Inconsistency is a Brand Killer

Mistake #4 in Our 5-Part Series

I have to share with you a recent experience of mine. I had worked with a client to design a brand, which included a logo design. We had decided on a particular colour scheme for her project that we felt best reflected her aesthetic and her story. Shortly thereafter, I saw a promotional piece for an event where my client was involved. There, on the advertisement, was her logo in a completely different colour, changed to match the event’s marketing colour scheme. I panicked for her. Not because I was married to my design, but because no one should ever change the colour of their logo! (unless of course, that’s part of your brand!) Imagine if you saw a green Coca Cola can on an environmental event poster or a purple Home Depot logo on a children’s park retrofit fundraiser brochure. Would you immediately recognize the brand and applaud their involvement or would it leave you feeling confused?

Brand Style Guide

Establishing brand guidelines in terms of colour, font, and design is essential. Inconsistency of any kind weakens the brand you are trying to make recognizable. It confuses your market as to who you are and what you do. You and anyone else working with your business need to respect your brand and your logo and maintain the integrity of your design choices.

Similarly, if you change your branding willy nilly to match the seasons, holidays, or your current product line, what message does that send to your clients? You want your business reputation to be solid, trustworthy, and consistent, and your branding must reflect that. Evolution is a positive thing, but when you establish your brand the right way from the beginning, keeping your vision consistent frees up your time and energy to build a business that supports the image you’ve designed.

You don’t want to put your clients in the position of having to guess if the logo they see represents your brand. You don’t want them to mistake you for another business either. When you see the blue and white Twitter logo, there’s no question what it represents. What about the iconic Lacoste alligator? The red and orange MasterCard circles? Target’s bullseye? These logos are immediately recognizable from a mile away — and they help create consistent branding with powerful reputations.

I read a University of Loyola, Maryland study that concluded that colour increases brand recognition by up to 80%! Eighty percent! That’s nothing to shake a stick at — that is a powerful indicator of a key to brand success.

Stay tuned next week when we discuss Mistake #5 Unfocused Marketing. 

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