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Branding mistake #2: inconsistency.

Branding is one of the most important aspects of any company. It can make or break customer experience and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. But branding doesn't always go as planned, and some branding mistakes are more costly than others. In this blog series the team from Quill Creative Studio will discuss some branding mistakes that many companies make - like being inconsistent.

Brand inconsistency is one of the most common branding mistakes, especially within the first few years of a new business. When a company starts out and works to become established, leaders will revise their approach or service offerings as opportunities arise. Making such adjustments is a crucial necessity to finding your organization’s sweet spot, and for fine-tuning processes and offerings. However, these changes can often lead to inconsistency in brand experience from one customer to the next, especially if proper positioning and brand strategy are not established on the front end. Therefore, maintaining a general vision for your brand’s purpose and offerings for yourself, your employees, and your customers is also essential to ensure all changes are driven by your core brand purpose.

One way to combat brand inconsistency is to develop a complete set of brand guidelines. A brand guidelines document will outline the key tenets of your branding, who you are trying to reach, and what you want them to feel when interacting with your organization. Having brand guidelines can help keep everyone on the same page and create a more consistent customer experience. Your branding guidelines document will also contain rules to maintain consistency throughout all your organization’s messaging and visuals. If you're unsure if having brand guidelines would make a difference for your company, check out our blog where we highlight 7 times brand guidelines saved the day. If you think your logo is your brand, we suggest reading our brand mistake #1 blog to better understand the difference between a visual identity and a brand.

When an organization uses its brand purpose as a guiding principle, they ensure that their branding stays consistent and strengthens perception. This is especially true when taking a customer-centric approach to branding, which puts the needs of your customers first. Customer experience - like branding - isn't always perfect, but how you respond to challenges along the way makes all the difference for your organization. Therefore, ensuring that every team member has a clear understanding of the organization's purpose and how it manifests through their actions is an ongoing opportunity to maintain consistency.

Visual consistency is also crucial and should be maintained throughout every piece of branded collateral. Looking back on everything created last year, for example, your organization should appear and sound intentionally consistent. Everything from business cards to brochures, digital ads to billboards should display consistent colors, typography, layout, imagery, and messaging. Imagine getting together with a friend and they show up with a new haircut, wardrobe style, and personality. Wouldn't it catch you off guard? Wouldn't you question it? Without a core purpose and complete branding guidelines, it can be easy to veer off course over time. If you feel that consistency has become a challenge for your brand, contact Quill Creative Studio to speak with a brand strategist. It's never too late to work on your brand from the inside out to avoid this common brand mistake.