the customer service they receive — in person or over the phone — even the Tweets or Facebook updates they read.

Every communication you send out should look, feel and sound like it’s come from the same place. Continuity is a powerful tool.

ACHIEVING BRAND CONTINUITY

1. Evaluate

  • Make a list of every type of interaction you have with your customers and evaluate whether these are consistent in message, look and feel.
  • Lay any printed material out together; do they form a visual package?
  • Does each piece communicate successfully in its own right and when viewed collectively?

2. Identify

  • What are the key elements that are, or should be, consistent, essential and effective?
  • Consider the visuals as well as the language, format and other factors.
  • Can you do more? Are there any missed opportunities you can identify?
  • Consider your audience carefully, are you addressing them in a sustained and regular manner? Irregularities in your communication or message can be confusing.

3. Stay on track

Brand Guides are designed to help you be consistent. It’s important that everyone involved in promoting your company is communicating the same message. The Brand Guide contains all of the essential visual elements including typography, colour, layout and logo specifications — it may be integrated with an editorial style guide to ensure greater consistency across all written communications as well. Make sure you revisit the guide every time you commission new material to be designed and evaluate as above.

By creating a complete identity package you are reaffirming your position as a trustworthy, thoughtful and thorough business.

Now you have some of the most important tools to achieve brand continuity! Spend your marketing budget wisely on materials that will resonate with your target audience and invest time in brand consistency. It will pay off in the long term, giving your business the professional appearance it deserves.

We’re here to help. If you’d like us to take a look at any aspect of your branding or marketing we’re only an email or a phone call away.

Check back next month when we’ll be equipping you with another handy branding tool, INTEREST: How relevant content and story-telling can boost your brand recognition.

Related articles:

The Key To A Unified Brand: A Consistent UI
— from Peyton Lindley on Fast Company’s Co.Design.
Consistent branding: Don’t mess with it
— from Mindi Chahal on Marketing Week.
A Sustainable Brand Identity
— from Delia Bonfilio on Fast Company.

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