By: Gordon Conner-Brand Solution #6
One of the biggest mistakes made by new businesses is a lack of brand consistency. It stands out like a sore thumb. When you look at their website, store front, business cards and social networks you find a huge disconnect. They could have all come from different businesses! By comparison, take a look at anything from Nike, whether it is shoes, websites, posters, twitter or Facebook accounts. All social networks will feature the same photo!
That’s brand consistency. Regardless of what you see with Nike branding, you will know it’s the Nike brand. Of course, Nike can afford to do all of that. What about you?
Well, let’s just take a look at BranWorks as an example. Look at our Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter accounts, as well as our website. Notice anything? Same colors, same logo, same tagline and same photo on all of them. And I’m just a small business consultant.
You see, brand consistency isn’t the expensive concept it’s cracked up to be. It’s actually pretty cost-affective!
How to really achieve brand consistency
It starts by knowing how you want to be perceived by your target audience. So who is that audience, what do you want to tell them and how do want them to feel about your business? Once you know the answers to these questions, be sure that message gets across in your story and “look”. Tell that message in your tagline. And how do you want your company to look? Just remember this is how your company will look for a long time, so take the time to get it right.
Once you have your brand and you look set, you’ll need a style guide to keep it all on track. Be sure it contains the following:
- Fonts – Pick just one or two and use these for everything you do in your business.
- Colors – You can switch your colors up sparingly for special occasions, but keep them consistent for the vast majority of your marketing.
- Logo – Be sure to use the same logo for everything-same dimensions, spacing and colors.
- Message – Be sure all of your marketing materials carry the same brand message and be bold, but tasteful, about it.
- “Feel” – Be sure you project the same “feel” with all materials. If your business card has a warm, inviting feel to it, make sure the website does, as well.
Now, go update those marketing materials to reflect the instructions from your style guide. When you create consistency with all of your marketing mediums you’re fostering brand recognition and winning customers.
So get focused on your brand consistency and get a leg up on your competition.
About the Author
Gordon Conner is a Branding Consultant/Coach and Copywriter who helps build killer brands for small local businesses. He has been providing advertising, marketing, branding and copywriting services for 39 years and lives in Midlothian, Virginia. He can be reached at Gordon@BranWorks.com, or www.BranWorks.com