Visual Communicator, User Experience, Information Architect, Art Director, Strategist

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Stick to It! Visual Brand Consistency

Posted on December 7, 2009 in Branding

When you think about one of your favorite brands, you almost instantly get a mental picture (and that gut feeling we talked about here) of that brand. With the big hitters it’s easy; Target, Starbucks, WalMart have spent countless dollars on making sure that when you see a communication vehicle with their name on it – you know instantly who is trying to get your attention.

When an email campaign, magazine ad, whatever – ends up in my line of sight, the situation might go something like this:

“Hi Tim, this is Starbucks, remember me? Of course you do, the warm and mellow greens and browns, the classy photography, – you can almost smell the coffee – you couldn’t forget me if you tried. Well now that I have your attention, I have a message for you … “

And there you have it. Since Starbucks knows that I have been programmed to look for brands that I recognize (and like) – they now can open up a direct line of communication much easier than ever before. Now, I may or may not (but probably will) act on their tricky marketing tactics. But – at least they said “Hi, we are still here – for you.”

Important note: Statistics show that brand based decisions rank very high. Usually, this means that even if your product is not the cheapest, it will most likely be the first choice, even against other products of equal price. We call this brand loyalty. This puts the proverbial ball back in your court. Now YOU, the brand have to maintain that loyalty.

Back to maintaining your visual brand, it’s important that you try not to derail the work you have done to be sure your brand is recognized, that the message is consistent – and the person (yes, remember – we are reaching people!) knows it’s you, right away.

Quick tips on maintaining visual brand consistency:

  • Make sure your logo, mark is always displayed in a like manner (ie: same place on a magazine ad, billboard, website, etc.)
  • Maintain use of corporate colors, color schemes, graphic style
  • Photographic style should be consistent, if at all possible – custom.
  • Type style (fonts) should remain the same (tip: limit to two typefaces for your brand, one for your logo/headlines, second for copy)
  • Your brand (colors, look/feel, photography) should be reflected in your office (at least the foyer), and especially in your store/retail establishment

The above list only scratches the surface of visual brand consistency, and of course this usually works out best if you have an agency (hint-hint) – helping you maintain your brand, on all levels. If not, it’s important that someone is watching over it, maintaining your visual identity.

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