Keeping Your Brand Consistent

Posted by Surround Integrated on March 24th, 2015

What is a brand?

Your brand is any name, trademark, verbiage, logo, designs or other feature that differentiates your product or service from your competitors. Your brand is your identity in business. Find it, own it, tell everyone about it and if it’s working – don’t ever change it or vary from it.

What makes up a brand?

Branding isn’t just catchy slogans and jingles. In addition to your company name, logo, colours, slogan and graphics, branding can speak to each of the five senses. Branding includes patented tastes, movements, sounds and even smells. Essentially, anything that you have created that people can see, hear, feel, smell or taste is your brand.

Know your brand and stick to it.

All elements of your brand should together, send a unified message to potential customers about who you are. Even having one element not completely in-line with your brand could cause confusion among customers and take away from the brand you’ve worked so hard to build.

If you are a new business and are in the process of branding your business, think long and hard about who you are and how you want people to see you. If you are established and considering rebranding, think even longer and harder than you did when you decided on your brand. Rebranding is a huge risk with the potential for a huge reward…or a huge headache.

Rebrand fails.

In 2010, GAP introduced an updated logo replacing the logo we have known and loved for over 20 years. Not even a week after putting the new logo out to the public, GAP reverted to their old design. You don’t even want to know how much money and hard work went into the rebrand.

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In 2009, Kraft revealed a new brand identity including a new logo. Marketing and design companies as well as customers were in an uproar. Half a year later, Kraft reverted to their original version.

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How to keep your brand consistent.

Brand guidelines or a style guide can be extremely helpful when brand marketing. Familiarize yourself with the guidelines and refer to them frequently, especially when creating new marketing materials and campaigns. These guidelines will be particularly helpful on big projects like a new website as they include fonts, colours and imagery.

Companies often have a general brand but are not completely consistent with it. A marketing agency can help established companies solidify their brand and develop a brand guideline. When working on big projects, it can be easy to review the brand and develop a guideline at the same time.

To summarize…

Your brand is your identity, it’s what customers perceive you to be. Staying consistent with your brand will help you build that brand and increase sales.