Keeping Your Brand Between the Lines
Among the most important elements of any effective branding strategy is consistency. Your brand is really the sum total of a number of key touch points that affect your business internally and externally every day. Maintaining consistency across all of them presents a constant and ongoing challenge. Rising to that challenge, keeping things consistent, is the secret sauce behind an authentic, enduring brand.
People buy from people they like and trust, and consistency and trust go hand in hand. We all know that trust takes time. It’s not grown overnight. Staying true to your brand over the long haul, paying attention to the small stuff and keeping things constant, these are the cornerstones in building those trusting, lasting customer relationships. In a crowded marketplace with consumers bombarded with choices, the trusted brand wins every time.
From designers to your marketing and sales teams to your company’s vendors, your brand elements pass through a lot of hands as your project or product makes its way out the door and into the market. An inaccurate color change here, a slightly different font usage there will result in a slow and steady watering down of your brand that muddies your message and confuses your target customers.
So how can you ensure that your brand stays consistent? At Cronin Creative, we provide a detailed brand guidelines document (aka brand standards) at the conclusion of every branding project. Designed to serve as on ongoing reference tool that keeps things on brand, these guidelines eliminate any guesswork for you and your team, serving as guardrails that keep your brand between the lines and moving forward.
Another way to ensure brand consistency is to choose that detail-oriented person on your staff to serve as a “brand watchdog,” charged with making sure that your messaging and the many visual aspects of your brand identity conform to those established brand standards, and that they are applied consistently and predictably across all platforms.
Whether your business is large, small, or in between, brand guidelines are designed to help you maximize the considerable power of the authentic, enduring brand you’ve worked hard to perfect. Forbes Media CEO Steve Forbes describes brand building as “the single most important investment you can make in your business.” Brand guidelines are one great way to protect that investment.