Inconsistent branding can damage the trust between you and your audience, confuse their understanding of your mission, and negatively impact your profits. Read on to find out how to control the consistency of your brand identity, even when you have multiple different channels to control.
What is your brand?
Branding is everything – it’s how your customers experience your business. Through it, you can give the customer all the valuable information they need to know about you, such as your values and goals, all while helping the customer identify your brand with minimal effort.
Your branding is a crucial aspect of your business. Your products or services might be the best, but how is the customer supposed to know who you are when your visuals don’t match?
A brand is so much more than just a logo, a colour palette, or even a font; although visual communication is important, with brand recognition increasing by up to 80% when using a signature colour.
Inconsistent branding: A case study
Here’s a fab example of just how dangerous inconsistent branding can be. Everyone’s favourite fizzy drink brand, Coca-Cola has one of the most recognisable logos in the world, and that’s because it’s more or less stayed the same since 1877.
However, in the 1980’s they were challenged when customers said they preferred the taste of Pepsi. Coke came up with the idea to change their formula and introduce ‘New Coke’ to the market. Safe to say, the market did not like it. It didn’t matter that New Coke was a better product and it was what the market was requesting; cola fans didn’t want the change.
The subsequent reintroduction of the old formula, dubbed “Coca-Cola Classic”, resulted in a significant gain in sales but the not so friendly public reaction to New Coke serves as a reminder to not mess with a well-established and successful brand.
Where can inconsistent branding crop up?
As long as more than one person is contributing to your content marketing strategy there’s bound to be different writing styles. While it’s good to have a range of styles, voices and personalities, there’s a fine line between just enough and too much, leading to inconsistent branding.
Social media is also another place where your branding can easily take a hit. There are so many platforms out there, it can be difficult to know which is best to invest your energy in. Sometimes, brands can try and be absolutely everywhere, which leads to spreading your resources thinner and having barely touched accounts dotted all over the internet.
Ways to avoid inconsistent branding
Developing some brand guidelines is a sure-fire way to make sure your brand stays consistent throughout. Here are some things to think about within these guidelines;
Tone of voice: Think about what your brand’s personality would be if it was a real person. What are your key traits? A kids play area needs to be fun and approachable, whilst a law firm would adopt a more serious and dependable tone.
Colour palette: Select a dominant colour and 3 or 4 complementary tones for a secondary palette. This ensures your visuals are consistent and everyone knows to use the same tones.
Logo: Set rules for how your logo can be displayed, how it can be resized and shown in different formats.
Images: Give guidance on the type of stock imagery or illustrations you want to use, always thinking about what’s appropriate for your brand.
Fonts: Typically, brands have a primary font and secondary typefaces that are used for titles, paragraph text or captions.
Optimise your marketing assets
Optimising your marketing assets through the use of something like Google Drive or Mailchimp’s Content Studio, means that everything needed for your brand’s online presence is easily accessible in one place.
It’s also a good idea to use a marketing calendar to plan ahead wherever possible. This means you can spend quality time creating meaningful content, and not rushing it last minute every day which can lead to brand inconsistency.
How can we help?
Here at Ame, we offer a range of services that can take the everyday stress away from small business owners. We make sure your brand stays consistent online, your social media reflects who you are and your website showcases your best work to even more people.. Give us a call on 01752 746890 or get in touch to get started.