When we hear the word “consistency is key”, what does it mean? For a business, brand consistency leads to brand recognition which helps in building trust between the brand and the audience. Look at it this way; People trust you when they know you, people know you because they can recognize you, and they can recognize you because you always show up the same to them.
A fundamental business rule is, “People only buy from who they know”. If I were to ask what your favorite brand is, I am sure you will give me a straight answer and mean it. However, whether you know it or not, that brand is your favorite brand because you know it, and you know it because it kept presenting itself the same way to you and ended up gaining your trust. This same logic applies to even our relationship with people, we trust only the people we know.
What is Brand Consistency?
Before giving a definition, let us paint a practical picture of how brand consistency works:
Many people like me around the world love Coca-Cola products especially their product ‘Coke’. What we may not really know is that the love affair or affection towards the brand didn’t just start overnight. The company has been nurturing our trust for a long time and making themselves known to us with every little step they took.
From the first time we interacted with the brand till today, the Coca-Cola brand has kept showing up time after time with consistent brand messages and visuals. Their tone, type, colour, logo, imagery, taste, etc. have remained the same throughout.
As a result, we feel secured interacting with the brand, we trust what we are getting out of the Coca-Cola brand, and as such, we don’t hesitate to buy their products.
Brand consistency is the delivery of brand messages aligned with the core brand values across all brand platforms and touchpoints with the same logo, colour, typography, imagery, tone, personality, etc. It is presenting your brand with the same visual element all the time.
Brand consistency doesn’t just happen with the brand’s visual elements, according to CustomerThink, there are three critical areas every brand must be consistent to attract customer loyalty:
- Customer Experience.
- Brand Values.
- Visual Elements.
“Brand consistency helps put you back in context so that people are more likely to remember you. It’s not a magic trick or some silly rule brand strategists invented; it’s how the human brain remembers things”. – Taughnee Stone (Designer and Brand Strategist).
A Practical Experience
Let’s say you come across a graphic post for a brand on social media. It has a blue colour, illustrations, and a modern and professional font. You go on to visit their website, and discover everything is the same; blue colour, use of illustrations, and modern and professional font. Like me, I am sure the brand will come across recognizable to you.
Then imagine visiting the website and you see red colour, picture use only, and a playful font used. There is no brand consistency and as such you are left confused wondering what the brand really stands for or wants to portray. This conflicting brand messaging speaks “untrustworthy and unreliable” to the human brain.
According to an article on the Widen Blog, “Recalling a brand is similar to recalling a person. When people first meet, they don't remember everything about each other. They can likely recall faces or names. If not, they can probably remember a story or way they felt about a person. But, if at a subsequent meeting that person uses a different name, disguises their voice, or adopts an entirely different style, it could be challenging for others to recognize who they are”.
So why is Brand Consistency important?
It is proven that we buy from only who we know, it is important to get your brand in the mind of your target audience, the brand a person remembers first when trying to make a purchase has the advantage. The first and most important benefit of brand consistency therefore is Brand Recognition.
As a business owner, you must strive to get your brand recognizable to your target audience. This will help you set yourself apart from your competition especially in a world where peop