29 Apr Maintaining Brand Consistency
Have you ever wondered what made some brand names, such as Coca-Cola, household names? While in the early stages of your business, you will have to make many fundamental decisions relating to your products or core services and the design. Decisions around marketing and branding are made in the early stages of business development as well, but also need to be a priority throughout the maturation of your business.
With a very long to-do list each day, it can be hard to recognize the influence of your logo, colors, graphics, and fonts. Even though the messaging might change with time, customers who stand with your business will expect a particular feel and look. And because 90% of all purchase decisions are usually subconscious, consistency will help customers connect with your brand faster and emotionally as your business grows.
Many companies, including Nike and Coca-Cola, have maintained their consistency over the time they have been in business. Even after changing the design of their products, the basic appearance has remained consistent. However, your brand involves more than the logo. In fact, it consists of everything that your customers can associate with your company – from the mission of the company to the branding and the people who humanize the brand. As you grow, it can be hard to keep the brand consistent. Fortunately, we are here to help. Here is how to do it:
Understand Your Mission
Ensure that your brand image is in line with your core values, which mostly relate to what you would want your business to offer to the customers or clients. If you have already created a logo and the website for your business, you can make a few changes to ensure that the branding sends a good message to the audience about what you offer and what they should expect. You can change the logo once, but by doing that more often your audience will see you as flaky. Write your mission statements and do an audit to ensure that the visual materials you create are in line with them.
Build a Foundation
Guidelines and templates will help you personalize things easily. Both you and your employees will have a good starting point each time they want to publish information associated with your brand. You can personalize and use simple templates when doing anything, including sending emails and publishing blog posts or designing business cards. Hundreds, or even thousands, of employees will be able to use the templates as they join your company. Best of all, everything related to your brand will remain consistent.
Set Up an Approval Process
Some years ago, approval processes were simple because you would sign off on everything. You had to give a go-ahead to any choice your business made, such as business cards, letterheads and the content on the website. That might become more complicated as your business grows – it might also turn wasteful. You do not have to sign off everything when someone in your company can do that – if they can make the right decisions.
The best thing to do is to establish an approval process to protect the image of your brand without increasing the work of your employees and contractors. Use collaboration tools and establish a committee to eliminate delays. If you have creative people in your company, they will be more helpful.
Remember Your Services and Products
The services or products your business offers might start deteriorating over time. The top management might decide to cut a few corners with an aim of reducing the budget or you might switch the manufacturers or outsource a few services to unreliable providers. If that happens, your business will suffer adversely. The same would happen if someone in your team used the wrong font or a different logo. Conduct regular audits and set up several quality assurance procedures to ensure that everything is going as you intended.
Keep Your Brand Authentic
Did you know that your brand goes beyond what your customers see? If the internal communication and tone of the external communication have been consistent, undoubtedly your brand is consistent. Apart from the content you publish and the appearance of your interactions, your work culture should mirror the image of your company. That way, you will keep your brand authentic. People will start differentiating your messages from those of your competitor.
Why It Is Important
Consistency is important in any form of marketing. Whether you have already established the appearance of your brand or you are still working on it, you must spend some of your time to understand your mission and ensure that your messaging conveys it clearly. In the end, your team members will understand the image of your business and consistency will come naturally to them.
LightHouse Graphics specializes in several areas of online presence, including website design, social media management, and content creation. If your business needs assistance in these areas, contact us. We’d love to work with you.