Benefits of Brand Cohesion
Lessons of a Dull Book
Once long ago, before the realm of design was even in my sights, I worked part-time in the reception area of a real estate office. Among the ever-changing stack of papers we would cycle through, there was one book - a pretty dull looking one - that remained forever on the desk. It was our company identity guidelines book, a volume that contained everything an employee could ever wish to know about how we looked as a company.
Most businesses that have had a brand identity designed for them will have a guideline package in some form or another. It is a hugely valuable resource to have, if not for any reason other than to maintain cohesion as a brand. There are many reasons why they may exist, however the one true purpose of brand guidelines is to define the organization, to keep the organization (and everyone within it) heading in the right direction. It is to demonstrate the brand values, tell the same story, and not feather on these aspects. It is about being consistent. And as we have previously discussed (see " What's the Difference Between a Brand & Brand Identity?"), a consistent brand will benefit you as your clientele recognize and trust you.
Leadership Requires Stability
When you embark on a rebranding process, the finish line is a longways away, and there are endless routes on how to arrive. How we at Custom Fit Online like to begin is understand who you are; What makes you tick? What defines you as an organization, what is your story, where do your people come from and how do they affect your overall image? Who are you? If you do not know the answer to these questions, how can you make sense of your organization?
As you progress forward, connections are made. The leadership within your company needs security and belief in who they are. How are you to be recognized if you are switching up your values, messages, and aesthetics every chance you get? You have an audience, make sure not to alienate them. Identification for companies, particularly small businesses, is crucial in maintaining loyal clients.
Maintaining "You" Through It All
Your identity as a group stems from the many questions one may ask, but how you choose to answer them. If your answers alter over time or depending on whom you are replying to, you are not being true to your values.
With social media available so freely available, we are constantly being evaluated and scrutinized by the public. But it isn't all bad! In fact, quite the opposite. Your online presence is an excellent opportunity for you to reinforce your brand. With Twitter and Facebook, you are able to speak directly to your clientele. What do you want to say to them? This links right back to your brand values, your message, and your voice.
Email marketing is another powerful way to reach out, but think about why are you sending out an email? You will be dismissed by your audience if you are not instantly recognized. At your disposal are the resources you have created: your logo, your organization colours, patterns, type… all of which have been determined to reflect your brand, so use them!
Just like in life, it is important to stay true to who you are. You will be trusted, admired, and things are guaranteed to go smoothly. So tweak up that Twitter background and use your brand colours on your website navigation, you'll be that much more respected and recalled.