The One Cardinal Rule of Branding

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Branding is a challenging game — one that garners as much confusion as the rules of rugby. But after more than 25 years of work in branding, I can tell you that one rule reigns supreme. It applies to every aspect of branding and has proven itself time and time again.

Consistency is king.

Consistency is the glue that holds a brand together and gives it the strength to weather any storm. It reinforces a brand like nothing else does.

Yes, the products and services you provide need to be worth a consumer’s time and attention. Yes, your logo and the entirety of your visual brand need to look professional. Yes, you need to have an online presence that’s effective. Yes, you need to consider mobile applications and user interaction. Yes, you need to have a public relations and social media effort. But inconsistency in the way these aspects of your brand work together will kill your brand.

There must be a unifying consistency in personality, voice, visual and action for a brand to experience a high level of success. This is a much sharper reality today than it was 20 years ago. The Internet, smart phones and social media have given consumers a much stronger voice — one they are unafraid to use when sharing feedback on a brand.

Since I am a designer by trade, it’s very easy for me to make the case for the visual consistency of a brand. That’s something that I’m passionate about and strive to deliver for my clients daily. Consistency in a brand’s look throughout all of their communication efforts is imperative for a brand’s recognition and perception of stability; however, that is only one aspect of a brand’s identity that desperately needs consistency.

What you say, how you say it, the personality you portray, the ease with which consumers interact with your brand, the attitude your employees convey and even the way you answer the phone — they are all connected, and they all affect your brand’s perception. Be strategic in your branding efforts, and build a consistency throughout that confidently moves your brand forward.

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