Let’s say you have brochures, flyers, letterhead and business cards for your business. You’re very proud that you created these pieces…but you have a problem. They don’t look as professional as they should and you can’t quite figure out why. You’ve formatted all of them in the correct way and you’ve added your logo to everything. You even set up your letterhead like a pro…but your pieces still seem off. What’s going on? It’s more than likely your pieces aren’t consistently branded.
What is Consistent Branding?
When I’m talking about consistent branding, I’m talking about more than slapping your logo on everything. I’m talking about pieces that are united in their appearance and show the company’s vision. A consistent brand helps consumers identify who you are. Look at the greatest brands in the world. It takes two seconds or less to figure out if you’re looking at something from McDonald’s or Apple. This is because they have a style they follow throughout their materials, ads, billboards and everything else they do. This branding is professional and uniform.
4 Ways to Improve Your Marketing Materials
Here are some ways to get you on the correct path so your pieces are consistently branded and professional.
- Pick a color scheme that either matches your logo or goes well with it. I talked about picking your logo's colors in my last blog. What I want to add is that you should use the same color scheme throughout your pieces to create a unified look. There are times you can break away from your main color scheme, but for your main identity, you want to keep a consistent set of colors.
- Develop a look or a design and keep using elements of it. Is there a certain pattern or set of shapes you used in a piece? You could keep using those patterns and shapes with your other materials. For example, Target uses their logo (a target) to create patterns or compositions on a page. It’s really effective and easily identifiable. They even put the target around the eye of a dog to create a fun mascot. You don’t have to be that literal and slap your logo’s symbol on everything, but it’s an idea. Figure out a way to create a unique look for yourself. Maybe there’s an interesting swoop in your logo that you could carry over into your pieces.
- Pick a typeface or two and stick with your choices. An ad looks really messy when there are more than three typefaces on a page. Pick a couple of typefaces that you can use in most of your pieces. It looks clean and keeps it simple for the reader. Notice that I said “most” of your pieces. There are occasions where you can use fun fonts, like birthday or Christmas cards.
- Don’t be afraid to evolve your brand. This is something to think about down the line after you’ve solidified your brand. Following your consistent brand might start to hold you back. Don’t be afraid to adjust your brand to be better. Styles come and go. Stick to your brand but don’t be afraid to tweak it over time. Coca-Cola has had the same logo since they started and they often tweak everything else to keep up with the times. Pepsi has changed their logo countless times and tweaked their advertising to keep up with trends as well. The two companies change their approaches but still retain their core branding. You wouldn’t recognize them without it.
How to Get Started
Those are just a few tips to get you started on creating a consistent brand. There is more to branding as well (things like consistent grid structures, logo rules, design elements, etc.) but all of that gets pretty technical. It’s not as easy as it sounds and you might need help along the way. Consider working with a professional graphic designer to create your marketing materials. Find out how you can get all of your consistently branded marketing materials, plus exclusive business improvement strategies, for one low price.
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