Harvey2 resizedThis month our MD, Tim, got a new puppy, Harvey the black Labrador. As Tim flicked through photos of the furry bundle of joy we talked about how training him is hard work and the importance of being consistent.

One day you feed him scraps from the dining table as he wails beside you, but the next you expect him to behave whilst you are eating dinner. You tell him he can't sit on the sofa, but then snuggle him up later with a movie.

Tough as it is, consistency is crucial, whether it's puppies or brands. Think about it: your brand is one of your greatest assets. You've probably made a large up-front investment in creating a beautiful identity that reflects you perfectly. It communicates who you are, what you sell, your values and personality. So why would you undermine it by not applying it consistently, wherever it appears?

We've highlighted five tips on how to keep your brand consistent across all of its applications, making sure that your customers and employees get the right message, all of the time.

Know your voice - and always speak with it.

Understand exactly who you are. Are you bold and direct, or relaxed and funny? Strive to work out your particular style and then keep it genuine and unique. Decide how it translates across different channels and touchpoints. How do you sound on the radio? Do you reply to tweets with funny puns or take a more serious approach? What does a chat with your organisation sound and feel like?

Argos employee branding graphics in their unique tone of voice

Argos employee branding graphics in their unique tone of voice

Put in the hard work early on.

Design your visual identity to work across all applications up-front. By defining clear principles, hierarchy and a visual framework early on you will save yourself pain and frustration later on. A good looking logo on paper is no longer enough. That identity has to work across multiple digital channels, in a whole range of shapes and sizes and formats. Make sure you design that in from the beginning, because retrofitting an old identity onto new media is much, much harder.

Waitrose design application principles

Waitrose design application principles

Every application matters

There really shouldn’t be any, “it doesn’t matter” scenarios when it comes to your brand. Each and every possible touchpoint could be key to creating a great first impression (which you never get a second chance to do). So take time and give the attention to every detail. That way, you'll never have one of those wincing moments when you see a poorly thought through execution of your brand.

John Lewis workplace branding welcome graphics

John Lewis workplace branding welcome graphics

Be flexible, but don’t compromise

You can design everything to perfection, align every image to your grid and still something can feel “off”. Be flexible, use your common sense, and think about the context of your message. If you need to flex your design to get it working, then go ahead and do that. But, you should never compromise your core principles. If one of your rules is “we maintain lots of white space to ensure a high quality,” you should never create a brochure filled to the nines with colour and images. Your customers won’t be expecting it, and might even doubt whether the communication came from your brand.

The flexible Skoda retail concept

The flexible Skoda retail concept

Engage your people in your brand

The most telling experience anyone will ever have of your brand is when they interact with your people. If you want to achieve brand consistency you must get everyone in the organisation on board – from the shop-floor worker to the managing director. No one person can achieve brand consistency, it has to be a team effort. Make sure you explain your brand to your people, that you train them and provide the tools they need to give a great brand experience every time.

Richard Branston at the Virgin Media launch

None of this is astrophysics. It's common sense really. But in our experience it’s following these principles that differentiates great brands from forgettable ones. If you're thinking you could do with some help in this field, why not give us a call? We're sure to be able to assist you, and you might even get to meet Harvey, which is a brand experience all of its own.

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