Keep Consistent and Carry On
Impactful branding and effective marketing materials rely on consistency.
The more consistent you are with your company or organisation’s visual presentation, the stronger you’ll look, the more memorable you’ll become, and the more loyal customers or clients you’ll attract.
If a customer – or potential customer – first spots your advert in a magazine, and then visits your website – only to find little or no visual consistency, they’ll feel pretty confused, pretty quickly. And at worst, they’ll be so turned off that they go elsewhere to buy the product or service they were originally interested in, which no-one wants – except your competitors, of course!
So… as long as you’re proud of your company’s visual appearance (and if you’re not, we can certainly help with that), you should make every effort to look like that everywhere, and every time, you appear in front of people. Because when you do, you’ll make it much easier for them to recognise you, understand you, trust you, and do business with you.
More Consistency = Less Confusion.
And Less Confusion = More Customers.
It’s also your responsibility (or your graphic designer’s) to check that your branding stays consistent and uniform over time, and across all your communications and marketing collateral. If you find some inconsistencies have crept in…
Was your company’s blue too bright on your last leaflet, or did the wrong typeface appear on your last e-newsletter?
…just review and tweak those elements the next time, so that all your brand elements fall neatly back in line.
Whatever sales and marketing projects you’re working on, think carefully about:
1. Your Logo: use the correct version(s), make sure they look clear and high quality, and consider placing them in a consistent position place across all your materials, so they become even easier to recognise and engage with.
2. Your Colours: colours can totally define a brand – think Coca-Cola or Cadburys. But now imagine Coca-Cola’s red a shade too orange, or Cadburys purple a shade too blue. If it looks wrong, it’ll feel wrong too, so to help ensure colour consistency across all your materials, carefully define your shades, and identify the various colour breakdowns (CMYK and Pantone for print, RGB for screen and HEX for web).
3. Your Typefaces: different typefaces have different ‘personalities’ – some feel very friendly and others look very formal, so choose your brand typefaces/fonts carefully and then use them across all your materials. Using a wide mixture of fonts can look visually confused, so try and stick to just one or two typefaces, and specify particular weights of those fonts for headings, subheadings, body copy, small print etc.
4. Your Imagery: we often use quality images to enhance our client’s brand and marketing materials.
Sometimes our clients’ budgets allow us to commission bespoke photography, but often, we select images from online ‘stock’ libraries. Wherever they come from though, they should all have a consistent style (black and white or colour, full-bleed or cutout, abstract or ‘lifestyle’).
5. Your Graphic Elements: just like photography, creating bespoke icons, diagrams and infographics can also help to create your brand’s unique style. And by using your brand colours and brand fonts to create those graphics, we can reinforce your consistent visual approach even more.
6. Your Tone of Voice: most businesses need to communicate with their customers (to promote their products and services and to keep them updated with any news, offers etc.), but they don’t – and shouldn’t – all communicate in the same way. So think about your customers (their age, gender, location, interests etc.) and whether they would prefer a more formal, technical tone of voice, or a more relaxed and chatty one. And then stick to that whenever you talk to them, so your messages are delivered clearly and consistently every time.
And then… once you’ve established your 100%-consistent brand identity, think about protecting it via a Brand Guidelines Document.
Whether you opt for just a single page showing basic logo usage, or a comprehensive 100-page ‘brand bible’ with in-depth information about company values, colour specifications, typography, graphics, image style, tone of voice etc., your Brand Guidelines Document should show everyone that works with you, how to use your brand elements. Basically… responsibly, effectively and…you guessed it…consistently!
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”