The Importance of Consistent Branding

By Amanda Keeffe

We’ve all been there. You go to brush your teeth, when much to your dismay, you’re out of toothpaste.

It’s time for a Target run.

You hop in your car, park, walk in, and head for the toothpaste aisle. But not before getting distracted by something that catches your eye … even though you came for only one thing! You get your toothpaste and discover it’s 10% off right now with the Cartwheel app. You pull out your phone, apply the discount, and pay with your Red Card.

Whether you realize it or not, you’ve experienced consistent branding from the minute you pulled into the parking lot.

Image courtesy: Lindsay Mason (www.masonlindsay.com

Whether you realize it or not, you’ve experienced consistent branding from the minute you pulled into the parking lot.

From the obvious red-shirted employees, bullseye graphics, promotional signage, and slogans (expect more. pay less.), to the not-so-obvious layout of the store (there’s a reason you always stop at the $1 rack when you walk in!), your Red Card, and everything in between – every detail has been curated to bring you a consistent message and shopping experience – both in-store and digitally. Even the term “Target run and done!” is a part of Target’s messaging.

So, we know Target has consistent branding in every aspect – and yes, internally too! But why is it important? Is it only important for large corporations?

The short answer: No! Every brand should be consistent. And it’s more than just slapping your logo and slogan on everything. And here’s why:

1. It’s easily recognizable.

That commercial you heard on TV before you left to get your toothpaste? Why did you instantly know it was a Target commercial long before you heard, “expect more. pay less.”? The look and feel is so “Target”, you instantly know it can’t be anything else. And the bullseye? You don’t even need to read the word Target, and yet you know exactly what that red and white graphic means.

2.    It builds consumer trust.

Having consistent branding and messaging makes you credible and trustworthy. If your brandingis consistent, what elseare you consistent in? Your great customer service? Your phenomenal products? Consumers trust consistent branding, whether they realize it or not. Think about it: would you trust a coworker who shows up to work looking like they just left the gym – disheveled and smelly? Or would you be more trusting of the employee who shows up looking professional every day?

That leads me to my next point …

3.    You look professional.

It may seem obvious, but having a consistent, cohesive look makes you look professional! It sets you apart and ultimately, enhances your level of marketing.

So …How do I start making my branding consistent?

1.    It all starts with a Mission Statement.

Every business should have one. It’s the core of your business. Your goal. What you stand for. Your brand messaging and look and feel should reflect back to your Mission Statement.

2.    Develop and implement Brand Standards.

t’s a guideline for your brand’s colors, fonts, logos, verbiage, etc. Do you need to be as extensive with your brand standards as Target? [see here}  Probably not, unless your business is the size of Target. But even a basic brand standards guide helps the marketing department, and the company as a whole to stay – you guessed it – consistent.

3.    Implement your consistent branding and messaging in all content.

That magazine ad? That social media post? Keep your tone the same. Keep the look the same. It all goes back to Target’s commercial. You knew it was Target before you heard “Target.” They didn’t just get there overnight. They were vigilant and consistent. And it sets them apart.

You’ve worked hard to get your brand to where it is today. Elevate it to the next level with consistent branding. It’s not always easy, but in the long run, the payoff is well worth it.

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