Brand building blocks stacked high to show how brand inconsistencies can destabilize your brand

Learn Why Brand Consistency Is the Foundation of Your Brand

Justin Lynch
Justin Lynch

Brand Strategist & Co-Founder

Brand Consistency is essential when building a strong brand. Every time your brand delivers the same experience the more trust you build with your customers — bonus points if those experiences also align with your brand’s promises. The building of this trust takes time and strategic planning. But, the solid foundation it creates is worth the effort.

Why Brand Consistency Is Important

A great way to illustrate this concept is through a Jenga tower. If you’ve ever played it, or a similar game, you know how a Jenga tower looks.

Think of you brand as a tower of blocks (we’ll call it a Brand Tower). The 7 Elements of your brand build the initial layout of those blocks.

Over time blocks on your Brand Tower are added or removed based on customer experiences:

  • Negative experiences remove blocks
  • Positive experiences add and replace blocks that have been removed

Consistency builds trust

When your brand consistently delivers on it’s purpose, mission, and benefits it builds trust with customers. They know when they interact with your brand they’ll receive the same experiences over and over again.

This constant reinforcement is equivalent to adding and replacing blocks on your tower.

Inconsistencies compromise your brand

When inconsistencies with your brand occur, it’s removing blocks from your Brand Tower. Luckily, the removal of those blocks won’t immediately collapse your tower.  Since the removal of a few blocks doesn’t effect the tower, many businesses don’t realize these inconsistencies are happening.

It’s important to realize inconsistencies happen to all brands and it’s something you have to actively mitigate against. In the end if enough blocks are removed it will compromise the stability of your brand.

Brand Consistency Strategies

All brands have inconsistencies. It’s an inevitable part of building a brand.

The key is making sure you’re adding more blocks to your Brand Tower than you’re losing.

Here are 3 strategies to help you build better brand consistency.

Document Brand Elements

One of the most efficient ways to ensure brand consistency is to document the elements of your brand. Having them documented provides everyone in the business a single reference point for everything related to the brand. 

Most of the time, brand elements are documented in a Brand Guide (also called a Style Guide). The guide provides information on the following elements:

  • Logo Usage
  • Color Palette
  • Typography

There are a wide variety of other brand elements that can be documented but the ones listed above are the minimum you should include.

Develop a Brand Consistency Plan

It’s important to continually audit your brand. The frequency of those audits will depend on the business and how much marketing collateral you’re creating. Most businesses are fine to do a brand audit every 12 months. However, if you’re constantly creating new materials we recommend doing a brand audit every 3 – 6 months.

In addition to brand audits, someone in the business needs to be in charge of the brand. This means they have final say on the designs of marketing collateral and how the brand is being portrayed.

Internal Brand Training

Brand inconsistencies rarely happen on purpose (i.e. when someone willingly goes against the brand guidelines). Most of the time inconsistencies happen because people were never trained to keep brand consistency in mind.

This is why it’s important to provide training to every person who can influence the brand. You need to let them know the importance of brand consistency and what actions they should take to ensure consistency. Here are some quick examples of how anyone in an organization to help ensure brand consistency:

  • Know the location of the Brand Guide and how to interpret it.
  • Always reference the Brand Guide when creating any branded material.
  • Remember that you can’t take shortcuts with the brand. Every inconsistency adds up.
  • Hold each other accountable for building a consistent brand.