What makes you recognize the jingle from a popular fast food chain? Why does a certain color palette invoke your favorite beauty brand? These elements stick in your mind because the brands behind them have been relentless about consistency.
Brand consistency is the secret to a sticky slogan or an iconic, wordless logo (think Nike’s swoosh). And achieving it isn’t just a “nice to have.” Brand consistency can raise brand equity, grow brand loyalty, and even increase sales.
Becoming a household name may not be possible for most brands, but a consistent approach to your branding strategy can help you stay top of mind for the audience you care about most. This guide will help you and your team stay consistent across channels and every customer touchpoint.
Table of Contents
What is brand consistency?
Brand consistency is the way in which your brand shows up across multiple channels and customer touchpoints while maintaining a recognizable look and feel. A consistent brand is one that preserves its aesthetic, messaging, and values no matter where it surfaces.
Why is a consistent brand important?
A consistent brand offers a number of benefits to new and established brands. In addition to creating a professional image of your business, brand consistency is also important for the following reasons:
It increases brand recognition
Brand consistency can increase brand recognition and brand affinity. Legacy brands like Nike have spent decades honing their brands, solidifying their image with the general public because of the consistency in how they show up. Nike’s swoosh, McDonald’s jingle, and director Wes Anderson’s font choice is instantly recognizable due to their consistent use across everything from advertising to product packaging.
It builds brand equity
Having a seamless brand presence is key to building brand equity. Brand equity is the perceived value of your business in the minds of consumers, the market, and your competitors. Building brand equity means that your business is perceived as more valuable, which can help you expand, increase revenue, and gain leverage with suppliers and investors.
It keeps your brand top of mind
Consistent brands stick in customers’ minds, increasing loyalty and repeat purchases. When customers encounter your brand in the wild—either at an in-store display or in their feed as a social ad—it should immediately be recognizable due to a consistent tone, color scheme, or other signal. Your aesthetic connects to your product, cementing it in the minds of the people who matter.
8 ways to ensure brand consistency across channels
- Develop a brand style guide
- Establish guiding principles, goals, and values
- Create new hire materials that include brand training
- Organize brand assets
- Keep your story straight
- Use a consistent color palette
- Post social content on a predictable schedule
- Make the experience seamless across channels
While different customer touchpoints and advertising channels may demand slightly different messaging or tone, there should be a common thread. For example, your TikTok video captions may be more casual than a customer service email or even a Facebook post. Here’s how to create brand consistency while meeting a variety of business goals:
1. Develop a brand style guide
A brand style guide is a set of “rules” by which a brand’s image is governed. It covers topics like brand identity (logo use, color palettes, fonts, photo treatments, etc.) and brand voice (the language, slang, and tone of voice used in brand messaging). It may also include guidance around the types of partnerships that you will and will not engage in.
A brand style guide is especially important as you scale your business across markets or hire staff and agencies to act on behalf of your brand. As a handy reference, it ensures brand consistency contributes to brand recognition no matter where you’re spotted in the wild.
2. Establish guiding principles, goals, and values
As part of your brand guidelines, your business should establish a moral code under which it will operate. This includes elements such as core brand values, brand promise, and your company’s mission. A mission statement will likely be established when you’re writing your business plan and is the North Star for your brand as you develop the rest of your brand strategy.
- Brand values are principles that guide how a business operates. They may cover how a business treats its employees, where it manufactures, its customer service philosophy, and any social causes it aligns with.
- A brand promise is an expectation your business sets with customers. It ensures that the experience they get when interacting with your business is the one they expect—and is consistent every time.
- Mission statements are one- to three-sentence statements outlining what a brand is about and what it intends to achieve.
3. Create new hire materials that include brand training
In addition to your brand style guide, you may wish to develop a brand guide that specifically covers hiring and training. As you hire staff, it’s important to maintain consistency no matter who is speaking on behalf of your business. Your brand reputation can be at stake if you aren’t hiring the right people or training them on your style guide. Outline what qualities you’re looking for in a candidate and create training materials on topics like brand voice, customer service policies, and the style guide.
