Brand consistency, a few tips.

The first rule of building a successful brand is to create a unique design style that helps distinguish a company's products or services from its competitors. There’s a second, crucial rule: never change your brand’s style until it’s absolutely necessary.

Brand consistency is an important rule of brand management

The single most important rule of branding is consistency. Now, having a great logo helps, but it's more critical to ensure your brand is consistent across all of its mediums.

Every time someone views your brand, e.g., on a business card, website, or billboard, their brain locks it in to their mind. Repeated exposure to it (website, business card, etc.) makes it increasingly more recognizable. And this is only possible when your brand’s colours, style and tone are consistent across every medium you use. Once your brand is recognizable through constant exposure, and you have a great product or service, then your brand identity nets you an ROI through the trust and loyalty it’s developed.

Stop using a different brand identity on every medium

Here’s the problem I often see with businesses: each design medium looks different from the next. The business card style look different from the website, which also looks different from signage on the door. Each advertisement changes from advertisement to advertisement, and sales collateral looks like it’s mashed together.

So how do you maintain I brand consistency?

Create a set of brand guidelines: Create a set of rules that can be used as a guide when designing anything. This should include the use of your logo size, placement, space around it. The colours that will be used, the fonts, and sizing on each platform. Also, ensure the images you choose match and complement everything.

Designate a brand manager: Place someone in charge of policing your brand identity by following the rules of the brand guideline. Allow them to maintain control of your brand’s consistency and provide them with the power to make changes when necessary.

Partner with a single design agency: This is like having a brand manager working for you without having to put someone in charge. It becomes a relationship where the designers know what your expectations are and how to maintain your standards. You will end up saving money overall because each design for your brand will become second nature to them.

Last thing: Maintaining your brand extends past its design. You need to use the same language online, in print and in person. Right down to the culture of the business. The more effort you put into maintaining your brand consistency, the more you will see a return on your investment.