If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times – the key to great branding is consistency. You’ll see this in virtually every textbook, blog post and eBook about branding and it’s not wrong. Offering up a consistent image for your brand directly correlates to the level of success you’ll be able to achieve.
You might think, “Ok, how hard can it be to use the same logo and fonts and colors in my marketing?” And while your logo, font and color choices are all vitally important in maintaining a consistent brand image, your brand is so much more than what it looks like in an advertisement.
To offer up a truly consistent brand image and build your business, here are three things you should focus on:
Really understanding your brand position
Your brand position helps explain who you are as a company and who you want to sell to. A good brand position helps establish where you fall in the marketplace and how you are different from your competitors and understanding your brand position will help set the tone for all your marketing and branding.
Still not clear on what your brand position is? Take a look at these questions to help clarify:
- Who are my customers or who do I want my customers to be?
- What do you want your brand to be known for?
- What do you do better or different from your competition?
- How would I describe my brand’s personality?
When you understand what you brand position is, it becomes much easier to focus your marketing efforts.
Establish your brand image
Once you’ve established your brand position, work on cementing an image for your brand. Crafting a brand image is hard work and will definitely include the following:
- Creating a killer logo
- Choosing a font or set of fonts to use in all marketing, social media and branding
- Choosing a color palette to work
You’ll also want to think about the type of imagery you’ll use in your marketing and branding pieces. Are you going to include lifestyle shots with people using your product? Or is a clean, modern look without people a better fit?
If your logo features a character or animal, you may even want to think about making that a focal point of your branding. Even if your logo doesn’t feature a character or animal, a type of company mascot that embodies the personality of your company can be an easy way to create a consistent brand image.
Articulate your brand standards and stick to them
Once you establish your brand position and your brand image, don’t be content to let your ideas just float around in your brain. Commit those branding ideas to paper so that you have something tangible to draw from. Better yet, put together a simple brand standard guide, which outlines the following:
- What your logo looks like
- Any variations of your logo (alternate colors and layouts)
- How your logo should be used
- Any colors that are important for your brand
- Any fonts that are important for your brand
- Any brand images, artwork, or mascot
- Specifics for how your company name should be printed (lowercase vs. uppercase)
If you have a specific perspective on what type of imagery should be used, a description or even examples would be helpful to include.
Don’t forget that Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a brand. Building a strong, recognizable brand takes creativity, time and a lot of sweat equity. If you put together a brand plan and stick to it, you’ll be making headway before you know it.