The saying “consistency is key” might feel like a cliche – but it’s a cliche because, quite simply, it’s true. We commit to consistent behaviours every day in order to build a pattern in our personal habits (i.e. brushing our teeth twice a day for dental hygiene), or in the workplace (meeting deadlines to build trust with clients) – and it’s no different with design and brand identity.
Being consistent is the key that unlocks familiarity and loyalty among your customers. Without consistency across all touchpoints of a brand, it’s difficult for consumers to create a memorable impression of your brand, and thus strong recognition, With recognition, comes brand loyalty – and loyalty is what helps a brand to stand apart from its competitors. It works like dominoes – once a consumer recognises a brand, they will subconsciously gravitate towards it over one that is unfamiliar, or that constantly switches up its look and messaging.
As a brand identity agency, let us take you through how other brands create and maintain consistency — and why you might need help to settle on a consistent design approach.
Have a consistent tone of voice
When we say Apple, which apple did you think of first – the brand and its products, or the fruit? Apple has established itself as one of the most prominent global tech brands, and a huge part of this is excellent branding consistency. Its sleek and minimalist design translates across the brand’s website, packaging, UI/UX and other collateral. Even the copywriting is recognisable anywhere; Apple’s tone of voice matches its minimalist product design with concise sentences with a hint of smugness.
Tone of voice is important in design as well as copywriting, as it helps directly communicate a brand’s message to their target audience.
Adapt and evolve over time
Coca-Cola has been around for over 100 years and is easily one of the most recognisable drink brands globally. Everyone is familiar with its red and white colours, iconic script and glass bottle shape – and even though the logo has gone through multiple changes throughout its existence, it has been gradual and without significantly altering the overall look and feel.
The brand spends a lot of budget on advertising and marketing, ensuring consistent exposure towards consumers to maintain recognition. Alongside this, Coca-Cola uses emotive language and taglines to attract consumers like, “Taste the feeling” and, “Open happiness”. Its ads often feature people smiling and enjoying their time drinking Coke.
What we can learn from this is that Coca-Cola knows its core values, and doesn’t ever deviate from them. They leverage on that by aligning the messaging in their ads to these values, and translate the message across multiple channels, ensuring memorability. Because of this, the changes in design over the years have not affected this brand affinity, as the branding elements are consistent, and the changes done subtly and slowly.
Be consistent with your branding elements
We are all familiar with the Nike swoosh and popular slogan, “Just Do It”. Like Coca-Cola, Nike has maintained its branding identity over the years, setting them apart from newer brands and positioning themselves as a trustworthy leader in the field. Nike’s mission statement is to “Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. If you have a body, you are an athlete.” When you look at the brand in its entirety, we can see this has translated across all of their content and advertising.
What Nike does best is creating balanced content that promotes their products and enriches their audience. The brand often pairs their products with influential athletic figures to maintain its mission statement and translate its values, encouraging their audiences to be active and do their best.
The Nike swoosh holds everything together, but its messaging and highly relatable slogan is a huge part of what makes their marketing work. By using these brand elements consistently – even across very different campaigns focusing on various sports or messages – you can train your audience to immediately identify a Nike ad amongst all the other noise in the sporting apparel space.
While not every brand can be Apple, Coca-Cola or Nike, looking to these giants will help you to formulate your own consistent branding with the help of a brand identity agency. Using a branding or corporate identity agency to audit where you’re currently at, and then build a long-term strategy to convey your messaging and design, is key to ensuring that loyalty you crave.
Without consistency in your approach, you simply can’t unlock a strong brand identity that truly aligns with your values.
Need help building consistency across your branding? Talk to us at [email protected]