So you're trying to build a following? Start with design.
Before a brand can sway the masses to be loyal to it, the brand must establish itself as a positive, instantly recognizable, entity worthy of a following. To do that, brands have to be one thing: consistent. Consistency and branding is something brand managers and designers talk about often. If you listen to brand managers and designers talk about consistency and branding, you’d think the word they were really looking for is “uniformity.” For many, consistency directly correlates to uniformity of style and execution. However, we would argue, that consistency means adherence to a style, with adaptations of branded elements that make logical sense and accentuate the brand, rather than dilute it. Or make it stale.
A brand with a playful sense of fluidity can hold true to its core style and presentation. In doing so, the brand is responsive to its environment and able to present itself in the most open, or confined, spaces.
The images here belong to a single brand. At first glance, they might look uniform in style, but a casual examination will determine that there are distinct differences in the presentations of fonts, the brand logo, and the overall style of each printed piece. This is an acceptable amount of fluidity. The designers have adapted the presentation of each brand to be functional in the environments where it’s presented, and they’ve stayed true enough to the brand’s style that the distinctions are hardly noticeable.
This is important because the chief goal is to maintain instant recognizability. Before an audience can become loyal to a brand, the audience must be able to recognize the brand.
There are a number of things brands can do to work toward consistency.
Establish a style guide. Use this guide to set clear, concrete rules about the use of your brand in print, through digital channels and in physical spaces. Part of your style guide could be a color strategy, to help determine what kind of color palette your branded materials should use.
Collect fonts, colors, textures and any other elements you would deem acceptable to use in your branding. These items should then be incorporated into your style guide.
Align your social media accounts. This alignment should include visual elements, voice, and naming that make your accounts instantly recognizable, even if you use different platforms to reach different audiences.
These objectives are easy for a business of any size to achieve. Meeting with brand designers is a good way to safely explore how to express your brand in a way that is visually consistent.