Brand consistency! Why it matters

Brand consistency – Why it really does matter!

Studies have shown consistently that when we make purchases it tends to be an emotional decision rather than a practical one. Don’t get me wrong, I know you’re savvy! Many of us are very thorough and diligent in researching and checking around when we decide to make a purchase, especially if it’s a big one, and we make sure that we are informed. However, the weight we assign a company in that choice can be affected by factors that you may not realise are happening subconsciously, swaying you in one direction or another.

Let me put it another way… you’ve signed up at the local gym and you’re looking for a new pair of workout shoes. There are fifteen types of runners to pick from and you’re not overly familiar with the specifics of gym shoes so it’s a bit overwhelming. Then in the sea of choices you spot a brand that you know, let’s say it’s Nike. Now even though you aren’t really sure about which shoes to pick or why, your brain has just latched onto those Nike’s. Why is that? Well even though the Nike’s may be $30 dearer than the others, you are much more likely to pick the brand that feels familiar because familiar feels safe. It’s feels like you are buying something you know rather than risking the unknown and not being sure what to expect. Humans thrive on recognition, it’s the way we’re coded and what makes us feel like we’re in control. Nike has achieved this recognition through years of strict consistency to become one of the most recognisable brands in the world. If you see the words ‘Just do it’ or the Nike tick, it doesn’t matter where or how you see it, you will recognise it as being Nike and you will instantly think of them the way they have trained you to.

Put simply, consistency creates familiarity, which implies and imbues professionalism, predictability and trust into your brand.

To achieve brand consistency there are several factors that you need to nail down, and the best way to do this is by creating a style guide. This is a set of rules and specifications about your branding and how it is to be applied and used. It needs to contain information regarding your logo, colours, fonts, style and possibly a texture, shape or pattern.

Let’s break it down…

Logo

Your business logo should be relevant, current and professionally designed to have the best impact. It should stand out from the crowd and let your clients and potential clients know what you do and who you are.

Your logo is sacrosanct to your business – it’s your business identity – and should NEVER EVER be stretched, skewed or otherwise altered.

Your designer will be able to make you logo fit and sit correctly on a poster, brochure or product, you should never try to reshape your logo to fit where you want it.

After you have created your style guide and the necessary people have been trained in its use, make sure the relevant logo files are available for them to use. Part of this process needs to specify the minimum size your logo is able to be used at to maintain the integrity of the logo and retain readability. The last thing you want is for your logo to look like an indecipherable blob.

Colours

You should choose no more than 1 to 2 primary, and 2 to 3 secondary colours to use in your branding – including black and white. Your logo colours are the no brainer choices obviously, but in order for your logo to stand out it will need contrasting and/or complimentary colours to be seen against. These colours should also be consistent across your branding, the same as the logo itself. Colours are very much affected by the other colours used around them, which can change the appearance of your logo if you’re not consistent.

That doesn’t just mean that if you choose blue as one of your colours that any blue will do either! Blue isn’t just blue, which you very quickly realise if you’ve ever looked at paint. Pick a specific blue and note the CMYK and RGB mix so that it can be replicated to be recognisable as ‘your blue’. That way you will know reliably how it will look with your logo and you can ensure consistent results.

Colours are vastly powerful tools to direct how people react to you.

Ever noticed that most fast food places use a lot of red and yellow? Red attracts attention and triggers stimulation, appetite and hunger, and yellow triggers feelings of friendliness and happiness. Combined, they are a powerful subconscious suggestion that you are hungry now and that you enjoy that place. Study up on a little colour theory to learn which colours evoke the feelings that you want to trigger in your clients.

Font

The font or typeface you use in your logo goes a long way towards recognisability and needs to be carried throughout your branding. If you have a nice clean and modern sans-serif font in your logo but then suddenly switch to an old school style serif font it looks thrown-together, messy and unprofessional. Simply put, it just doesn’t look like it matches or is supposed to go together.

Keep it simple! Keep it clean!

Generally, your logo will have 1 to 2 fonts present in it, and those are what should be carried across to the rest of your marketing. It’s also worth noting that those two fonts might be available in several different styles, meaning you might be able to use those fonts in fine, regular bold and italic as well.

Style

Your style is the feel of your branding, and should be developed with your logo in mind. If your logo is clean, modern and light, your style should reflect that. You can imagine how unprofessional and mismatched your branding would look if you used layouts, textures and images that were heavy and grungy with a clean, modern light logo. It would just look out of place and awkward, and when things look awkward and out of place people feel put off and uncomfortable. Nobody wants to look at something awkward longer than they have to.

