Indulge us for a second. If we asked you to think about some popular brands, what comes to mind? A big tick? Some golden arches? Or maybe a Santa Claus driving a train? But what do they have in common? Simply put, they present a coherent message to their customers. This includes everything they do from design and words, through to product development.
How do they do it? And what’s the secret to unlocking this potential?
Building brand consistency
Nowadays it’s not just all about the price. Purchasing is often more of an emotional experience than a practical one. A Target audiences trust their favourite brands and return to them again and again. They know what to expect and they reward that with loyalty.
Your most valuable business asset is your brand – but we’re guessing you already know that since you’ve landed here (and we’re happy you have!). The question is how do you capitalise on it? Developing an understanding of your organisation’s vision and values is the first step. You can then focus on building clear brand guidelines. In turn, this gives your team the tools they need to create a clear identity and deliver your core message. Again and again and again…
But why is this so important? What’s the value to the business?
It’s all about the familiarity
By developing your brand presence and making sure people know what to expect from you, you’ll be able to turn random consumers into regular shoppers. And engage them. And retain them. You’ll be able to build relationships with both existing and potential customers. Then they’ll start to identify with your brand and enjoy the experience.
Consider Nike. Their loyal customers know what to expect when they hear the name, see the advertising or just spot the Nike logo. Their brand is embedded in everything they do. So, Nike can retain their status as the leading – and most recognised – global sports brand. They just do it.
Want to share some of the glory? Great. Time for the hard work.
In order to create and present a cohesive brand to an audience, a certain amount of rigour has to be applied behind the scenes. Here’s the practical bit.
Get some decent brand guidelines under your belt
We’re not talking any old guidelines – they need to be pretty robust so that everyone who reads them can understand the brand. Why it’s this colour and not that, how to use the logo (and how not to) and even the different tones your brand should adopt. They’re basically the Holy Grail of your brand. Brand guidelines are the foundation of brand consistency standards. They ensure that all communications are on-point and consistent. They’re the rules. They guarantee that regardless of the format or touchpoint, anyone engaging with the brand will enjoy the same experience.
It’s all about the detail, baby
The guidelines are core to the way the company presents itself – being flexible enough to allow for creativity but prescriptive enough to keep your brand recognisable. Here are five tools you can add to your armoury:
- Look and feel including logos, design elements and a colour palette
- Tone of voice and editorial guidelines
- Image style and photo library
- Social media guidelines
What benefits will brand guidelines bring to the business?
Consumers trust the brand they know. Creating a brand with personality goes a long way to developing and cementing that vital relationship between brands and their customers.
The truth is, we’re all creatures of habit
We’re reassured by consistency and knowing what to expect (however adventurous we like to think we are). McDonalds are a good example of a leading global brand which embraces the benefits that this behaviour can bring. Customers know what to expect from McDonald’s wherever they are in the world. Their branding and products are consistent across the globe.
On the flip side, less successful brands can alienate their potential customers. They’re inconsistent. They’re unpredictable. They send out mixed signals. So, as consumers, we don’t remember them.
Keen to distinguish yourself from the herd?
It’s time to create a compelling and impactful brand to ensure that today’s customers know what to expect. Steal a march on your competitors. By creating consistency throughout your brand you’re giving your customers what they want and they’ll be back. It allows you to build a stronger identity. It ensures you deliver a more cohesive message. It builds on the trust of your target audience. Time to dig a little deeper. How you can help your customers build a relationship with your brand?