4. Organize brand assets
Using an asset management system to organize your visual elements like photos, logos, and other approved brand materials will make it easier for everyone working on your business to follow the style guide. This can be as simple as a shared Google Drive. Keeping these brand elements close at hand will help you execute campaigns quickly and keep your branding efforts consistent.
5. Keep your story straight
Maintaining brand consistency is simple if you’re running your business solo and you believe in your mission. Telling an authentic brand story and putting your own face at the front of your brand can go a long way to establishing trust and consistency. But there are many factors that can affect perception and brand reputation, including inconsistent brand storytelling.
In the evolution of your brand, your story and values may also evolve. Bring customers along on the journey of your story by updating your About page and going behind the scenes on social media. These efforts to achieve brand transparency can solidify customer trust.
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6. Use a consistent color palette
Across marketing channels, sales channels, social media profiles, packaging, and in-person retail displays, use a consistent palette to represent your brand. In addition to colors, different textures, graphic shapes, and photo filters can help customers recognize your brand wherever they interact with it.
7. Post social content on a predictable schedule
Across social marketing channels, be sure you’re posting on a consistent schedule, using visual elements from your style guide and leading with consistent messaging. Even if your formats or approach differ across social media platforms based on unique audiences, you can still establish brand consistency by keeping your brand’s voice recognizable.
📙 Learn more:The Best Time To Post on TikTok
8. Make the experience seamless across channels
A consistent customer experience goes a long way in building customer loyalty. When customers recognize your brand wherever they encounter it and they have a positive customer experience, it can increase loyalty. Loyal customers are more likely to buy exclusively from you or refer a friend.
6 brand consistency examples
These businesses are great at brand consistency. They are all recognizable across channels with on-brand messaging and visuals that build equity and affinity.
Rotten is a gummy worm brand with a distinctive brand identity and unique tone. While the brand’s unique selling propositions (USP) over other gummy candy companies are its compostable packaging and low-sugar recipe, its brand identity doesn’t mimic the soft greens and soothing shapes of other sustainable or wellness food brands.
Instead, its audacious and sometimes brash tone is quite the opposite. The ’80s punk-inspired design and gross-out humor says this is a candy brand aimed at adults—and not for the faint of heart.
This brand consistency in color palettes, design elements, and tone of voice can be seen across all touchpoints from the brand’s YouTube channel content to its customer reviews to its in-store retail displays.
2. Different Puzzles
Different Puzzles uses branding to set itself apart from other game and puzzle brands. That is, by being ’’different.” In the brand’s case, this means leaning into the quirkiness of its puzzle products and creating consistent brand assets and content that mimic the feel of the puzzles’ art.
Image treatments across the website and social channels have a retro quality, and the brand’s copy is quirky and casual no matter where it shows up, from Instagram to product pages to its FAQ page.
MìLà, a food brand that started as a restaurant, maintained brand consistency through its transition by staying focused on its founder story, heritage, and family values.
This pride and storytelling show up throughout the brand’s site and social media posts, including its Instagram Stories, where its founder is the face of the brand. A consistent, fresh color palette also helps modernize a brand selling traditional Chinese staples.
As new moms, Swehl’s founders felt the breastfeeding information and products on the market weren’t addressing their needs. They launched their brand to start a conversation around a topic often fraught with anxiety.
While building the brand, Swehl had two-way communication with its potential customers—a decision that has shaped the brand’s messaging and approach to its content. Across the website and social media, Swehl’s copy and video content is open and frank.
@swehl Swehl is here!! This is our story of building a real resouce for breastfeeding parents ✨ #capcut #swehl #april #founderstory #breastfeeding #newmom #lfg #fyp #tiktok #momtok ♬ original sound – Swehl
The consistent thread that runs through Schmidt’s branding is trust. The natural deodorant brand knew it had to combat misconceptions about natural deodorant when it launched—namely that it doesn’t work. That’s why every touchpoint from the brand’s website to its social media content aims to build customer trust and social proof.