Start out picking a style that is relevant to your demographic, something that suits your brand.

If your business is modern décor, aim for your images and layouts to be lighter and fresh. If your business specialises in vintage car restoration, aim more for colours, images and layouts that have a bit more of an aged patina feel to them.

Your aim is for people to be able to see a brochure, poster, ad or business card and recognise it as you. They are more likely to pay attention and really look at what you’re trying to sell them if you look the part right across your branding. We humans are a pretty visual lot, styles and colours tend to evoke an emotive response, and that’s where we have the opportunity to elicit the response we are looking for.

Texture or shape

This refers to a design aspect that you might consistently use across your marketing. Something along the lines of a trademark angled slash across the top of your letterhead, a background or header/footer texture or a simple repeated shape you use for dot points. When reused consistently along with your other style guide aspects, these are all things that can make your brand recognisable, familiar and reliable, helping you to stand out amongst all of your competitors. If you’re clever with the shapes and textures that you use, you can start to have your clients think of you whenever they say that shape, even in another unrelated environment.

Just remember that brand consistency takes time and is something that should be played for the long game. It’s not something that will happen overnight, or even over a year, but stick to your guns and consistently apply your style guide and you will see results in the long run!

Download our { Brand Consistency Checklist } and see how your branding stacks up. We’ve even included a { Style Guide Template } to help you to get started creating your business style guide.

How to create a brand pin-board

So you’ve decided to rebrand, go you! But what do you do now?

When you make the decision to rebrand your business, it can often be pretty difficult to convey to your designer, or even solidify in your own mind, specifically what you want out of your new image. To successfully rebrand your business, you’ll need to understand where it is you want to go, what you represent and what represents your clients, along with the right look and feel of professional branding you will be proud to call your own. Today we’re going to delve into how you can use Pinterest to make a brand board, making this process more effective, and setting up the groundwork for a rebrand that is perfect for you.

Pinterest is a great free tool to help you nut out the solutions to these questions, providing a platform for brainstorming your branding in an easy to use visual medium by creating your own brand pin-board.

First things first, create yourself a free Pinterest account. You can sign up using your email address or by signing in with your Facebook or Google account. When you sign up, Pinterest will offer to add a ‘Save’ button in your browser to give you the ability to quickly pin images, ideas and pages to your board from anywhere on the internet. It’s a really good idea to say yes to the browser button, but we’ll come back to that shortly.

Now you have your account set up, yay! The next step is to start searching out things that you want your business to represent.

The first way you can do that is by searching on Pinterest itself using keywords that you feel will represent your desired feel – words like modern, quirky, contemporary, professional, fun etc. There’s some great content on Pinterest that people have put together portraying how they view those keywords, maybe even some things that really hit the nail on the head that you wouldn’t have otherwise thought of.

Once you find something that fits your criteria, hover over the pin and click on the ‘Save’ button. The first time you click ‘Save’ Pinterest will pop up a ‘Create Board’ dialogue box and you will be able to name your board. It will offer you suggestions for a board name (based on its assigned keywords), or you can simply type in a relevant name like ‘Brand board’ yourself. Click the ‘Create’ button and your brand board is up and running! Adding further pins to your board is simply a case of clicking save on your desired pin and when the dialogue box pops up simply select your board by clicking on its name and clicking ‘Save’

To access your boards, click on the profile icon on the top right of the page and select ‘My Profile’, then select ‘Boards’ to see your pin boards. This is also where you can update your board, from updating the name and adding a description, to inviting a collaborator or making the board secret so it can only be seen by you. Boards are public by default so you will always need to manually update to secret if you want to it be private. It’s worth mentioning though, that if you change a board to secret then to public you are unable to revert it to secret again.

Adding pins from EVERYWHERE! You’re not just limited to searching Pinterest, the internet is your playground.

Now we head back to the helpful Pinterest ‘Save’ button on your browser. You’ll find the button on the top right of the address bar (depending on your browser, I used Chrome) and it looks like the red ‘P’ Pinterest logo. When you’re on a page you want to save something from, just click the button and the same Pinterest dialogue box will open up and list thumbnails of all the things on the website you can save. Choose the thumbnail of the image or post you want to pin and select save, then the name of the board, the same as you would on Pinterest itself.

