The Importance of Brand Consistency
I was recently asked to visit the head office of a new client in London to discuss how I could help them get their brand back on track.
At the time I had little idea as to how they intended me to help. At a glance they appeared to have a nice visual identity comprising a cleanly-designed logo, a fresh colour pallet and an engaging tone of voice.
Their product was awesome and their technical capabilities stewed my tiny brain but as I began to get to grips with who they were, what they offered and how they wanted to position themselves, I began to see gaping holes in the consistency of how they were presenting their brand.
Ensuring brand consistency is imperative for any organisation. Whether it’s your service offering, tone-of-voice of marketing materials or how you present yourself visually, you need to ensure that you cement peoples perceptions of who you are. And, these factors need to be delivered in a clear and consistent manner.
In this particular case, business had boomed, the company’s service offering had developed and the existing website was scaled to cater for new functionality and content.
The fact that the site had been built with this in mind reflected the organisations forward-thinking approach. But what let them down was the fact the different web technologies (Flash, Java, html and CSS) had been outsourced to different contractors, all of which took their own creative approach.
With no visual guidelines and varying degrees of creative ability this lead to a hotch-potch of visual styles that diluted their brand and severely disrupted the user experience of their website, which is essentially their product.
Bring It Back To Brand Basics
The problem occurred because the importance (and potential value) of their brand had been overlooked at the outset.
While a likable bunch of guys with nice design and a great product turned into a brand organically, and perceptions were created amongst those who engaged with them, they are now at a stage where they need to nurture those perceptions and steer them into a consistent message.
Where their brand is strong is within the service offering combined with the personality of the company. But the outward appearance is becoming wayward and needs to be put back on track, given firm direction and nurtured.
Identifying a clear brand strategy and creating a set of visual brand guidelines to work with, and nominating a ‘brand guardian’ to take ownership of the brand, would enable the company to regain the consistency that [at present] is lacking from their brand.
This uniformity would help to clarify their message and reassure their audience that the organisation is trustworthy, efficient and relevant to them.
Well that’s what I told them anyway. Watch this space...