You want to stand out as a startup and break through the noise in your industry. You want people to know who you are and what you do. One way of achieving this is through brand consistency. Before we get into the important reasons behind why startups need a consistent brand, let’s start with what a brand is. While many people may think of a brand as a logo or the name of a product or service, a brand is in fact much more than that.
A successful brand is consistent, persuasive and subtle. A successful brand extends to multiple touch-points (a point of contact) such as in an advert on Facebook, to reading your weekly newsletter. These touch-points are each an entry into what your brand is about and what value you can provide to the customer.
Brand consistency is one of the primary characteristics that distinguish a company from the hundreds of other potential competitors. It is essential for your brand to be consistent. There are several ways in which your startup can achieve consistency with your brand and today we’re sharing design-based reasons and how you can start to implement them yourself.
While a logo/identity is a given for a company to exist, a consistent brand is crucial for a startup to be successful in the current market. I’m sure you know that 50% of all new businesses fail within the first 5 years. It is essential that your brand has the customer in mind at all times. Your customer must be offered an experience for them to benefit from your product, and a consistent brand makes this easier, simpler and a more pleasant experience for them.
You want your customer to experience the journey. The journey from the initial touchpoint such as an advert on Facebook, to clicking on your website, to them opting into the newsletter, opening that email, going back to your website and finally, buying into your product. These are all different touchpoints that the customer might experience in the lead up to purchasing. Throughout that journey, if the brand they experience is not consistent, with inconsistent aspects of design, this will lead to confusion, and confusion definitely does not lead to sales.
Having a consistent brand allows people to recognize your brand on social media, in advertisements, and is easy for people to recall when recommending a product or service. It’s through the repetition of these elements that affect the memorability and effectiveness of a brand.That is the key to standing out from your competition.
Ask yourself these questions: Do you think you have a strong identity? Will your customers remember your brand in a week's time? Does your brand evoke the appropriate emotional response? Do you look like all the others in the market? Does your brand look similar across all social channels and mediums? Does your brand identity extend across mediums with a consistent use of color, patterns, imagery etc.? Is the customer able to recognise the colour, logo and these combinations in all mediums?
A rebrand (complete re-design of your logo/identity) could be essential for you to create a consistent brand and to stand out. Or it could be tightening up the design aspects that are strewn across your website, newsletters, and social media. An impactful way to stand out from your competitors is through the skillful use of colour combinations, identity (logo), imagery, illustrations, and copy and much more.
Another way of ensuring your brand is consistent is by creating a personalised style guide for your company. This is a guide including all essential aspects of your brand such as all logo alternatives for different mediums, where and how these should be used, colour usage across mediums, alternative typography for web vs print working and much more.
It is essential that this guide is structured, simple and easy to use to ensure consistency when multiple people are working on producing assets at any one time. This should also be easily accessible for the whole team and ensured that everyone understands the guide fully before embarking on creating ANY assets that customers will come into contact with. While consistency it essential for any brand, it doesn’t mean that every design aspect will have the same appearance across mediums as different elements can be utilised.
Ask yourself these questions: Does your brand look the similar across all social channels and mediums? Does your brand identity extend across mediums with a consistent use of colour, patterns, imagery etc.? Is the customer able to recognise the colour, logo and these combinations in all mediums?