The difference between an adequate brand and a stellar brand is consistency. To be as effective as possible, your brand needs to project a focused, congruent message whenever and wherever it’s encountered across the web. Consistency doesn’t just happen organically, either. The consistency of your company brand needs to be a definitive goal that is constantly evaluated, tweaked and adjusted to meet the ever-changing needs of the organization and the public’s perception. Here are four great tips to keep your brand consistent over time and across the web.
A brand guide is a visual guideline that all necessary people in your organization can refer to in order to understand and execute branding for your company. It can consist of images, illustrations, descriptive words and paragraphs, fonts, colors, point of view and more. The brand guide essentially is a blueprint for the “skin” or tone that your company wants to put across to the public.
To develop a brand guide, get your creative team together to discuss your brand identity. One of the easiest ways to get started with this abstract project is to have your team brainstorm what they feel is the company brand, or message. Let the team know that any and all suggestions are acceptable. Later, you and your decision makers can sift through the suggestions and keep the ones that make sense for your business branding goals. Polish and finalize the brand guide when you’re finished, because this will be a resource that you should refer to again and again over the years.
From one-man operations to international corporations, businesses need to be aware of the formidable influence of social networks. In stark contrast to the past days of big, expensive Madison Avenue advertising campaigns, businesses of every size are taking their brand messaging to the public streets of everyday people. They already understand what you need to start realizing; buying decisions are strongly impacted by people’s social circles. And in today’s Internet connected world, everyone’s social circle is expanding.
Twitter is one of the most popular mediums for broadcasting quick and relevant messages to your customers. Almost everyone has a Twitter account, and whether they use it to tweet or to get tweets, the Twitter platform is one your business needs to stand on. One reason for Twitter’s popularity for business branding is its quick and easy messaging system. Users are limited by character count, which makes it easy for busy readers to get the message and move on to the next attention-grabber.
Whether your business uses Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or other social media platforms, your brand needs to stay clear and consistent across them all.
Online ads are an effective and frugal marketing method that most companies use to get noticed. But if your company message is convoluted or confusing, you may be doing more harm than good. Remember that your audience will likely see your ads in more than one location. You don’t have to use the same ads or layout for every online ad you use, but there needs to be consistency throughout. The company logo should always be present, the colors should match your company logo colors, and the fonts need to be recognizable to your audience as being uniquely yours. Even the tone of the ads needs to be consistent in the ads in order to help put forth your company brand as being familiar.
Your branding needs to appear on all your company content. It doesn’t all have to look identical, but there should be some recognizable and familiarity that your audience can pick up on. If you keep in mind that your company brand is the face of your company, it makes sense. You would never go out into the world without your face, and your company should never be out on the web without the branding. Whether your company is putting out downloadable content, infographics, webinars, blog graphics and more, the brand should be apparent. Find tools like Canva to personalize your imagery, or ClickMeeting for brandable webinars. Likewise with the brand tone. If your company representative is posting comments on forums or social media, the voice of your company brand should be recognizable in all the comments.
Your company brand is like your company face and reputation. It’s a valuable asset that can be compared to the most precious assets your company owns. Once you have established a brand through your brand guide creation, apply it across the board and across the web at every opportunity.