Blending your brand for consistency

This week it’s half term, so my daughter’s off school and we’ve been meeting friends, spending time with family and enjoying being together. You can tell she’s missing school though as we now have an interest table on the back of the rocking horse, she’s counting EVERYTHING in sight and the letters on the fridge have become more fascinating than usual. We’ve been taking the letters, saying the sounds and then blending them together to make words.

This is a bit like creating a brand. You need to take all the different elements that make your business and blend them together to make your brand. (Tweet this)

So, this would be:

WHAT YOU SEE – you, your logo, your website, your printed materials, your social media graphics

HOW YOU DELIVER – what your business offers people and most importantly how you provide that

YOUR TONE – the copy on you use everywhere – how that comes across

YOUR AIMS – this is your values, your mission, the whole point of what you do

Earlier this week, someone on my Facebook page said their biggest struggle with building their brand was to have consistency throughout the whole process – and it is a process. The best way to find out where you need to be being consistent – what those touchpoints that I’m always banging on about are – is to map out the process that you use to get from start to finish in your business. From your customers point of view and also from your point of view – not missing out any stages – then you’ll have a process to follow.

The key parts to remember when working this out are:

– HOW does your customer find you?

– HOW do you interact with them?

– WHAT happens during the buying process?

– WHAT do they leave with?

– HOW do you make sure they remember you?

This might include things like:

– packaging your products

– writing emails

– speaking

– writing social media updates

– agreeing a schedule

– meeting your client

– sending your terms

This is your process. Having a consistent system is just as important as having a consistent image. It means you won’t miss anything out, every customers experiences the same thing and you won’t let anyone down.

So – how do you have consistency throughout the entire process? 

First, you need to go back to the very beginning. Work out what it is that you offer, what the purpose is, what your values are and why all that matters to your audience. Once you have this (and various other things you can find in my Design Success Toolkit) you can translate this information into your business to acheive consistency. I’ve blogged many times about the things you need in a style guide – basically, a manual to help you and others to do the same things over and over to ensure the message is getting across at every point. You need to include guides for:

– your logo

– your typefaces

– your colours

– your style

and then try to stick to them.

Being consistent is not just about the visual stuff – consider the process which you’ve already mapped out and how to keep that consistent. Think about the experience that people have when they work with you or buy from you.  Consider the words that you use and the images that you share. Think about your premises and how you can inject your brand into those. Consider every aspect of your business and create some guides to help you implement those changes in the future.

If you spend some time working this out then implementing throughout the entire process will be a lot easier! Typically, people need to notice your business seven times before they take action, so you’ll be able to blend eachof those moments together to convey the same message each time –  in the same way that my daughter is learning to blend letter sounds to make whole words. The different aspects of your brand create a whole message – and you need to put in the work to make sure that message gets through.

What have you done in your business to ensure consistency?

 

I’d LOVE you to join us in The Brand Success Club – this months topic is “Glueing your brand together” so if you found this interesting then that will REALLY help you. Click here.

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