I’m sure you know why branding matters for your business. But how important is it to stay consistent with your brand? Surely changing up some colors or fonts here and there isn’t detrimental, right? Well, it might be.
Think about the big brands like Apple or Nike. They’ve been around for decades, and yet their logos and branding look just as relevant today as they did when they were first created. Everything from the colors to the shapes to the fonts in their logos is instantly recognizable. You can probably even picture their ads in your head just by hearing their names — that’s how effective they are at communicating a consistent brand image.
Brand consistency matters. This is true not just for the big companies like Apple and Nike, but also for small businesses and personal brands. Let’s dig into some reasons why maintaining consistency across your branding is an important factor for success.
Imagine for a minute you’re out shopping. You’re walking through the shop and out of the corner of your eye, you spot something. It immediately makes you think of your best friend. You just know she would love it, so you have to buy it for her. Or at least snap a picture and text it to her so she knows it exists. You’re able to know exactly what your friend would like not only because you know her, but because she’s consisent. This consistency allows you to immediately know when you see something she would love.
You want the same thing for your brand, right? That while a potential customer is scrolling through their feed, clicking through stories, or checking their email — they can immediately tell it’s from you. Because you have a distinct style that they recognize, no matter what channel or format you pop up in.
To use the same friend analogy, imagine your friend tells you one day that she really hates romcoms. Then, two weeks later, you overhear her telling someone else that she loves romcoms. You’d probably start to distrust her a bit. Did she lie to you? Is she lying to them? What does she really think?
Being consistent is a huge component of building trust. When you aren’t consistent, people start to feel like you aren’t being authentic. This can create doubt in a potential client’s mind about whether or not you are what you say you are. But when you present a consistent brand style and message, your audience knows what to expect from you. And the more you fit in with the expectations you’ve set, the more trust you build.
Finally, imagine all the things you and your friend have in common. Maybe you both connected at an animal shelter because you both love dogs. And after getting to know each other, you also realized you both went to the same college and also love Taylor Swift. These shared preferences and experiences build connection and, over time, a deeper relationship.
Once again, your brand works the same way! It’s very likely people decided to follow you on Instagram or sign up for your email newsletter because you said something that resonated with them. They made a connection and decided they wanted to see if you had even more in common. Brand consistency allows you to make that deeper connection and continue to relate to your audience over and over again.
Now that we know why brand consistency is so important to building trust and creating genuine connections in your business, let’s look at some of the ways you can maintain brand consistency across multiple touchpoints.
When you have a strong vision for how you want people to perceive your brand — and tangible strategies for how to impact that perception — it’s much easier to create a consistent brand presence. The more strategy you can have in place, the better. But at the very least try to have some brand keywords, some basic brand design, a clear message or unique value proposition, and a vision for the future of your business. If you’re struggling with this, we’ve got tons of great resources and support inside the community!
Brand values are an extremely important (and underrated) piece of the branding puzzle. Choosing core values that not only align with your business goals, but also your own personal goals and values, will help you to live those values in everything you do within your business. This is a great way to create a consistent brand presence without having to think too deeply about it. And by sharing these values, you’ll attract others who align with you and your business. This is especially useful in service-based businesses and personal brands, where you are an inextricable piece of your brand.
Having clear documentation of your brand is one of the best ways to ensure brand consistency. Brand guidelines not only hold you accountable, but also anyone who works with you in your business — from copywriters to photographers to virtual assistants and beyond. Having one single source of truth ensures that no one person “goes rogue” and muddies the waters when it comes to your brand. Including yourself! Brand guidelines help hold you accountable while also giving you a quick and easy reference point when making decisions.
Simply knowing what you want your brand to accomplish is a helpful way to ensure brand consistency. How do you want your audience to perceive your brand? How do you want to make others feel? What actions do you want them to take? Having clear answers to these questions will be your gut-check to ensure your brand is always moving you in the right direction.
The Gold Standard Brand Collective was created just for this. Our community is for up-and-coming founders to get the processes, tactics, and strategies to support you in mastering your brand with a human-first approach.
Every month, we dig into the steps of building our brands with live trainings, accountability sessions, real-life use cases, and more — so you have one go-to place for questions, resources, and support.