We’ve all seen an advert for a product and immediately recognised which company it’s from before even seeing the logo. How come? Most probably because of a simple but clever thing called brand constancy.
WHAT IS BRAND CONSISTENCY?
At its most basic, brand consistency is using the same colours, fonts and styles for all marketing and media produced by a business. It’s giving each piece of communication produced the same look and feel. Most companies do this by having something called “brand guidelines”. This is a list of rules on how their branding should be used.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Being consistent with brands help build familiarity for customers and in turns helps with something called “the customer journey”. When the customer visits a website, then sees an advert that uses the same branding, they will already know who it is and have a mental connection with that company or product.
When it comes to them making a choice for a purchase, by the time the customer enters the shop or goes to your web store they will already have the confidence knowing who they are dealing with and are much more likely to make a purchase.
Making sure brands are instantly recognised through consistent styles are also great for customer loyalty as they will return to brands they know and have had a good experience with.
IS BRAND CONSISTENCY FOR ME?
Good brand constancy is for anyone with a business where customer confidence is important and that’s pretty much any type of business. It isn’t just for large international corporate giants. No matter what size your business, you can help your customers recognise your brand and build that confidence in them dealing with you.
HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT DOING IT?
Getting some brand consistency isn’y as difficult as some people think and can be as brief as a sheet of A4 paper.
If you are in the process of starting up your business, any good designer or agency should offer you the option of producing brand guidelines to accompany your new logo. If you are already an established business, guidelines based on you existing creative can easily be written.
WHAT SHOULD BE IN BRAND GUIDELINES?
The first thing I usually add in to the brand guidelines for a client is the logo. I specify the colours of the logo as Pantones, CMYK and RGB colours, so not matter where it appears it looks consistent. I also offer a single colour and a white out logo option. Then I set rules for something called “logo clearance”, this just explains how much empty space to leave around your logo so it stands out.
The next thing to specify is the font to be used in all marketing material. This is just as important as the logo for giving a brand familiarity. You can even specify the size and weight of the font to use for headlines and titles etc.
After that it’s up to you how much details you add. For most small businesses that’s enough but you can go on to add more detail if you feel your brand needs it. Everything from style of photography to the tone of voice used in written text.
Malcolm Roberts is a Worcestershire based graphic designer, blogger and lover of all things creative.
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