I was chatting with a client the other day about keeping a record of all of the elements that make up their visual identity so that they can keep consistency across all of their communications. And it got me thinking about the importance consistency has in creating a successful brand. 

What is branding?
Put simply a brand is the feeling a person has when they think about a product or company and branding is the strategy used to create that feeling in consumers’ minds.  The strategy crosses everything from tone of voice, visual identity and customer experience. 

What makes branding so important?
Branding helps you shape how people feel about your brand, giving it a personality and identity, which people can relate to. It should comprise all the elements of your business ethos, who you are, what you do and something tangible people can relate to and buy into. It also helps you stand out from the competition, illustrating the way in which you are different, identifiable and unique.  

Why keeping consistency is so important?
When you create a consistent brand experience at every point a customer interacts with you - from your website, advertising, social media posts to signage and print collateral, it makes you almost instantly recognisable. It means that all of your values and key messages are continually being effectively delivered and reinforced to your target audience. Sparking a connection with them which will turn that audience into loyal customers. 
Lots of businesses get it wrong, something as simple as old logos that don’t match on social media pages can make potential customers question your brand, is it trustworthy, is it professional, which can mean the difference between them choosing you over the competition.

How to ensure you keep consistency 
A set of brand guidelines is a good starting point. They can be as detailed as you like, but the basics cover tone of voice, logo usage, colour palette, visual style, typography, photography style and iconography. It can also be good to include examples of collateral that you regularly output.
These guidelines can then be used to give direction when working with a new provider such as a web designer, or advertising agency. Ensuring they produce consistent work that strengthens your brand. 

Next steps
Wherever you are on your brand journey, it's important to review what you have regularly for consistency. This can be done in a number of ways, by having a review session with members of your team, or by having a conversation with a brand specialist, like myself. 

I hope this information helps, get in touch if you'd like to know more.

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