The Importance of a Consistent Brand Identity
Whether you’re consumer focused or B2B, selling products or services, employing five people or five million, one thing is certain across the board. What’s that? Well, as our heading might have oh so slightly given away (whoops!), it’s the benefit you’ll see in maintaining a consistent brand identity.
Of course, the concept of a brand goes way beyond simply the brand identity, and developing one is about a whole lot more than just ensuring consistency in the execution. But let’s save that for another blog – after all, you’ve probably got an inbox of emails vying for your attention!
So, let’s take a look at the ‘why?’
Crucially, an effective brand identity helps to differentiate your business, reinforce your key messages, ensure you’re at the forefront of your customers’ minds, and allows you to stand out from the competition.
Branding attaches a personality to your business, giving customers something to relate to. It helps build relationships with your key stakeholders, and in turn, encourages loyalty. All in all, it’s, well, pretty important!
So what exactly is brand identity?
People often make the mistake of assuming their brand identity is simply their logo. Well, not quite. In fact, your brand identity extends far beyond the graphic device of the company on your letterhead or website home page and into everything that a customer or potential customer sees when they interact with your company. Staff, products, services, promotional materials, printed and online communications, logo, point of sales, uniforms, displays, websites, company cars – essentially everything that gives your business an identity – you name it, it’s there!
So how do we ensure that our branding is consistently applied across all communication and interaction points – positively reinforcing your identity, strengthening your brand and driving that all important trust?
Firstly, through the consistent use of your logo and brand colours – that doesn’t mean that everything has to look exactly the same, but there should be visual cohesion. There should be standards that your branding and communications adhere to. We’re talking the likes of colours, fonts, spacing around your logo, tone of voice and style.
This is where a style guide comes in. Your best friend when it comes to branding, a style guide is a set of brand guidelines that gives any partners you work with (designers, marketers, web developers etc) a blueprint to adhere to – a treasure map of sorts. It sets out your brand identity and usually includes your proposition, brand values, corporate colour palette, corporate typefaces, and may also include example layouts for stationery, PowerPoint template, logo spacing, newsletter and emailer templates, uniform design, signage and vehicle livery. A skilled designer will be able to take on your style and – using the style guide – emulate that across all the work they produce for you.
By keeping your visual identity and branding consistent, you’ll be able to effectively develop and strengthen your brand – ensuring your business makes a strong, positive and long lasting impression.