So, you’ve got your logos, brand identity, fonts and colours… but now what? How do you apply your vision and get creative with your brand without veering off-course? By staying consistent.
Consistency is absolutely the key when you are trying to represent your brand. It establishes trust, brand recognition and a sense of familiarity with a brand. Think about your favourite brands and how they market themselves – Nike, Prada, Woolworths, Apple – what colours do you see when you think of them, what type of imagery, and fonts? Chances are you’ll be able to identify at least one of these immediately, and with a little more in-depth look you’ll notice that the others are also pretty recognizable across the board. And yes, they do sometimes break away from these consistencies intentionally, but it is always for a reason, and always links up to the main branding in the end.
Consistency and repetition are two cornerstones of any successful branding strategy. By presenting your brand consistently, over time, consumers will internalize your brand values and be more likely to buy your products, or make use of your services.
Here are some benefits of ensuring brand consistency across your business:
– Brand consistency shows how committed and intentional the brand is in achieving its goals and maintaining standards.
– Sticking to brand values and maintaining a consistent image in the public eye will shape the way people see the brand, therefore managing your Brand Image.
– Consistency allows consumers to know exactly what to expect each time they do business with you.
How do you maintain this consistency?
Your brand guide is there for a reason, use it. And if you don’t have one, put together a document for yourself that you can refer back to at any point. When you work with a designer to create your branding, they should deliver a brand style guide as a part of your package (click here if you’d like our help with this). This includes absolutely everything you need to apply to your digital or printed marketing, from Instagram through to printed flyers or advertisements.
Stick to your established color palette throughout all communication. Your brand guide comes with hex codes (a 6 digit colour code) that can be used for digital or print, and will give you the exact colour that forms part of your brand identity. And no, if your colours are green and yellow, you can’t just pick any shade of green and yellow, there’s a reason your designer chose that specific colour with its hue and tonality.
Choose two or three fonts and stick to them. We KNOW it’s tempting to add a funky font to draw attention to a certain element, but once you start going down this rabbit hole you might end up with the Cirque de Soleil of typography, and not in a good way. Your brand guide should contain two or three fonts that serve different purposes, with some indication of how to use them. There are headline fonts, paragraph fonts and (sometimes) call-out fonts, and these can be combined to create an eye-catching design without having to go off-book. You can play around with weights (bold, light, heavy, etc.) and spacing, but stick to the fonts your designer chose for you, or that you chose for yourself.
Make sure your images are on par in terms of the quality of your product/service. When it comes to Instagram, post intentionally. Our best tip for this is to never do things on a whim – like post to Instagram in real-time (when you wake up in a panic because you haven’t posted in a week) – take time to curate your imagery, edit your photos consistently and arrange them in a way that is pleasing to your audience.
“Waking up each day and “figuring it out” is not a sustainable business model. Planning your quarters and months out gives you a bigger picture and long-term goal to be focused on – keeping you consistent throughout time to achieve it. It also allows your day-to-day content to be much more intentional. And can we talk about the confidence boost quarterly planning gives you?! Being able to say your content is planned and knowing what is being posted, when, and why, you will feel so much better about your business and yourself. You’ll be able to achieve more because you will no longer be working in your business, you’ll be working ON your business.” – Hello Brand Collective
If your budget allows for it, work with your designer to create some templates you can use for your content. 8 – 10 templates, when used correctly, should be able to stretch over months of content. If you don’t have design programs, Canva is a great free design tool that you can utilize to create a whole variety of designs, whilst sticking to your branding (Check out more of our favourite free business resources here).
And there you have it! Four simple ways in which you can stay consistent across your branding – without the help of your designer. And remember, if you get stuck, we’re only an email away…