Here you are with your well researched, solid, unique, designed brand and you’re hitting the next problem. Doing all the work to create your brand is not enough. Consistent branding is what most people struggle with. But there are a couple of things you can do to stay consistent each and every day.
Why is it important to keep your branding consistent
Showing up in a consistent way helps people to recognize your brand and what it stands for. It helps you to gain their trust and differentiate your brand from other competitors in your field. If you want to know more, read this post: Why brand consistency matters
What does it mean to stay consistent
First of all, you have to figure out what your brand stands for; especially your brand values and purpose should be clear. Think about what you want to be known for and what you provide your audience with apart from the actual product you sell. Once you have this down you have to act accordingly with everything your brand gets involved in. This affects mainly your brand design and voice.
How to keep your branding consistent
Memorize your values
The first thing you have to do is, take a piece of paper, write down your brand values, and pin this over your desk. This way they stay constantly on your mind. Look at them regularly and verify what you are doing aligns with your values. Even if these are tiny things like writing social media posts or creating a blog post image. Believe me, it’s a powerful thing. Try it out yourself.
This might seem like a daunting task but it’s absolutely necessary if you want to constantly produce and create things on brand. It takes some time to accumulate all the information but it will speed up your daily work once you have those guidelines set.
You should create a complete brand guide that includes all the information needed on a regular basis and make it as comprehensive as you can. I would divide this guide into 3 parts: brand foundation, style, and voice.
This is where you can include your purpose or mission statement, brand story, the character traits of your brand persona, target audience and again your brand values. Basically, this is the part that builds up your brand and defines it.
Here you add a face to your brand. In this style guide, you have to assemble everything you need in order to make your brand design work. You should include your logo + variations and define what to use where. You also want to add a color scheme and the fonts you use. Make sure to note details like font sizes for headlines and body copy as well. Other things to include are style elements, icons, and patterns.
The voice guide might seem a bit difficult. How do you define guidelines for how you talk and write? The first thing you can do is to think about how you want to come across. Write down the adjectives that describe your voice. Are you more funny or serious, forward or reserved? You should also note the phrases you use constantly. This could be a tagline or slogan but also how you answer the phone or how you end an email. Other things to add are words you use regularly and how you write them (e.g. all caps). Some brands use a special way of writing out their names or product name. Lastly, add some samples of text you can refer to e.g. short bio or advertisement.
Having templates for everything absolutely changed my life. Create templates for social media, advertising, and blog post images. You can even make one for blog posts or your newsletter. It saves you from starting all over every time and keeps you from getting sidetracked. All your images will be consistent because you only change text or maybe a background image and it’s done. Adobe also gives you the advantage of creating libraries for the things you use often like colors, style elements, or fonts.
One last word
Being consistent with your branding doesn’t mean you are boring. It only means you know what your brand is about and you are reliable. Make sure you stay true to your brand and your audience will show up consistently because they know you will give them what they need.