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Three reasons why brand consistency is important

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As a marketer, I often come across small businesses that are unintentionally hurting their brand by trying to handle their marketing 'on the go' without paying too much attention to branding guidelines and consistency with their marketing materials. Many businesses are too relaxed with the use of their logo, brand colors, tag line and even with their mission statement. While these everyday mistakes may seem harmless at first, over time they might give your audience the wrong impression of your brand. Here are three reasons why brand consistency is very important for your business:

Differentiate from competitors

Your brand is who you are, and it is meant to set your business apart from your competition. Sometimes it can be hard for a potential customer to differentiate one brand from another in a highly competitive market especially when products and packaging are almost identical. This is where consistent branding helps your business succeed over the competition. Your colors, font, etc. should all be unique to your brand, and the messaging that defines your brand's promise should be consistent across all channels.

Increase customer recognition

After a while, if you are successfully branding your business consistently, customers will be able to recognize your brand even when it's broken apart: your jingle or catchy tagline by itself, your logo without the name of your business on it or even just the colors of your brand. Think of Apple's half-eaten apple emblem, or the MacDonald's tagline 'I'm loving it,' or the Intel sound bite you don't need to see the full brand to associate these pieces with their respective brands. This same effort is indispensable in a local level especially in small markets.

Reinforce your identity

When your audience sees and hears a consistent message from your brand, it reinforces your unique selling proposition in their minds. By knowing what they can expect from your brand, and hearing it multiple times, they will begin to assign a higher value and trust in your business and it shows that you take your business seriously.

Now that you know how important brand consistency is, you may be wondering, 'How can I keep my brand consistent in my business?' One of the easiest ways is through a style guide. A style guide gives your designer and other employees certain rules to follow when creating brand materials. For instance, which colors you should use to match the logo, or how to properly use your tagline. Remember, being consistent doesn't mean all advertisements have to look the same. While your brand's appearance and messaging should be consistent, all of your advertisements shouldn't be. Keep it fresh, but make sure the identity of your brand isn't lost.

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