I’m sure you’ve heard that one of the keys to branding success is consistency. And if you haven’t, then I’m telling you right now. Shall I say it again? Brand consistency = branding success. The real mystery here is HOW to achieve brand consistency. Am I right!? Recently I asked my Hopscotch community what they’d like to hear about next… and yep, you guessed it… BRAND CONSISTENCY.
It’s a hot topic, and I’ve got the scoop. So, let’s get stuck in.
1. Establish brand guidelines.
Sounds simple. It kind of is, if you know what you’re doing! I recommend working with a brand stylist or strategist who can help you truly understand your brand, the message you want to send and help you translate that message visually and vocally, through your brand personality to achieve brand consistency. If you’re not quite ready to invest in working one on one with a brand stylist, consider a DIY brand foundation course to help you get clear on your brand direction.
2. Get yourself a brand style guide.
This is like your little pot of gold at the end of your branding rainbow. It’s a treasure trove of guidelines that help you communicate your brand consistently. But you actually have to use it… which leads me to my next point…
3. Keep your brand guide in pride of place.
Print it out and then keep your brand guide somewhere prominent in your office. Stick it on your walls if you need to. There is no point having guidelines in place if you don’t use them! Simply put, you are causing damage to your brand each and every time you stray from your brand guide. You’re diluting the essence of your brand, which is weakening your message.
4. STOP tinkering.
Once you have your brand guidelines in place, you don’t need to ‘get creative’. Don’t start making things up on the fly or using generic Canva templates that don’t reflect your brand personality. Stick with your stipulated fonts. Use your colour palette. Consistency is reassuring to your audience. If you start mixing things up, not only will you confuse the bejeezus out of the poor dears, but you’ll compromise the reputation you’ve invested so much time, effort and resources into.
5. Templates are your friend.
If you don’t trust yourself to create templates for your brand, invest in a designer to create some custom templates for you. Templates are particularly useful for those things that you are using regularly to communicate your brand message (e.g. social media, email etc). And guess what else? They’ll save you time, frustration and effort. In fact, that’s one of the main benefits of establishing brand guidelines in the first place. No more guessing. No more time wasting. Just clear direction, clarity and confidence.
It’s tempting to ‘try new things’…
My dear friend, I know that it’s tempting to mix things up a little. Add a picture you found on your feed here, splash a bit of colour there, try a new font… But take it from me, the more you adhere to a consistent brand message through your brand guidelines, the stronger your message will be. You’ll be perceived as more reliable, trustworthy and professional. You don’t see big brands like McDonald’s or CocaCola changing their fonts and colour palette every five minutes, do you? And your brand deserves the same attention. Consistency can make or break your brand reputation.
Remember, reputation = trust = sales!
The best piece of advice I can give you is to establish brand guidelines as early as you can. This way, you are giving your brand the best chance of being perceived in the right way, and as a result, being positioned positively in the hearts and minds of your audience.
If this is tugging on your heartstrings, and you have a brand in its infancy, or you feel a bit like a ship sailing the seas without a captain, I encourage you to join the waitlist for my brand foundation course, Brand Alchemy. I created this course with the sole aim of providing brands a leg-up in developing a rock-solid brand foundation. One that will fill you with branding clarity and confidence and ultimately help you attract your dream customer with a consistent and cohesive, stand-out brand personality.