What’s in a Brand?

It seems that when many of us think of a certain brand, we also think of the visual elements of that brand first. If you are thinking about the most popular athletic gear and shoes, you could close your eyes and instantly see the logos for Adidas and Nike. Spark NZ is known for their controversial and dynamic recent rebranding. Starbucks is known for their green straws and their mermaid, McDonalds is known for their arches and signage.

A brand is so much more than just the logo, the sign, the design, and the visual appeal of the brand. The power and recognisability of the image come from the services, the product, and the customer experience that is associated with it.

So what are some better ways that you can maintain consistency for your brand? Let’s take a look at some simple implementations that you can start making with your brand now, to help maintain your vision, and extend your reach.

1) Being Consistent Isn’t Boring

Phil Knight and the team at Nike have been using the same Nike Swoosh logo since 1971. Sure, they have had some small changes in how they present that swoosh by changing the colors or the graphics around it, but the power of that image and the logo have stayed the same. Today, it is considered a classic brand belonging to the Lovemarks category.

Don’t think of being consistent with your image as boring. Think of it as building something iconic that is going to make your brand recognisable for years to come.

2) Getting the Team on The Same Page

Which are the brands that you are inspired by?

What are the favorite brands of teammates and members of your company?

Getting your team together on a regular basis to talk about brands that they are inspired and influenced by is a great team building experience. It will also help you develop the perfect design and image what what you want your brand to look like.

When everyone is on the same page, it’s a good idea to have a guide that describes the image and the voice of your brand. If you have team members that are posting, speaking, and emailing on behalf of the company, you want to be sure that you keep the same tone (whether that be conversational, professional, etc.) and language across the board.

3) Put Together a Style Guide

All of the best companies use them, and you should put one together to. Branding style guides may vary, but most of them will include:

– The company’s name

– The mission statement

– The company motto or slogan

– Any and all logos and designs that are associated with the brand

–  The font styles you use

– Copy guidelines for writing and the voice of the brand

4) Full Access

Make sure that everyone on the team that is distributing or using any kind of branding materials has access to them. Keep them in an open cloud file so that you can maintain brand consistency with the use of your name and signage.  

5) Brand Enforcers

Designate some reliable advocates of your brand, within your company, to police the use of your image and your name. Not that you want to hinder creativity or change, but you are going to need to rely on some help to make sure that the representation of your brand is consistent.

Over Time

As the years pass, brands will mold and change to adapt to economic conditions and to better serve their team and their customers, but there are some things that should remain static. Familiarity with your brand will breed comfortability, and consistency is a powerful tool that can take your brand from being the new kid on the block, to a household name.