Are you looking for a company that will carry out branding and marketing activities for you, but you have no idea where to start the recruitment process for this project? Above all, you need a branding RFP document.
Branding and marketing activities involve sharing various messages, advertising materials and other brand elements. It is crucial that all these communication pieces are consistent. Thanks to this, it will be visible that they all belong to the same brand. What exactly is brand consistency? Why is brand consistency important and how to build it?
What is brand consistency?
Brand consistency is the practice of spreading messages in agreement with the brand values (marketing, advertising, etc.) in such a way that they are all presented in the same tone. Visual elements, such as a logo, should always look the same, including an identical color palette.
Over time, those details get rooted in consumers’ minds and as a result, the brand is more likely to be remembered. Thanks to brand consistency, it becomes noticeable in marketing channels and contact points. However, it is crucial not to focus exclusively on the same visual elements.
According to CustomerThink, there are actually three critical areas that must be consistent in order for a brand to be memorable and recognizable. Apart from the visual brand consistency, you should focus on two other fields that require special attention: core brand values and elements related to the customer experience, such as consistent customer service, which helps build brand trust.
Importance of brand consistency
Why does brand consistency matter? First, brand consistency is a key factor that allows companies to be easily recognizable – which all businesses should aim at. An advertisement in which the brand name does not appear, but the logo does, should be immediately linked to the company that uses it, and therefore, attract potential customers. What is more, brand consistency builds a strong connection between core values as well as key messages and visuals. Finally, it differentiates a brand from its competition.
If you still wonder why consistency is important in branding, here are a few more benefits:
- contribution to the perception of the brand – thanks to brand consistency, it is easier to shape its desired perception by customers. You just need to add core messages to the visual elements of the brand;
- building relationships with clients based on trust and friendship – brand consistency helps create an authentic brand image. Thanks to this, customers know what they can expect from the brand and its offer. For example, no one thinks about what each bottle of Coca-Cola’s flavor is like because taste comes as a part of the consistent brand image;
- setting the brand apart from the market competition – it is worth sticking to brand consistency to repeatedly communicate to customers that the brand stands out from other companies in the industry.
Now that you know the benefits of brand consistency, you can start working on developing your brand’s consistency.
How to build brand consistency?
It is not easy to build and maintain brand consistency. When you conduct branding and rebranding, you must make sure that every element is in agreement with the brand after the changes. Here are some tips on how to create brand consistency, regardless of whether the brand is newly created or has been on the market for several years.
1. A mission statement as the key to the consistent brand
The company’s mission is one of the most important aspects for brand consistency. This is one of the key branding assets as it explains what a company is about, what goals it has and how it works. The Mission Statement is a great starting point as it helps point the direction a brand should go in.
How to write content defining the company’s mission? Above all, you should use language that is easy to understand. It is also worth presenting the company’s core values and putting emphasis on brand memorability. What is more, the mission’s content should be created with a “bigger picture” in mind. This way it will be easier to remember.
2. Create brand guidelines document
For a brand to be consistent, everything must look the same. For example, the content on the website and social media should be kept in a similar style. A situation when the former is fully professional and serious, while the latter is dominated by emoticons and memes, should never exist. To avoid it, you should create a list of brand guidelines that will include, among many, the manner and tone of communication, stylistic preferences, hex color codes for a logo, examples of social media accounts as well as competitors to get inspired by.
Detailed brand guidelines ensure that there will be less errors and more certainty when it comes to accuracy and consistency in branding. A list of brand guidelines will help all employees, from the managers to interns, in creating the same brand messaging so that it is visible that they are from the same company.
3. Use the same colors to improve visual brand consistency
Focus on your visual branding that should be consistent. Using matching colors everywhere can increase brand recognition by as much as 80%. Developing a specific color palette is the best way to do it. The same colors should be incorporated into your marketing campaign in every place possible: on the website, on social media, on leaflets, product packaging, in advertisements as well as other brand materials.
