by Maike Torrez on September 1, 2021

What exactly is a brand identity?

To understand why it’s so important to have a consistent brand identity, let’s start from the beginning and answer the question: What is a brand identity?

A brand identity is pretty much everything that portrays your company to the outside world and potential customers. It starts with your name, logo, colors and the typography you use. If you sell a product, all the product and packaging design is part of your brand identity. Any advertisements you create — whether printed or digital — contribute to your brand identity too. And don’t forget about your website! All of these elements and every visual tool you use to show off your brand make up your brand identity.

What’s the first step for consistent branding?

The first step in building a consistent brand is to create a graphics standard guide. This guide will be your roadmap to proper logo use, color scheme, fonts and other design elements. Developing a graphics standard guide entails thinking intentionally about your brand’s personality (Are you playful? Serious? Sarcastic?) and the subtle, visual cues you want to send your audience. Whether you have a designer in-house or need to hire outside professionals — we know some great ones! — this is a must for your brand’s strategy going forward.  

Why is it so important to be consistent with your brand?

Just like practicing your free throw technique or perfecting the ultimate cookie recipe, consistency is key for your brand identity. The main reason it’s important to be consistent with branding is that your customers will start to recognize your brand over time and immediately know when they see you — like while scrolling through social media, for instance. Since they’re familiar with you, they’re more likely to stop in their tracks and watch or read your ad. 

Brand consistency is a feat to be proud of! It’s almost like meeting someone new, then watching as they turn into a friend — the more they learn about you, the more comfortable they are in your company and the more likely they are to listen to you. 

Besides the familiarity, being consistent also creates a feeling of reliability that resonates with the customer. You would probably rather buy something you’ve used before with good results than something you just heard of for the first time, right? 

Let’s walk through an example: Just imagine you’re at the airport and have a short layover — barely enough time to grab a quick bite and be on your way to the gate. You have two choices of restaurants, McDonald’s or something called Fatty Patty Burgers. Considering the fact that you’ll soon be on an airplane for several hours and you don’t want to take any chances with your stomach, you quickly get in line for the Golden Arches, right? 

Does consistent mean boring?

You might be a little hesitant about all that consistency talk because you don’t want your business to sound like a broken record playing the same music over and over again. But don’t fret! Just because you stay within your brand guidelines, doesn’t mean everything will look the same. Consistent does not mean identical. Your brand guidelines are like guardrails so you don’t get off the road, but on the street itself you can still drive on the right, in the middle, on the left or even slalom if that’s what you like! As long as you’re still on the road, you are good to go. 

Having guidelines should make your life easier and not harder. Once you’ve created a brand and guidelines, you should stick with it for a while so your customers can start to distinguish you from all your competitors. Now, building a brand identity (like the Golden M) doesn’t happen overnight. It will take a while for your clients to sing “I’m lovin’ it,” but have some patience, mind your guardrails and eventually your consistent marketing efforts will gain some traction! 

Keep in mind that everyone started somewhere. Make today the day. Stop flooding the world with inconsistent marketing that can’t be connected to your company and think about investing in a brand identity that suits your business and will serve you well in the long run! Even if you crashed through the guardrails before, we can help you get back on track with consistent branding. 

Want to see if for yourself? We have the examples to show for it.