Have you ever seen the Virgin logo in green?
Have you ever seen JB HiFi put out a catalogue full of daisies and love hearts?
Do you ever pick up a block of Cadbury chocolate and find the flavour name written in good ol’ Microsoft Word Art?
Not a chance, but have a think for a moment: How would you feel or react if they ever did?
You’d think something was up. That someone else had made a knock-off product claiming to be that company. You’d probably think: ‘That’s not legit, that’s unprofessional - I don't trust that.'
That's because we’ve come to trust what the visual brands of these businesses look like: they represent quality and the real deal. In a snap second, their established brand illustrates that they’re serious about what they do and that they understand the importance of looking professional in conveying their position as an industry leader.
While these big name brands do have enormous design and advertising budgets at their disposal, the underlying technique of consistency is accessible to everyone. The basics you need in order to start creating a consistent brand that inspires client confidence is this set of guidelines:
- What is your logo?
- What are the two or three core colours your brand uses?
- What are the two or three core fonts that your brand uses?
- What is your style of photography and imagery?
These 4 elements create the initial backbone of a visual system, and when they’re in harmony - they do wonders for your business' brand and image.
Now, you'll want to take some time and planning to make sure that those decisions are the right ones, and that they do a successful job of visually communicating with your audience, because once you’ve locked those guidelines in, you’ll want to follow them like this panda follows it’s zookeeper - relentlessly - because when used over time, people will come to know this combination as your unique brand, and customers trust the brands they know with their attention and engagement. Just like Virgin, JB Hifi and Cadbury.
"Customers trust the brands they know with their attention and engagement"
Naturally a standout product or service is the most important thing for your business, but consistent branding will go a long way to developing that positive reputation and reliable relationship with your audience for that product. When you create a brand that people can easily identify and have confidence in, you create a business that can successfully attract and grow a dedicated following.
So this week, have a scan over all your current brand touchpoints: Your website, social media pages, business cards, packaging, flyers, posters, business cards etc.
How are they showing up? Do you see a solid, consistent style? Or do you see more of a visual 'mixed bag'.
Create answers to the 4 questions above, and based on your ideal responses, write a list of the areas you think could be improved in your visual brand and work towards making those changes.
You could even do a before and after shot if you’re really keen! I’ll bet you see some positive results.
'Till next time, Louise