Do you know how important brand consistency is in building trust with your clients?

Think about meeting someone for the first time. If they’re smartly dressed in a suit, you form an impression about them based on their appearance. With that impression comes a bunch of assumptions. You’d assume this person is professional, confident, decisive. Now, what happens if the next time you see them they’re dressed in a ratty T-shirt and ripped jeans? And the next time they’re wearing a ball gown? It may be hard to nail down exactly who they are and what they are all about, right. Well, the same applies to your business appearance.

In the past, you could create a professional-looking website and that’s all people would see if they searched for your business online. These days, your clients interact with your business in many different places. So the need for brand consistency has become both more complex and more important.

Here’s an example. It’s quite common to create sales pages (landing pages) designed for specific campaigns/launches. Often these look quite different to your website. So a prospect clicks on your ad and lands on your sales page. They like what they see, but aren’t quite ready to sign up or buy from you so they do a Google search for your business. What runs through their minds when they open your site and it looks totally different to the sales page?

“Wait. This doesn’t look right”
“Is this the right site?”
“This doesn’t look like the same company”
“Did I type that incorrectly?”
What do you think they do next – buy from you or close down their browser?

This is known as a broken user experience. And broken user experiences are a big problem. It takes a lot of time and effort to convince someone to buy from you online. In marketing, there is a principle called the “Rule of Seven”. This states that your clients need to see your brand seven times or more before they consider buying from you. These interactions will need to be consistent with each other to create a memorable and trustworthy brand experience. So those sales page/website brand inconsistencies will lose you clients.

Here are a few tips for you to make your brand more consistent

If you don’t already have one, create a brand guideline document
Every business should aim to be immediately recognisable by their prospective clients. So your brand document needs to outline things like where and how your logo is placed. What font/typography to use for headings and body text. What colours represent your brand and what type of images to use across all your digital and print marketing materials.

Check your website
With your brand guidelines now established. Have a look at your website and work your way through all your pages. Do all the pages have a consistent look and feel? Do they have the same layout? Do you use the same font and colours, are your images consistent? Are your headings the same size and your buttons the same colour? All these elements provide a consistent user experience. A lot of these things are standard UX practices and always good to have in place.

Social media channel audit
Have a look at all your social media accounts. Is your logo visible and is it the same logo used on other channels. Does your background/header image use the same font/colours and images as the rest of your digital assets? If you are using photos of yourself, are the photo’s consistent? If your Facebook photo is of you 10 years ago at a club with your BFF and your LinkedIn one a professional photo taken a year ago. Fix that!

Set up an approval process
Once you’ve managed to get everything looking consistent it’s vital that you keep it that way. If you have many people working on your site and social media accounts, make sure they have a copy of your brand guidelines. Then set up an approval process to make sure anything new complies with your guidelines.