6th November 2019
Disengagement? Lost sales? Customer confusion? Brand alignment is the measurement of how well your organisation meets its brand expectation and delivers on its promise. Clarity and consistency will build trust and better engage your customers and prospects. Why it’s important that your brand identity and shared materials do not deviate from the brand's style, message and proposition to retain healthy sales.
Is your business speaking correctly and directly to its desired audience?
There are many factors to consider though three simple points need addressing first.
Once these primary questions are addressed, then the brand will need to reflect all this and remain consistent. Aligning a consistent message and style across all your branding is very important as it eliminates confusion and projects a clear and immediate message to your user, reader or visitor.
The simple, visual alignment elements (mainly) are; Fonts, Shapes, Colour, then more intrinsically, Message and Personality. These are quite obvious you may say but it is surprising how easy it is to get this slightly wrong and the outcome is that the brand message is diminished, damaged or even lost and the client can go elsewhere before you have even got to “hello”.
Using a font set that compliments your logo within documents, articles, digital media, on stationery and well, everywhere really. Sticking to one set is usually best, in some cases two sets can work well too.
Using a graphical device/shape, maybe a nod to your logo if possible, but it needs to remain consistent. It can be scaled or used in quantities if it is simple and not too complex.
Will give off a signal to buyers or viewers and there’s a lot of theory about colours and how they affect people emotively but we’ll touch on that maybe in a future post. The main thing to say is that this is the same as the font choice, in that one or two complimentary colours will work best and not confuse. In general if the colour has not been established at the time the logo was conceived then it makes everything a little harder.
A brand identity that is ‘on message’, absolutely clear about what it delivers and never deviates or dilutes this, will be strongest and have longevity. The honest one-liner that simply nails what the business is, the vision it has, it’s mission statement, what makes it attractive or what makes it different (the USP). This is especially key when presenting in brochures or at an event or exhibition. Too much ‘verbal fluff’ and the viewer, reader or visitor will lose interest rapidly.
Personality and Imagery.
Now we’re getting into the deeper relationship your brand has with your customer. This will evolve once your proposition (and proof of it) have been realised. However, the personality will be shaped and driven by the company vision, or the character of the owner of the smaller operation (the face of the business).
By combining the three visual elements properly, the brand, its identity, logo and any supporting assets like brochures, stationery and website, will be received well and explain and represent the business perfectly. Therefore this “visual alignment” will not confuse the consumer or worse, drive them elsewhere.
The supporting one liner, headline message, service delivery or proposition in words, will underline what your business does and offers. This needs to be as simple as possible and again, clearly delivered. It doesn’t necessarily mean this is part of a logo, just a well-designed 'neighbour' or 'family member'. The personality and how the brand then evolves will be driven both by the company's vision and how it's eventually consumed by anyone interacting with it.
In summary, anyone engaging with the aligned brand materials easily, without any doubt or confusion as to what the proposition is, will respond positively, your business is more likely to gain or retain a client and build sales positively.