Schmidt’s partners with celebrities like Megan Rapinoe and Alicia Silverstone to give credence to its products, and prominently features ratings and reviews on product pages and in social bios:
Yep. That’s soccer megastar @mPinoe. Schmidt’s is strong enough for her and #MadeForEveryone.#Schmidts #Ecocert #NaturalDeodorant #Deodorant #Skincare #CleanBeauty #CrueltyFree #EssentialOils #Vegan pic.twitter.com/SFenDrt6qj
— Schmidt's Naturals™ (@SchmidtsNatural) March 17, 2021
Trust signals like verification badges go a long way to building trust and brand consistency for the company, too:
Squigs is a haircare brand that truly understands its audience, using consistent imagery and color palettes that appeal to young beauty and hair care buyers. Squigs often reflects the faces of its target audience with models, real customer testimonials, and cameos from its own founder.
When Squigs shows up on the sites of its retail partners like Urban Outfitters, its imagery and product descriptions mirror those of its own site, signaling to fans that they’re getting the real thing:
How to build brand guidelines that create consistency in branding
Brand guidelines, including a brand style guide, mission, values, and brand promise, all act as a bible for your brand, your contractors, staff, and anyone who acts on behalf of your business. Maintaining a consistent brand identity and customer experience, especially as you grow, is no small feat. But if you spend the time perfecting your brand guidelines up front, they can ensure your brand presence remains consistent for years to come.
When developing your brand guidelines, consider the following to ensure you’re creating an easy-to-update document that will be even easier to follow:
Use clear language without jargon. Examples can also go a long way in helping others understand the specific ways in which you may use language or visual elements.
Add a glossary
Does your brand operate in an industry with a lot of acronyms or niche terms? Do you manufacture with unusual ingredients or materials? Or does your brand have several trademarked terms and product names? Spell these out in brand guidelines to ensure your staff is using them correctly and consistently.
Include guidelines by social channel
Your audience and their expectations may differ depending on the social channel. That’s because the demographics between Facebook,TikTok, and other platforms can vary. Add specific tone and content type guidelines for each channel that still preserve brand consistency.
Make room for adaptation
A business with staying power not only understands the importance of brand consistency, it also understands that it must adapt with its customers, trends, and the world around it. Brand guidelines will evolve to address these factors. Be sure to address how you will maintain a thread of consistency even as your look, values, or products may change.
Branding your way to success
The benefits of brand consistency are many, from building brand equity to growing brand recognition with your target audience. Every decision you make from your brand identity’s visual elements to the tone of your customer communications, can contribute to these goals—if you use them consistently. Develop your brand consistency strategy with your ideal customer in mind and use it to guide your business’ every move.
Brand consistency FAQ
How do you build brand consistency?
You can build brand consistency by:
- Developing a style guide
- Establishing guiding principles, goals, and values
- Creating new hire materials that include brand training
- Organizing brand assets
- Using a consistent color palette
- Posting social content on a predictable schedule
- Making the experience seamless across channels
How do you measure brand consistency?
Measuring brand consistency itself isn’t so straightforward. However, you can measure the goals related to your brand efforts such as engagement, loyalty (repeat customers), and sales. Be sure to audit your brand guidelines and content from time to time to ensure your messaging and campaigns still align with your mission and values.
Do brand values matter for brand consistency?
Consistent branding has a lot to do with using the same messaging across channels. Establishing brand values can help ensure that the messaging always ladders back to your mission and the things you care about, thereby keeping it consistent.
How can you ensure consistency in brand identity?
If you want your ideal customer to associate your brand image with positive emotions, the experience should be consistent no matter where they interact with you. Your brand identity should be established at the get-go with clear guidelines for the brand identity elements, colors, tone, and quality of your messaging and content. A consistent brand identity helps customers recognize you and build loyalty.