If you have a heartbeat, you’ve wasted a significant amount of time on the internet. So you’ve probably played these games that test how many logos you can recognize or how many brands you can identify without seeing their names or logos.
The point of these tests is to show that these brands’ identities are such a big part of our lives that we can identify them with little prodding. The reason why we can identify Coca Cola or Snickers with little information is because of brand consistency.
“Consistent branding allows marketers to differentiate their product, deliver key messaging, and encourage loyalty by driving authority and trust in their product or business. By keeping a tight rein on brand consistency, marketers can drive customer perception from the onset of the engagement all the way through the buyer decision making process.” – Kathryn Drake, Launch Marketing
Research shows that businesses with well-managed, consistent brands are worth up to 20% more than those who aren’t. But how can you maintain brand consistency mean when you’re not a Coca-Cola or Snickers? And what does it mean in the online world?
Consider these facts (Source):
Consistent color palette improves brand recognition by 80%.
Customers need to see your color 12 times before they start recognizing it with association to your brand (this is why retargeting helps.)
90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. Visuals are processed 60,000x faster in the brain than text.
60% of consumers are more likely to click on a business whose images appear in search results.
The message here is that visuals are instrumental to consistent branding. When it comes to your social media platforms and website, not having uniform images and colors across all social networks is disorienting to the user. So using the same pictures and logos give users a visual cue that the various platforms are related and unified under the big umbrella of your brand.
“Inconsistency in your company story, which includes your tone, messages, look, products and services, will make you seem like a business with multiple personality disorder. And no one wants to do business with a brand with an identity crisis.” – Debbie Williams, SproutContent
Content that is uniform in structure and execution solidifies your brand’s authority and professionalism. Here are some tips to help you maintain consistency with your content.
Use the same tone, voice and style on your brand’s website, social media platforms, newsletter, emails, etc.
Have structure in place for all platforms. For example, we structure our blogs by having an anecdote at the beginning, etc. The content is always different but the structure is comforting and a subconscious cue that you’re reading an Onboardly post. So even if all our identifiers were stripped from the page, you would know the post belonged to our blog.
Spell things the same way (colour vs color).
Always use good grammar. Nothing undermines the authority of your brand more than bad grammar. Not only does it muddle the clarity of your message, but it makes you look like a hack that can’t proofread. If you’re having problems in the grammar department, use a grammar check tool, like Grammarly
Creating a style guide is significant when it comes to helping you maintain brand consistency. With it, you and your team can decide and outline how you will package your visual and editorial messages. That way everyone is on the same page.
Brands That Get It Right
Zipcar’s novel business model already separates them from other car rental services. But in order for people to see that they truly are different, they have to convey that through their branding.
The copy on their website (pictured above) communicates the simplicity of their service through the use of short sentences and active verbs. You get the feeling that they take care of whatever worries you may have about renting a car.
The similarities of their Twitter profile (pictured above) and their Facebook page (pictured below) also convey their professionalism and their individuality.
The logo and uniform color schemes and identical text and graphics show the former and the visual connotation (Zipcar’s tie to social good) show the latter.
Seamless takes the pain out of delivery with their online ordering service. Since they are not a brick and mortar service, keeping brand consistency on their online platforms is a must.
Their bright color schemes, simple, yet effective logo and engaging graphics let you know who they are (whether you are on Facebook (pictured above) or Twitter (pictured below) before your eyes can take the time to read their name.
All of this online work translates to their subway ads, which are consistently succinct and relatable through their humorous tone and style.
Manhattan Mini Storage’s name summarizes their service (They offer storage space in Manhattan). With such a simple business model, it would be easy to be lazy when it comes to their marketing.
Instead, they differentiate themselves from the countless storage services found in the concrete jungle through their branding, which they solidify by maintaining brand consistency. Notice how their Facebook page and website (pictured above and below) are uniform in color scheme and tone.
Just glancing at their web presence lets you know what they are about, their brand personality and even information on discounts they offer. From their website and Facebook page to their ads scattered around New York City, their snarky tone stays the same while getting their message across.
Having a consistent brand identity is more than just having matching profiles, it has tangible effects on your brand’s sales and the consumer’s trust. Just a few simple fixes could take you from unprofessional and disorienting to authoritative and cohesive. When you think of it that way, maintaining consistent branding seems like a no-brainer.
Do you have any tips on brand identity? Let us know in the comments.