Why is consistency important?

I’m amazed at how many small businesses I come across who don’t pay attention to their professional image. There is at least one company I know that use one version of their logo on their shop front, a slight variation of this on their vans, and a completely different style in their printed promotions. Their reason for doing this? The fact that the sign-writer created the shop front logo – and the person who put the ad in the magazine designed it for them, and they didn’t know which font it was.

Why does it matter?

On average, it takes 7 exposures to your marketing message for someone to take action. That means they might see your ad in the paper, notice your van driving around, hear someone mention you, pass by your shop, see you on facebook and get a leaflet through the door from you before they actually do business with you.

If they are seeing a different ‘brand’ each time, they won’t be sure it’s you. Don’t forget, a lot of this is subliminal … of course people don’t actually count the number of times they see your logo. But if your product is relevant to them, they will notice it and you want to make sure they know it’s YOU they keep seeing, and not some other, similar business.

The right way to do it

A company that does a fantastic job of presenting themselves consistently is a steam fair that visits our village each year. They have lovely, old-fashioned circus style lettering in distinctive red and yellow colouring. Most of the rides feature the lettering. Their vans are fully branded in the same livery. They even have one with a fairground horse on the top! Last weekend, they were arriving for their annual visit, and there were posters all over the town, stating the location, the times, how to get a money-off voucher. Every approach to the green where they set up had a succession of posters. The local paper had a full page advert. They sent out an update on their facebook page. The vans were driving around.

All this activity used the same logo, the same typeface, the same colour-scheme so you were in no doubt it was them that was coming to town. The result was that all my children could talk about was the fair for days leading up to it. All their friends were going, we bumped into neighbours, friends and colleagues there – it is a popular, anticipated event.

How can you create the same impact?

  • Make sure you have a copy of your logo in all the file formats you might need (jpeg, gif, bitmap, png – depending on what you need it for – find out!)
  • Always use the same colour-scheme
  • Always use the same fonts
  • Choose an appropriate style and stick with it

Don’t take a gamble with your brand – take ownership of it!

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