How will anyone recognize your brand if you aren’t consistent?

August 20, 2014By Behind the Shelf Blog, Brand Marketing

By Megan Moyer

Building a strong brand entails a number of factors and actions. Foremost is consistency. Consistency of message, imagery, logo standards, voice, tone, and style.

There are times when you deviate from your corporate voice, tone, or style – depending on the message intent, the vehicle you are using, and the feelings you want to evoke. When you are writing any formal communications materials such as a capabilities PowerPoint® or your corporate website, you stick with your identified voice, tone, and style. However, when you are writing the pages of your customer portal, or crafting your holiday message, you may invoke a more relaxed or casual tone and style and use the voice of an individual of your company. For example, when you write the pages of your customer portal, they could be written in the voice of one of your customer service representatives with a friendly tone but still in the corporate style. Your holiday greeting may come from your president, and that could be a different style as well as voice.

Because there are plenty of us that are more apt to identify with visual indicators,consistency of using corporate colors, logos, fonts, and layouts consistency of using corporate colors, logos, fonts, and layouts is of utmost importance. Corporate brand standards should be carried throughout all communications materials in some recognizable way. Think of brand standard-setters such as Coca-Cola® or Pepsi®. They have different products and various campaigns that may include multiple media channels, but don’t you always recognize that the ads, promotions, in-store displays, etc. are for Coke or Pepsi?

An experienced graphic designer knows how to pull brand elements through to every communication so no matter what you are looking at – packaging, an advertisement, your Facebook page – you see recognizable elements of the visual aspects of your branding. This is how you build recognition and familiarity among your audience.

All of this should be spelled out in your corporate style guide. And every company should have a guide – it’s important whether you’re as big as Coca-Cola or have under 100 employees. The corporate style guide should include definitions of your message elements, approved imagery, logo standards, acceptable colors, voice, tone, and style for company communications as well as your product lines. It may sound overwhelming, but it will improve your brand’s impact in the long run as well as save you time and money when you start a new initiative.

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