There are many reasons why brand consistency is key. On the one hand, it breeds trust in your audience and, put bluntly, shows you’ve got your shit together. We’ve all come across people who are inconsistent or don’t carry through with what they say – do we ever really trust those people? Of course not! Same with brands.
But it goes both ways. Brand consistency also shapes the perception of how your audience sees you by showing them that hey, you care about them too, and know what they want. You’re a human person who’s interested in your customer’s happiness – not just a money-makin’ machine.
Saying “build a consistent brand” is one thing. But it’s a whole ‘nother thing to actually do it. So here are some tips and tricks to make a consistent brand and keep that consistency up.
Identify Your Audience
This is something you’ll have an idea of before your designs are even in your store. But further identifying whom you’re trying to appeal to (which isn’t going to be and shouldn’t be everybody) will help keep a consistent voice, look, message, tone, etc. when organizing your brand in a way that will appeal to YOUR audience. Consistency means people know exactly what to expect when they go to you, and that it’s going to be stuff they really dig.
It’s not shallow to say that the way your brand looks is crazy important. Your logo, name, font, and color schemes are all the first things people will 1: associate with your brand, 2: remember to look for, and 3: see before even looking at your products.
- Logo: Creating a logo is easier said than done. It’s best if it carries the same vibe that your brand does, acting as a representation of everything your brand is.
- Colors: There’s an awesome psychology of color article that can help guide you in choosing the right colors for you, depending on what feeling you might want your brand to invoke.
- Font: The font you use should be a font that matches your all-over style. You wouldn’t use Comic Sans if you you were selling outdoorsy-style designs…actually I like to think that you wouldn’t use Comic Sans ever. It’s also best to have one or two fonts as opposed to multiple, to keep the look the same.
This is often overlooked, but one way you can set yourself apart – as well as keep yourself consistent – is by having a certain tone that is uniquely yours. Are you funny in your descriptions/comments/social media? Are you like a friend giving advice? A life coach? Are you SCREAMING IN ALL CAPS ALL THE TIME CUZ ITS JUST YOUR THING? Figuring out your tone and sticking with it is a good way to project your voice through writing.
Create a Brand Bible
This is a great way to make sure once you have all of these moving parts going on the right track, you stay on that track. Including things like your color scheme of choice and the exact colors/range of colors you most often use, your font and the style of that font (Bold? Italic? Helvetica Neue vs plain ol’ Helvetica? etc.), a description of your tone, how often and what kind of content you post on social media sites, etc. It’s also important to include what you don’t do. This will make it easier for you and anyone who joins you in the future (and even just you yourself) to maintain your brand feeling consistent.
Similarly to figuring out your target audience, identifying the goal and mission of your brand is important. It helps you figure yourself out and how to appeal to your audience even better. Similarly, knowing this can help you further shape the perception you want people to have of you and your brand. Why here’s a handy example: the Threadless mission is to support the artist community. Our goal (and tagline, which is handy!) is to Make Great Together. Once you identify your mission and goal, they should be driving forces in all you do.
Those are just a few tips for how to keep yourself consistent in everything branding and advertising for your online business. If you want more information about brand consistency, examples of it, and why it’s so important, check out these resources:
The Psychology of Color
Brand Strategies That Build Business Value (Brand Extract)
The Difference Between a Good Brand and a Great Brand? Consistency (North Star Marketing)
How to Create a Strong Brand for Yourself and Your Art (Empty Easel)
Building Brand Identity: How to Brand Yourself (Indie Made)
The Brand of You (Skinny Artist)
And for some relevant topics put together by us, check out these links:
And just for your pure enjoyment:
Have any tips and tricks of your own? Leave them in the comments below!