4. Put your logo on brand marketing materials to enhance brand recognition
Apart from colors, there is no better way to improve brand recognition than through a logo. Ten seconds are enough for prospective customers to form an opinion about it. Because of this, one can say that the logo functions as the presentation of the brand and influences the first impression. Therefore, it should be used to build brand consistency. The logo must be designed in agreement with the established color palette and put wherever it is possible, be it on the website, products, leaflets, business cards, or in social media.
5. Share the consistent marketing message
When you build brand consistency, creating a schedule for all marketing activities, including, of course, advertising campaigns, social media presence, fliers and any other content created, can be helpful. You should also post your content regularly and at similar times. Therefore, the audience will remember this and know when to expect the new content.
It is the same with campaigns. If the audience observes that you send your newsletter early in the month, they will wait for it more carefully. In order to plan the publication of content, it is worth using content planning tools.
Try to evoke positive emotions so that your audience starts to associate those emotions with your brand. It will also help shape your brand perception.
6. Publish content relevant to the brand identity
Establish consistency in the area of brand voice and message. The consistent tone should reflect the brand personality. The topics of the published content must be consistent with the brand. Therefore, you should not go beyond what is related to the industry in which the brand works. For example, a marketing agency should only publish marketing texts, instead of sharing pop culture messages, which are not relevant to the brand.
7. Ensure brand consistency in every marketing channel (not only social media)
Brand consistency in social media channels only? Many people assume that this course of action is correct. Meanwhile, you have to think about many other means of communication, such as a website, PPC advertisements, emails and so on.
Try to achieve consistency across all the platforms. Make sure to write down all the places where target customers can engage with the company and think what type of branding you should apply for each of these to maintain brand consistency.
8. Take care of consistent online and offline presence
When you run a stationery business, e.g., a shop or a hairdressing salon, you cannot focus only on online activities. You definitely should not forget about offline marketing and the consistent customer experience. Even if you have a consistent brand on the Internet, you still can lose all the trust you have been working on for years, when it does not fit in with your display window, store color palette or your showroom.
To ensure brand consistency, use various marketing assets, such as signs, business cards, marketing collateral, staff clothing or car markings, to match both online and offline brand elements. This will give your customers a consistent experience.
9. Make sure employees are familiar with the brand guidelines
Just having employees is not enough. To make your branding efforts more consistent you need to familiarize them with the brand’s guidelines and make sure that they are implementing them. Is your staff who is responsible for preparing all the marketing elements and showing them to clients. Therefore, they have to present a coherent brand, and in order to do so, they have to feel that everything they say is true. When you succeed in ensuring they know the brand style guide, they will become invaluable support for your brand. If you’d like to learn more, check out the article on internal branding processes.
10. Ways to maintain brand consistency
In order for your brand messaging to remain consistent, it is worth carrying out a brand audit on a regular basis. Thanks to them, you can control the effectiveness and consistency of all activities, with a special attention to the marketing campaigns. It is worth going back and comparing the audit results with the previous ones to check if something has changed and needs to be corrected, or just to make sure everything is working properly.
When conducting a brand SWOT analysis, it is best to compare your company to the market competition. To do that, you can take a traditional approach and write down the strengths and weaknesses of the brand on a piece of paper with a pen.
When you focus on the former, note what is done well in terms of brand consistency and recognition. The latter should include areas that need to be improved.
It is also worth analyzing whether other businesses in the industry use similar branding or marketing methods – you should list the risks that come with them if they do. Maintaining brand consistency is as important as creating a brand.
Ensuring brand consistency – summary
Every business can build brand consistency and there are numerous ways to do that. However, one should remember that each company has its own style and rules.
You can read more about the brand guidelines on the Nopio blog. To create the brand and maintain its consistency, you can ask specialists to help you. The Nopio agency offers professional brand consulting, thanks to which you will be able to create a perfect brand.