While talking to a group of entrepreneurs recently we discussed their biggest struggle as it pertains to building a brand. A common theme was the struggle to maintain consistency.
I know how hard brand consistency can be when you’re first starting out. Yet the benefits are endless. A consistent brand helps you look more professional, builds trust, and brand recognition. Here’s a look at my five top tips to maintain brand consistency.
1. Plan your content
You can enhance your brand with a strong content marketing strategy. When it comes to content creation the best way to ensure consistency is to plan it in advance. I like to do what I call a brain dump. Every month I spend time brainstorming content topics for my blog, social media platforms, etc. This way, when it comes time to actually create content, I’m not sitting there staring mindlessly at my laptop. I have a plan, I know what I want to talk about, and it just becomes a matter of actually creating it.
2. Develop a personality
Brans consistency becomes so much easier when you take the time to get clear on your brand personality. Outline 3-5 personality traits or characteristics that embody your brand. When you create a distinct personality, it becomes easier for consumers to connect with your brand on an emotional level. It also helps to differentiate you from competitors. Once you identify five personality traits, maintain your brand personality across all customer-facing touch points.
3. Create brand guidelines
A brand guide is document that will help you maintain branding consistency. Consider it as your brand bible. It should include all the necessary details to ensure your brand look and feel is easy to replicate and deliver on a larger scale.
Consider the brand guidelines for Italian restaurant chain Macaroni Grille created by Seattle-based creative agency Superbig. Their brand guide, focuses more on the feel and philosophy of the company rather than the nuts and bolts of asset placement and font size.
While your brand guide doesn’t have to be this formal, the document should include your:
- mission, vision and values
- brand personality traits
- brand voice and tone
- logo usage
- color palette
- fonts and typography
- icon usage (if applicable)
- graphics and photography
4. Get your team on board
To build brand recognition, it’s essential to ensure everyone on your team has a strong understanding of your brand. This is easily accomplished with the use of your brand guidelines. Share this document and reinforce it regularly if you see something that doesn’t line up.
5. Conduct a brand audit
Once you’ve created your brand guide do an audit of all existing platforms (your website, social media platforms, content, sales materials, email templates, etc.) online and offline. Remember, your brand is about the entire customer experience. Look at every brand touch point that consumers use to interact with your company.
Gillian Galambos is a brand strategist and the founder of ArrowPost Digital Marketing. Blending passion for the industry with 10 years of marketing and communications experience, she works with ambitious online coaches to develop strong, authentic brands that will allow them to attract the right clients for them (with less convincing).