Brand consistency is essential when growing a business and is vital for a businesses success (big or small) in the long run.
Luckily, due to social media and advanced technology of modern day, we have so many opportunities to show up and expose our business more than ever before. One thing we have to keep in mind, however, is to ensure we are always showing up “on brand” to build trust, attract our target customers and build a loyal following.
Easier said than done right?…
Building a cohesive and consistent brand is not as easy as it seems. It takes a lot of resources, strategizing, planning and a complete 360 understanding of who you are and what you stand for. It’s oftentimes overlooked in the initial stages of business planning.
We understand the difficulty in this, which is why we have put together 5 key points below to consider to ensure you are consistent with your branding for the long-run.
1. Develop Brand Guidelines.
What are brand guidelines? Essentially, brand guidelines serve as a manual that explains how your brand should be used.
Every brand needs a unique set of brand identity guidelines to ensure consistency, persistence and restraint and when the guidelines are not followed, your entire brand promise and brand story can be compromised, leading to confusion, which ultimately is the number one killer of brands.
Brand guidelines include everything from defining your mission and your target audience to the the logo, logo marks, typography, colour palette, patterns, symbols etc.
See below a visual example of Brand Guidelines:
It’s so important for a business to have clearly set out brand guidelines so the team members leading marketing campaigns, advertising or even social media campaigns understand how the business should show up not only from a visual aspect but from a messaging standpoint as well.
A clearly set out brand guideline package is a powerful tool for every business and we highly recommend working with a graphic designer or branding agency to define (or redefine) your design strategy to build consistency, loyalty and trust with your community for the long-run.
Need to define your brand identity or feel like your brand identity is all over the map? Get in touch with us here for a FREE consultation or brand audit.
2. Understand and live by your mission.
In order to consistently show up on brand, it’s important you and your team not only understand, but consistently live by your businesses mission.
By understanding and living by your mission, you will be able to draw in your ideal customers and continue to remain on brand in all your marketing initiatives.
Once you have total buy in and understanding of your businesses mission from your entire team, allow it to serve as a framework for content creation and a template for decision making. Your mission will provide the boundaries and guardrails you need in order to stay on the path to your preferred future and guide all of your marketing campaigns with clear direction.
3. Invest in your toolbox.
When it comes to marketing on social media, there are SO many resources out there today that help business owners stay on brand. Once you have your brand guidelines set out and are ready to get your business out there to the world, we recommend a few apps that will help with your overall branding AND save you time.
If you’re a small business wearing all the hats and if one of the hats you wear is to manage marketing campaigns, then we highly recommend using Canva.
We recommend Canva to all of our clients as it allows our clients to easily create their own branded marketing content! After you’ve worked with a branding agency it’s important you continue to create content for your community that is on brand, using your finalized colour palette, chosen typography and overall theme and vision that you’ve agreed on, CONSISTENTLY. Canva makes it SO easy for businesses to create their own social content and the learning curve is extremely low. Your design agency will set you up with all the correct files to pull into Canva so you can continue to manage your branding like a pro.
PS. Canva can be downloaded easily on the App store of your mobile device for free.
2. Photo Editing Apps
Ok, we could go on and on when it comes to amazing photo editing apps. But we have narrowed it down to our 2 favs.
VSCO. We love VSCO! VCSO is a photo editing app that already has custom pre-sets to use on your own images and easily allows you to edit multiple images at once using the same pre-set. The reason why we like VSCO over other photo editing apps, is we find the platform to be super user-friendly, and the fact that you can edit almost 30 photos at once in a matter of seconds, is how we like to roll 🙂 Did we mention it’s completely FREE? You can purchase certain pre-sets if you’d like, but why not just create them yourself in a matter of minutes?
Lightroom CC (mobile). Lightroom is one of the leading photo editing applications out there and Adobe offers a completely free application for mobile! Although we do prefer the Desktop paid version, the mobile free version allows you to edit photos in lightroom like a pro on the fly. You can take basic photos taken on your mobile device and totally jazz them up to look like professional shots, in a matter of seconds.
PS. Lightroom CC can be downloaded easily on the App store of your mobile device and you can purchase so many pre-sets if you don’t have the time or energy to create them on your own.
When marketing your business on social media, we recommend planning in advance how you want to show up. Do you want your feed to have a light and airy look, or a dark and moody look? With these two photo editing apps recommended above, you can easily set your standards for all of your posts, and ensure your content is consistent (and looks damn good) for the long-run.
4. Know your voice.
Similar to designing concepts for your brand visuals in Step 1, it’s also just as important to clearly define your brand voice and personality in the early stages of brand development.
There is power in staying true to your brand and each and every time you talk about your business (whether it’d be in person or online) and it’s important to ensure your messaging is consistent and that you always stand by what your business believes in.
A great way to define your brand voice would be to ask yourself:
“Who would my brand be if it were a real person?”
“How would I show up and what would I sound like?”
Setting a clearly defined brand voice in the early stages of brand development helps to set a roadmap on how you plan to communicate with your community for the long-run and can save you time as you’ll have a more clearly defined communication strategy to guide all of your messaging.
Lastly, get yourself out there!
There’s no way you are going to build a community and a following if you don’t expose your business!
There are so many incredible ways to get your business out there and grow your business organically. Attending networking events in your community, building a community on social media, or even joining specific Facebook groups that host your ideal customers. We are lucky to have access to such incredible communities and pools of potential consumers right at our fingertips. In today’s competitive markets, it’s important to consistently put yourself in front of your ideal customers as well as network and collaborate with other businesses to help drive further growth.
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