Consistency across brands is a tricky beast to tame, and with over 70% of companies believing that inconsistent brand usage creates confusion, it’s essential to get it right. We break down how you can ensure visual consistency in 5 quick and easy steps.
The need for brand guidelines is undeniable. Creating a document which is easy to access and understand means your brand is always available for anyone internally or externally and means your content creation process will be streamlined.
Your brand guidelines should include everything from tone of voice to brand colours (we’ll get to that in a minute!).
However, just because brand guidelines, doesn’t mean the rules will be followed! Implement a brand guardian who is the official sign-off point of contact. This means all branded content goes through them and is given the ok. This person needs to completely understand your brand and what it stands for and check it’s being applied correctly.
Your logo is the quintessential aspect of your brand. It should define your brand and be instantly recognisable. The power of a good logo is amazing! Just take McDonald’s use of street lights to recreate their famous golden arches – the brand recognition is instantaneous.
Of course, logos need to be flexible to be used across all different platforms in a variety of sizes and formats. However, a squished or disproportionate logo, used as a Facebook avatar for example, looks extremely unprofessional. Consider if your entire logo needs to be used across all platforms or if you can alter it, for example Facebook using both the full word and the letter ‘f’ across different platforms.
This should be done as part of your brand’s inception but colour is a great way to inject personality and brand identity. Consider your main competitors and the colours they’re using and be consistent with how and why you use yours.
We use coloors.co which is a great tool for creating or expanding your colour palette. Simply select your base colour and click generator; the app will automatically display complementary colours to create a visually appealing palette.
But, be aware, colours can have connotations. For example, blue is seen as being very clinical, cold and clean so may not be right for your brand if you’re selling baby products. Our brand specialists can advise you on best practice for colour – just get in touch!
With the rise of visual content and free and paid-for apps being used by an increasing number of in-house teams, it’s more important than ever to ensure brand consistency across graphics and videos created.
If you’re using stock imagery, define the style you want to use and stick to it. Also do some competitor research to ensure you’re not all using the same generic London skyline imagery.
Use your colour palette and define typography to brand stock or raw imagery. Filters are also a great way of differentiating your content. Ideally, you should have a content guideline for your in-house designers and video editors so the content they’re creating all fits the same style. Whether that’s logos on social videos, set colours on set types of content or whatever. Create a guide and a checklist and use your brand champion to ensure nothing gets through that doesn’t fit your brand.
Remember, brand consistency isn’t the end of the process. Your brand needs to evolve with the times and brand identity should be revisited at least every five years.
With a team of brand specialists whether you’re rebranding, starting a new business or just want to explore your options, we can help you with everything from brand logos to colour palettes and tone of voice.
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