5 Places Your Brand Identity Should be Consistent

Your brand identity is the image your company portrays to the world at large, to your customers and prospects. When people look at your online presence, they should know what you do and that you bring value to the market. When you meet someone at a networking event, your business card should have the same colors and font as the brochure you hand them with the card. When someone walks in your front door, they should know instantly that they are in the right place.

A strong brand identity isn't just for big companies. Small businesses need it as well if they plan to grow and compete in an ever changing business environment. Your brand identity should be appealing to your target market and should be consistent in every printed piece you produce, across every online platform, and in every other way that you interact with the world.

Creating a Brand Standard for your business is easy and inexpensive. If you don't already have one, get one. Then share it with anyone and everyone who works on your company marketing to make sure that they are consistently working within the standards that you have set for your company.

Consistency is important because it brings name recognition. If people see your logo and/or your brand colors online, they will recognize your snail mail brochure when it arrives, and vice versa. When people recognize your identity, your name is always brought to mind, which is helpful when they receive your email or see your social media posts.

Let’s take a look at the five most important places to create consistency in your brand identity:

Your Website

Very often your company website is the first interaction a potential client will have with your business. Make it a good one because people will likely make a 10-second decision whether or not to explore further than your home page. Needless to say, your identity should be strongly represented on that home page so your potential clients will explore further or contact you.

On your website, your brand colors, fonts, logo, and images are vitally important and should reflect your brand identity. If your message is serious and you handle tough problems, using whimsical fonts and cutesy graphics doesn’t meld with the serious issues your company handles. The opposite is also true; if your identity and mission are more light-hearted, using deep, dark colors and traditional fonts might turn people away after they make a quick judgment call.

Your Social Media Platforms

Not everyone in your target audience will use the same social media platform and those reasons vary widely, so it is important for you to post across multiple platforms to reach more of your audience. However, if your name, colors, and logo are different on all these platforms, when someone jumps from Facebook to Twitter, they may not think yours is the same company because the profiles look different. Or if they receive a piece of mail that looks different than the social media profile, they may also be suspicious. Consistency brings recognition and also helps to build trust between you and your clients.

All Company Communications

Letterhead, envelopes, invoices, business cards, and other printed marketing pieces should all have the same colors, fonts, and logo as your website and your social media platforms. Just one more way to show your professionalism and attention to detail - your clients will certainly notice.

Your Email Marketing Campaigns

Contrary to popular belief, email marketing is still one of the best ways to keep in touch with clients and to keep your company name in their memory. The key is to be relevant with your messages and offer valuable and engaging content. On top of these, create a template (or templates) that incorporates your brand colors, fonts, and logo. Don’t miss a chance to build that trust between you and your audience.

Your Office / Retail Environment

If you have a retail store or a an office where customers come to you, carry your brand identity throughout the spaces that customers interact in. Think about wall color, having your logo as a piece of wall art, the color of upholstery on the furniture, rugs, etc. to carry your brand identity into every aspect of your customer relationships.

Take a little time to look at these five areas in your business and make note of how and where you can improve your brand consistency. It doesn't have to cost a lot of money to get your brand into shape. Incorporate changes slowly if you need to, such as updating your business cards and other printed materials the next time you need to order. As long as you are working toward the end goal of a strong, consistent brand you ARE taking your business to the next level.

To your success ~


What Exactly Is A Brand?

Marketing folks talk a lot about Branding - a lot. You may have a general understanding of how branding fits into an overall marketing program, but perhaps you've wondered what that means exactly. Some people think branding is like positioning, but it is different. The main difference is that positioning is a fluid concept. In other words, you can position yourself at different times in different markets as different things. Branding is more set in stone- it's a hard-core recognition factor.

Let's use Nike as an example: their branding is very clear - you can see that swoosh and instantly know that it's Nike because it's always the exact same shape and presented in the same way. Where you see a Nike message is the positioning: they will use their brand to position the company to different audiences - men, women, athletes, youth, etc.

Branding is more about the following of rules because if you don't follow those rules, things don't look the same and people won't remember you. When you put out your marketing pieces, you want to create a similar look and feel so that people remember you. And you want that similar look and feel on every thing you put out. If your logo is red and round, you don't want it to be pink and oval because someone distorted it to make it fit. Don't laugh - I've seen it happen!

The good thing is that you get to make the rules…colors the same, style of lettering the same, logo etc. And there is some flexibility as long as you follow the rules. You can't go too far out of bounds, but you can change some things within the frame of what others can still recognize.

"The way a company brands itself is everything - it will ultimately decide whether a business survives."

Sir Richard Branson

Branding in your marketing has to make you feel something.

Your brand should evoke some type of feeling to your audience. Do you want them to feel happy? Confident? Curious? Empowered?

Branding is just like the old coat of arms that families used to have connected with their name. It would instill respect, fear, and wealth - whatever. Likewise, a country's flag gets people to feel a certain way about their country. Think about what message you want to portray. What do you want recipients of your promotion to think about you? What do you want it to say? That you are a fun, easy going company? That you are a serious professional? That your business is all about children? What image of your company do you want to put out there? That is your brand. When people see you continually as one thing, they begin to expect the same from you and they get used to you. It matters: a technology company can't have an old style font in their logo - you might not think they were very far advanced.

Branding is a marketing technique that has the potential to elevate your business to the top. It involves helping your customers to form a recognizable association with you.
Link your business with a design, logo, slogan, and/or color and observe the positive results.

Brands create a feeling of familiarity.

If customers have seen your logo, insignia, or company name, they are more likely to continue to select your product or service. Also, they are more apt to suggest them to others. Referrals through word of mouth can be an extremely powerful form of advertising. The more often they see your branding - through your social media, website, email marketing, printed materials, apparel, etc. - the stronger that feeling of familiarity becomes.

A brand helps possible customers remember your business.

People may know little about your philosophy or reputation. However, if they can recognize your brand, the chances are greater that they will do business with you. Branding creates memory in the mind of the public.

When the public remembers your brand and familiarizes themselves and others with it, they will come back. Customers are more likely to remain devoted to your business and are apt to buy further products or services from you based on the brand of the initial product with which they had success.

Good branding pays off.

People are willing to pay more for products or services that they highly regard. This means that customers are likely to pass up cheaper prices with competitors if your brand has made a positive impression on them. If clients believe in your product, they will pay for it, AND they will tell their friends and colleagues about you!

When you have distinguished your business through branding, your marketing efforts will bring increased return on investment - more leads, more conversations, more sales. Developing your brand takes time and effort, but it is critical to your long term success. Don't let your competitors outpace you because their branding is on point and yours is not!

Need some help? Visit my website at www.nextlevelad.com for additional tips, tools, and resources to take your brand to the next level!

To your success ~