Brand consistency is more important than ever — here's why
If you’re in the process of building a brand, you may be wondering how to set yourself apart from the hundreds of other brands marketing to the same audience. How do you make your brand stand out from the pack? How do you convey your unique brand identity to your target audience? How do you get people to recognize and remember your brand?
It’s all about brand consistency. Just like you might be a little cautious trusting someone who constantly flip-flops their opinions and how they talk to you, how can you trust a brand that doesn’t give you strong, consistent messaging?
This article is part of Air’s Ultimate Guide to Branding. Click here to explore the rest!
What is brand consistency?
If you want to create a memorable brand experience for your customers, every single touchpoint representing your brand out there in the world has to sing in concert. Your brand message must ring loud and true, giving off a unique personality, voice, and tone.
Brand consistency is a brand’s ability to maintain cohesion and uniformity across all brand assets, experiences, and products. All your marketing efforts, every aspect of your customer experience, all your visual elements have to align to create a relatable and trustworthy brand.
Keeping every element of your branding consistent ensures that your brand draws the attention of customers, potential and existing, without ever confusing them. Customers should know exactly what to expect from your brand — they should know what makes you you, and why that makes you different.
Examples of consistent branding
Bev is one example of a company absolutely nailing brand consistency and developing an audience of fiercely loyal customers as a result. The canned wine company took on the challenge of making their brand stand out in a hyper-competitive, male-dominated industry. They knew that to succeed, they had to market their products differently from other alcoholic beverages, in a very crowded market.
They did so by creating a powerful brand identity, built around the idea of putting women first and creating a positive, inclusive drinking culture. Every aspect of their branding, from their brand name to their logo to their packaging, has a punchy feel to it while also exuding warmth and femininity.
Bev’s fun, quirky personality is consistent across all brand elements, from a consistent and unique color scheme that reflects their youthful, feminine vibe, to a resonant voice and tone. That tone is fearless and empowering, always repeating their core mission statement: “break the glass.”
Whether a customer is browsing Bev’s social media channels, driving past a Bev billboard, or holding a Bev can in their hand, they get a cohesive experience and come away with a clear idea of what the brand is all about. Every touchpoint lives up to Bev’s brand promise. For a deeper dive into how they built such a strong brand story, check out our interview with Charlotte Cooper, Bev’s Creative Director!
Hinge is another brand that has created a strong, cohesive brand identity in an industry dominated by huge players like Tinder. Promoted as the dating app “designed to be deleted,” Hinge has gained increasing popularity in recent years.
In sharp contrast with brands like Tinder, whose electric red-orange color palette and logos are evocative of the passionate flames of romance, Hinge is all about stability and trust — and every one of their brand assets reflects that message. Their consistent black and white colors and mellow designs reflect the simplicity and down-to-earth attitude that set Hinge apart from other dating apps.
Their marketing campaigns are smart and relatable — nearly a decade after Tinder hit the scene, it’s fairly common for people to roll their eyes at dating apps. There’s a fatigue around the culture these apps have created. Hinge’s anti-dating app messaging has the effect of building trust with those fatigued dating app users who still want to find love.
Additionally, their brand partnerships are very consistent with their brand identity. Hinge offers “pre-date” meditations in partnership with Headspace, a mindfulness app, to encourage users to relax and ground themselves before going out to meet others who are also looking for love.
It takes a ton of work, a stellar marketing team, and a commitment to your brand messaging to build a successful brand. Both Bev and Hinge have nailed their brand identity, and ensure that every asset they put out as brands, across all marketing channels, remains consistent with their core values and messages.
The importance of brand consistency
Maintaining a strong brand identity across all marketing materials, products, and customer experiences is how you achieve brand consistency. The strongest brands are the ones that people can immediately recognize — and a brand can only achieve this by consistently showing people what they look like, how they talk, what they represent.
The number one reason why brand consistency is so important is brand recognition. Think about a company like McDonalds, one of the most recognizable brands in the world. Even the combination of the colors red and yellow, in a context fully separate from the burger giant, probably makes you think of a McDouble.
If your branding efforts aren’t consistent, how can you expect existing customers, let alone potential customers, to recognize your brand? Consistency builds trust — it’s reliability. Think about your favorite brands, local restaurants, clothing companies, anything. Think about a business that you’ve been patronizing for years and years. What keeps you coming back? The answer is consistency.
How to achieve brand consistency
The secret to building a consistent brand is establishing clear-cut, robust brand guidelines. Lay out color palette and visual design requirements in a brand style guide that’s thorough and easy-to-use for all of your marketers and designers.
While it’s extremely important to maintain consistency on the visual side of your brand, don’t forget about your brand values, your larger mission, and brand voice. Customers care not only about what your brand looks like, but also how it sounds, and what it represents in terms of values.
One major recommendation: if you don’t have someone on your team dedicated to brand management, change that. Hire a brand manager. Other people can also fulfill that role — one of your marketers, the CEO, a creative director — but you absolutely must have someone who has the final say on everything your brand puts out. Without one person representing a single source of truth, it’s easy to get confused about what your brand is at the core.
How you can use Air to organize brand assets
Modern brands tend to produce an extremely high volume of content. From packaging designs to social media posts, from banner ads to logo designs, it takes many different visual assets to create a consistent brand. It’s important that everyone working for a specific organization can access those assets whenever and wherever they need.
There’s a variety of digital asset management solutions available on the market that offer cloud storage and sharing — a way to store your assets in such a way that anyone who needs to access them can do so from anywhere.
Air’s free brand board template
Air is the only tool on the market designed to facilitate creative operations in a way that’s truly useful for modern brands. It’s a visual platform for visual work in a visual world. In Air, internal teams and external collaborators (such as agencies, or freelance graphic designers) can come together in one workspace to store, share, and review content.
If you want to start using Air to achieve brand consistency right now, you can start for free with 5 GB. Make a board (Air’s version of folders) to hold your brand guidelines. Store templates, color palettes, logos, and anything else your creative collaborators might need to make visual content. It’s all right there, a single source of truth to drive brand consistency.