Branding is one of the key aspects of any business. It’s the story you are relaying to your customer, the promise you are making to them and what they ultimately remember about a company over time.
It’s because of this that you can’t have a conversation about effective branding without talking about consistency. After all, if your branding conveys your messaging as a company, it’s in your business’ best interest to make sure the message is consistent.
Because of the rise of the internet and online marketing, many business owners find themselves overwhelmed with making sure their brand is represented throughout as many channels as possible. This had led to businesses dropping some balls. In an effort to help you avoid this, we’ve come up with the Ten Commandments of Brand Consistency.
- Thou shalt have the same message on all social media channels.
It’s very frustrating when businesses have multiple social media pages yet they haven’t bothered to make them consistent. If your Twitter account says one thing and your LinkedIn profile hasn’t been updated to reflect the same information, you’re going to run into some problems.
The entire point of brand consistency is to make sure that you are conveying the same message throughout. If your social media pages are giving mixed messages then you can bet you’re confusing leads and losing business.
- Thou shalt have the same color scheme.
Visuals are important when it comes to branding. It caters to our senses as humans and makes things easier for us to remember. In fact, research shows that color plays a huge role in how customers react to your brand, your products and your services.
Granted, your market’s experience of color is very subjective. So rather than using yellow because it’s said to be happy, instead focus on whether or not a color “fits” with your brand and then use it consistently throughout.
- Thou shalt use the same font.
To further expand upon the importance of visuals in brand consistency, many would agree that having varying fonts in your branding is an eyesore. Similar to color, the fonts need to “fit” with your brand and be consistent throughout.
For example, if you’re an accountant that caters to professionals like lawyers, then using a curly font may not fit with what you’re trying to accomplish.
- Thou shalt not create a spectacle to get attention.
Perhaps one of the biggest brand blunders of all time is that of Burger King’s “King” mascot. Someone at Burger King surely thought their strange sense of humor would equate to bigger profits, but in actuality this mascot just creeped people out.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking this could only happen to Burger King. Small businesses also often times make spectacles of themselves thinking they will get some traction. The lesson here is not to create messaging for the heck of it. Anyone can get some attention, but if it’s not geared toward driving consistent behavioral results it won’t matter.
- Thou shalt listen to your market.
There’s nothing worse than when a brand does not actually listen to their market. How many times have companies tried to force feed their market to buy something only to fail miserably?
The reality is you can’t create a consistent message unless you keep your market in mind. This may mean sending out surveys, doing customer case studies or conducting some actual market research so that you can convey a message your market actually needs.
- Thou shalt use the same branding in printed material.
In recent years businesses have focused on online marketing efforts. Meanwhile, many have completely forgotten about printed material. This can be detrimental to businesses that still need to use print materials to succeed.
Furthermore, business cards now have QR codes and people enjoy getting a hand written thank you note. According to a MarketingProfs article, because people have neglected printing it’s actually a good way to stand out. As a result, you’d better make sure your print materials have the same branding as your online ones.
- Thou shalt use the same profile images.
These days people want to know everything about a company – including what the owner looks like. That’s why it’s imperative that you have a professional photo and that it’s consistent throughout your social media pages.
- Thou shalt use personal profiles to your advantage.
People tend to forget about their personal profiles when it comes to branding. Sure, you may have a Facebook fan page, but they are constantly changing the rules so less of your fans can actually see what you post. That’s why it’s imperative that you also make sure your personal profiles are properly branded.
- Thou shalt brand your email signature.
If you’re sending out emails all the time, why wouldn’t you brand your signature? It costs you nothing and people see it all the time.
It seems obvious, yet so many business owners don’t actually do it. Use a service like WiseStamp to make sure your email signature is properly branded.
- Thou shalt be patient.
It can take a while before a small business owner figures out the perfect brand for their company – and that’s okay! You don’t know everything when you first start and it’s a lot of work. Just make sure to do these things as you go along so you create a consistent brand over time.
Have you broken any of these commandments? Any others we should add to the list? Share in the comments below.