Brand Design

Brand Consistency Across Channels: Is It Your Achilles Heel?

By Andy Clowes 24 July 2019

As designers and marketers, we try to make connections with our target audience. From colour palettes to imagery to tone of voice to user experience, we’re working to create recognition, foster emotion and persuade effectively. However, with the proliferation of marketing channels, the branding challenge has grown.

In LucidPress’ study on the impact of brand consistency, less than 10% of companies said their brand presentation was very consistent. More than 60% said materials often don’t conform to brand guidelines (even though 95% had formal guidelines in place).

Brand consistency is key to relationship building – and revenue

According to the LucidPress study, the average revenue increase attributed to always presenting the brand consistently is 23%.

Inconsistency means you’re not maximising the value of your marketing – you’re not benefiting from the synergy created by delivering high quality at every touchpoint. You’re missing out on the opportunity to reinforce your brand.

At the most basic level, if your website doesn’t ‘feel’ the same as your advert, the customer doesn’t get that immediate recognition that they’re in the right place, which makes them less likely to convert. And science backs this up – academic studies have found that colour increases brand recognition by up to 80%, for example.

The multichannel challenge

Customer engagement patterns and behaviour change depending on the channel people are using – which means delivering that consistent brand experience becomes a bigger task.

The brand needs to be rolled out to more places, each with their own nuances. Does the logo adapt well to social profile photos and the website favicon, as well as print brochures? And how does it look on delivery vehicles? How does the tone of voice translate to SMS and chatbot responses?

Part of the challenge is technological – platforms change, and it’s not always easy to predict what will be the next big thing. And it’s often cumbersome to adapt the brand effectively across the myriad online and offline channels because the requirements are so different.

Find the right balance of structure and flexibility

To enforce brand consistency, you need effective brand guidelines that cover logo usage, colour palettes, typefaces, imagery and tone of voice. So far, so normal. And to achieve the average 23% revenue uplift from brand consistency, it’s worth reviewing your guidelines, seeing where they work and seeing where the lapses are.

In my experience, the key to cross-channel brand consistency comes from recognising where you need to be flexible – and then being specific about how people can work within that flexibility. To enforce brand consistency, think about the following:

  • Make sure your brand guidelines clearly show how your logo can be used across every medium – both now and in the future.
  • Ensure that your colour palette works for both online and offline.
  • Make sure your typefaces and sizes are correct across all media.
  • Ensure that the imagery portrays the rhythm and style of your brand.
  • Deliver a consistent tone of voice that reflects your brand values and story.

With some finessing here and some flexibility there, you can start reaping the benefits – and make it easier for your brand to scale as the marketing mix to evolves. Is it time to give your customers a consistent experience?

See other posts by Andy Clowes

Head of Design and UI/UX

As Head of Design & UX/UI for Engage Hub, Andy has over 17 years’ experience across blue-chip organisations; from technology and financial services to automotive and consumer-lead industries. Being Prince2 certified & following ISO 9241 principles, Andy is a specialist in brand management, research-driven UX design and delivering creative, yet native, digital solutions for customers.

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