I have spent years trying to dispel the myth that marketing is just about making things look pretty! My mission has always been to convey the message that marketing efforts should span the whole business looking at the processes, people, systems used and how each of these can improve the customer journey and experience. However, I’ve come to realise that the importance of ‘looking pretty’ should not be underestimated. The ‘pretty’ bit is in fact in marketing geek speak ‘Branding Continuity’. Sadly, underrated by many, it is an essential factor for any business to remain on top, achieve brand recognition and market success.
So, what is it? Why does it matter so much and how is it achieved?
Your brand is more than just your logo
Branding continuity is about adopting a consistent approach across all your marketing efforts. Unified branding means all your materials must have the same look and feel. This is achieved by using the same fonts, colour schemes, style of imagery and can even extend to the positioning of your logo.
Retailers are well and truly top of the branding continuity charts. They have recognised its importance and how it can reinforce the image and messaging of their business. For the most well-known brands we can very often recognise one of their adverts without even seeing a logo.
Raising brand awareness
Regardless of the size or scale of your business, branding continuity should not be overlooked and is increasingly important as a business grows. If you have a business operating across multiple sites you should ensure all staff are ‘singing from the same songsheet’. If there is no continuity and you keep changing your look it’s easy to confuse your customer. Adopting a unified approach can not only aid brand awareness and recognition but over time with positive experiences and familiarity, can evoke feelings of comfort and trust.
How can I achieve it?
Understand your brand - consider what you want your branding to convey – your choice of logo, typeface, colours all say something about your business. Make sure what you have is fit for purpose and accurately portrays your brand values.
Brand book - if you don’t already have one create a basic set of branding guidelines for your business. It doesn’t need to be a ‘book’ or overly complicated just enough to tell your staff what you expect. What fonts they should use, colours, styles of imagery and possible positioning of logo. You may also want to give examples of stationery that is to be used.
Make use of technology - technology can play a big part in ensuring your branding continuity. For example most CRM and accounting systems have the facility to create branded templates. Once these are set-up you no longer need to worry about maverick staff selecting random fonts that don’t comply with your guidelines.
Review existing documents - take a look at your existing customer correspondence (standard emails, quotations, invoices, sales proposals, newsletters, etc). Could they be improved upon – is there consistency across your communications?
This is a simplified take on a big topic but a drum I like to bang! My former colleagues nicknamed me the ‘font police’ for my love of this very subject so as always, if you’d like practical hands-on assistance, please give me a call or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.