“Consistency is one of the most important things when maintaining a company’s image and branding identity.” We tell this to our clients all the time. There are too many easy ways that a company’s identity can be flawed by the lack of consistency.
Guidelines To Stay Consistent
A good starting point for consistency is a company’s branding guidelines. If you currently have a graphic designer, design firm or agency that you are using, this is definitely a project to consider. It is always beneficial for a company to have a reference of guidelines on hand for their company’s identity (normally called a Branding Guidelines Manual, Corporate Branding Guidelines, Corporate Identity Development, etc.)
These manuals give the company step-by-step guidelines on how to use fonts, what fonts to use, if there are any image guidelines, logo sizes and safe spaces, main colors to be used and how to use them, secondary colors, and so on. All of these guidelines create the company’s brand strategy to ensure a consistent brand presence and identity.
At Green Jeans Creative, we greatly stress the importance of branding guidelines. Even if a client does not ask for a designed, hard copy, of branding guidelines for their company, we have on hand our own personal documents with all of the information need for our own reference. The documents and notes that we have keep track of all fonts, colors, spacing usage, etc. that are used for that company to make sure that all of the materials and designs that we produce for them will stay consistent with their company image.
Keeping a company’s image consistent will make the their brand effective and memorable.
“The true power of a corporate identity is in consistency across all forms of outward communication with clients or customers.” 1
One of the easiest ways to stay consistent is to make sure that everything has the same “look” and “feel.” Making sure that the same types of materials are used (such as paper, packaging, business card, etc.), using the same logo, making sure that the packaging all looks similar, making sure that the signage is all similar, using the same colors, using the same fonts, etc. are all ways to keep uniformity of a company’s brand. If everything that is created looks different, there is no way that the client will relate the product or material to your company. Even the spacing of text and a font should remain consistent in the company’s materials.
If a company wants to save on costs and use templates, that is ok, but make sure whoever is creating the final product understands the importance of font usage, spacing between lines, spacing between individual characters, etc. When creating templates for our clients we supply one blank template and one template with text in it to show how the finished piece should look. As soon as things start to look a bit different, you end up on a slippery slope of inconsistency for your company’s image.
No Similarity? Don’t Use It.
There is no reason to use anything that is not consistent with your company’s image. If there is an ad that has been successful for a long time for your company, but that doesn’t match your company’s image (such as not using the same colors, font, imagery, etc.) it is time to spend the extra money to update it. You can keep the same concept of the ad, but just give it a fresh look to match your company’s brand. This will be money well spent in the long run.
If you have switched designers and have old materials that do not match your company’s current identity, do not use the old materials. Spend the money to update your materials and to purchase new materials to be consistent with your company’s identity.
Stamp It With Your Logo
By now, it is assumed if you have a company identity/brand, that you have a great logo to back it up.
Use your logo! Put it on all ads, printed materials, packaging, inner-office relations, signatures on emails, etc. Make your logo your company’s signature! This is not to say that it needs to be the center of attention, but it needs a solid presence. For logos, bigger does not always mean better. You don’t want to “scream” your logo at your viewer, but to have it be a stamp of approval for a finished product, whether it be an advertisement, letterhead, etc. Let your logo be a marker for who is giving the message.
Don’t Lose Your Way in a Recession
Being in a recession can be a very tricky obstacle for companies. This is completely understandable and finding what works best for your company can be a struggle. One area where companies can make a big mistake with their brand image is cutting back on marketing during a recession.
“Maintain or increase your marketing budget. When the market goes quiet, successful brands typically increase their presence with strong, considered branding activities. Moreover, research suggests that these brands position themselves to bounce back better than other brands when the market cycles up.” 2
“Your customers and prospects will remember you when the economy picks up again. You know the economy will rebound. It always does. You need to be positioned as a survivor. If you have maintained your promotion spending, your company will have the image of a leader—the one to depend on in your industry—when the rebound comes.” 3
Not only is a recession the worst time cut back on marketing, but taking away your company image during this time will only make other companies stand out more in the long run.
“Over the years hundreds of studies have been conducted to prove companies should maintain advertising during a recession… Don’t cut your advertising budget, increase it. Let your competition cut theirs. When you increase your spending, you increase your share of voice. If your competitors cut back, your message grows even stronger… Maintain continuity to sustain awareness. Advertising works cumulatively so you have to remind people frequently about your brand or they’ll forget you.” 4
“In a soft economy, shortsighted executives will panic and bolster their next quarterly earnings report by cutting the ad budget. After all, advertising is an expense: Eliminate it and the money drops right to your bottom line.” 3
How to Build a Great Brand Image for Your Business: click here to read article
Building Your Brand in a Recession: click to read article
Why to Maintain Marketing in a Recession: click to read article
Brand Consistency At Trade Shoes: click to read article
Strengthen Your Corporate Brand Image for Optimum Results: click here to read article
Marketing Consistency is Crucial: click to read article
1. “Corporate Identity.” Winning Solutions Inc. Official Site. Web. 22 April 2010.
2. Baxter, Warren. “Building Your Brand in a Recession.” Summer 2009. Web. 22 April 2010.
3. Grede, Robert. “Marketing Lowdown: Ad Spending During a Recession.” 3 March 2008. Web. 22 April 2010.
4. McCabe, Ed. “Recession Marketing Strategies.” 15 Nov. 2001. Web. 22 April 2010.