How do I know if I have enough..?

You should aim to add around 20 things to start with, giving yourself the chance to find what represents you the best. Once you’ve hit somewhere around that quota, have a good look at your board and start to cull out the excess pins – the ones that are a duplicate style or don’t quite convey what you are looking for. Keep up the culling process until you have condensed down to 5 pins, then invite your designer to your board as a collaborator. Combined with a consultation, the foundation is now set for your perfect new rebrand!

Jason Fisher Painting

Jason Fisher Painting Branding and Collateral

Jason Fisher Painting

Jason Fisher Painting Logo, Business Card and Stationery Design
Jason Fisher Painting Business Card Design
Jason Fisher Painting DL Flyer Design
Jason Fisher Painting Website Design
Jason Fisher Painting Coaster Design
Jason Fisher Painting Drink Cooler Design

The Challenge…

As a new business Jason Fisher Painting required a brand that would allow them to stand out among the painting competition highlighting their point of difference.

With a crowded market place the new branding had to impress their different client types from residential to commercial clients.

The Solution…

With a strong colour scheme, distinctive key imagery and consistent design elements applied across their complete range of marketing material Jason Fisher Painting now have a strong image to communicate to their audience.

Services Provided…

Jason Fisher Painting Social Media Imagery
Jason Fisher Painting Uniform Design
Jason Fisher Painting Calendar Design
Jason Fisher Painting Vinyl Banner Design
Jason Fisher Painting Coreflute Signage Design
Jason Fisher Painting Advertisement Design

Rockhampton Show

Rockhampton Show Society Branding and Collateral

Rockhampton Show Society

Rockhampton Show 2017 Program Design
Rockhampton Show 2016 Program Design
Rockhampton Show 2015 Program Design
Rockhampton Show Discount Coupon Design
Rockhampton Show Drafting Bar and Grill Vinyl Banner Design
Rockhampton Show Drafting Bar and Grill Vinyl Menu Design

The Challenge…

In 2014 The Rockhampton Agricultural and Citizens Show Society Inc. formed in order to take over from the Rockhampton Regional Council in organising The Rockhampton Show.

The Solution…

Over the years Clearly Creative have been very proud to sponsor The Rockhampton Show and the Society and continue to work closely with them in order to ensure The Rockhampton Show goes ahead with great branding every year.

Services Provided…

Rockhampton Show Website Design
Rockhampton Show Social Media Imagery
Rockhampton Show Pass Design
Rockhampton Show Stationery Design

NCB Plumbing and Gas

NCB Plumbing & Gas Branding

NCB Plumbing & Gas

NCB Plumbing and Gas Website Design
NCB Plumbing and Gas Business Card Design
NCB Plumbing and Gas DL FLyer Design
NCB Plumbing and Gas DL FLyer Design
NCB Plumbing and Gas DL FLyer Design

The Challenge…

NCB Plumbing and Gas where the lucky winners of Clearly Creative’s first every “$1000 off graphic design services” competition, enabling them to take their fledgling brand to the next level.

In order to create a strong brand and allow their services to stand out from the competition, NCB Plumbing and Gas needed their new image to communicate to their audience immediately and effectively.

The Solution…

Beginning at the briefing stage, the team at Clearly Creative gathered information on the business and the owners future vison. What they wanted to communicate and where they saw their brand in the future.

With a stand out colour palette, key fonts and a strong consistent layout design and application, the new branding has allowed NCB Plumbing and Gas to stand confidently among their competition.

Services Provided…

NCB Plumbing and Gas Logo Design

Inner Guidance Personal Coaching

Inner Guidance Personal Coaching Branding

Inner Guidance Coaching

Inner Guidance Logo Design
Inner Guidance Business Card Design
Inner Guidance Website Design

The Challenge…

Inner Guidance required branding that would communicate to their ideal client of women and young women, whom they wanted to build a community of support and coaching around. The holistic services that they provided covering mind body and soul needed to be incorporated with a clean and modern approach.

The Solution…

Bringing together our combined knowledge of brand design and colour theory, then considering how those aspects effect the emotion of their audience when viewing their branded material the team at Clearly Creative put together a branding palette that communicated clearly to the female audience. Our approach exudes trust and relaxation which where important aspects of this brand.

With a feminine colour palette, appropriately targeted fonts and consistent layout and design we have created a voice for Inner Guidance to communicate with their ideal client effectively.

Services Provided…

 

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