One of the most important things for you to understand about branding is that you’re not talking about something that exists physically. A brand doesn’t actually exist within the confines of your business. Branding all about what people think, feel and the opinions they form in their minds when they hear about you.
It’s that little voice inside their heads that compels them to make a purchase because you have similar values. Something that is informed by the quality of every interaction they’ve ever had with you and, as a result, is constantly evolving in more ways than one.
It is also something that you can control, with the help of one single and beautiful word: continuity.
Make no mistake about it: in terms of your branding efforts, continuity is everything. If you want to grab hold of your brand in the minds of your consumers and shape it the way that you need to generate the results that you deserve, there are a few key things you’ll want to keep in mind.
The idea of continuity is to make sure every piece of collateral you create feels it is from the same place. It is also about making sure that every experience that someone has with your brand – be it in the form of an in-person interaction or a telephone call or even a visit to your website – is as consistent as humanly possible.
In terms of your marketing collateral, this is one of the many reasons why buyer personas are so essential. In theory, you should know what your brand’s mission & values are. This is the major reason why you got into the business. It is also your starting point. Buyer personas aren’t just what you’re using to build off of that foundation, but also what you’re ostensibly building towards.
So when you sit down with Visme (which I founded) to design a great infographic, certain choices that you’re making should be informed. A) what your brand is, what it represents and the emotions that you want to convey. B) who, specifically, you’re speaking to.
So next week when you continue to use Visme to get to work on that next big presentation you’ve had in mind, it may be a different piece of collateral in a totally different format with a different set of end goals, but it still feels like it was created by the same person who made the infographic earlier. If one of your customers experiences the infographic and presentation, they shouldn’t feel like two totally different things with entirely different identities. At the end of the day, it should still feel like one person created both elements.
Many of the design choices that you’ll make will play a role in this. Make sure the same version of your logo is present on the infographic, presentation, and website. Always maintain a consistent look.
Other times the choices you’ll make will run deeper than that. You should have consistent color schemes across all the materials you create. You can also use certain language choices and make it part of your larger identity.
If you play your card rights, this can even extend itself into other mediums – like video. Even if you film a series of videos that you’re planning on monetizing and distributing via a service like Uscreen.tv, they should maintain the same look and feel throughout. The major benefit of this ultimately comes down to expanding your reach. The main goal is for people to immediately recognize it as your videos.
It’s a bit like auteur filmmaking in that regard. When you watch a new movie and immediately say “this is a Steven Spielberg film, I’m 100% positive of it”.
You’re probably right because all of Spielberg’s films have certain elements & themes that transcend the individual’s films themselves and have bled into their larger bodies of work.
As far as your branding is concerned, your larger continuity efforts are really no different.
One thing to understand is that your brand is the most important part of your business. There’s a reason why Apple is one of the most profitable and important brands in all of human history. Every product they release, every piece of collateral they develop is recognizable thanks to that “Apple” approach. They’re truly masters at it. We can all learn from the techniques that they’ve perfected over the years.
Your end goal does not have to be “become profitable like Apple”. If you are able to master continuity you’ll be able to enjoy loyalty and awareness on your own terms.If you are able to master continuity you'll be able to enjoy loyalty and awareness on your own terms. Click To Tweet
Payman Taei is the founder of Visme, an easy-to-use online tool to create engaging presentations, infographics, and other forms of visual content. He is also the founder of HindSite Interactive, an award-winning Maryland digital agency specializing in website design, user experience, and web app development.