Branding is how businesses communicate the very essence of their mission to the world. It is how a company creates an emotional connection with their consumers through identity, voice and image. It involves a synergy of graphic design, writing style, messaging and much more. Without a consistent voice, the audience will become confused away from trusting a brand and won’t build a lasting relationship with what is offered. With every product launch or new brand strategy, the same voice must persist or the connection with your customers will be lost. With a fiercely competitive market, consistency is more critical than ever if a brand is expected to succeed long-term.
Consistency, Consistency, Consistency!
We can’t quite drum it in enough! Without continuity in messaging, affinity and trust between consumer and your brand will perish. The colors, fonts and logo of your campaign must have a synergistic graphic connection, but above all, your values, mission and purpose must always be at the heart of your messaging. 87% of consumers buy from companies that share their values. This is why clear and thorough branding guidelines that consider every possible use of graphics and set the tone for your company’s “voice”, are critical for consistent messaging and consumer recognition.
Authenticity Starts From Within
Branding should extend beyond what the consumers see – It should be built into the core values of the way a company operates. Internal company communications should maintain the same tone and style as public-facing messaging so consistency of voice is authentic. Nike has one of the most powerful brands today where a simple check instantly sparks the recognition of a brand that is strong, daring and righteous. They have extended this into the celebrities featured in their most recent campaigns. The choice of Colin Kaepernick as the face of the brand produced a controversial campaign that could have affected the company for better or worse. The authenticity of the statement was positive for Nike with online sales growing by 31% the weekend following the launch of this campaign. The power of authenticity!
Going through the process of developing branding guidelines is useless if not implemented effectively. Staff must be trained to understand the motivation for design choices, instead of simply being asked to follow them. There needs to be an interactive workshop detailing everything they need to know about the business’ history, core values and tone of voice. Whether speaking with a customer or crafting social media language, each stage in a customer’s journey will be branded with continuity when the whole team are on board with what you’re trying to achieve.