Think of the color combination red and white. Think of a store, you probably thought of Target. Think of a soda, you probably thought about Coca-Cola. These brands have captured the essence of brand consistency. Brand consistency is when you evoke the same feeling and look repeatedly, to the point of your audience knowing your brand. Even before an ad reveals the circle logo of Target or the white script logo of Coca-Cola, your brain already knows what brand it is. When you scroll through Instagram, you can tell what brand the post is for before you see the name. Why is that? Why is there a sense of familiarity subconsciously? It’s because we have seen the same color combinations, imagery, typography, and style repeatedly and our brain automatically makes the connection. Big companies have become masters of brand consistency to the point of 3 seconds into a commercial, we know the brand.
Now you may ask why? Why is brand consistency important? For many reasons, but one is that brand consistency invokes trust and loyalty. Loyalty is one of the main things that companies focus on in their customers because they want customers who will come back again and again. As humans, we love comfort and familiarity. When we are deciding where to spend our money, we go to the brand that has remained consistent and is reliable. Even if there are better companies than Target, we are familiar with the feel and look of Target, we know what to expect, and we will choose them every time. If the look and feel of your brand across your social media, ads, and website aren’t cohesive, your audience will become confused and confusion does not breed trust. If your audience feels a lack of trust in your company, they will take their business elsewhere.
People like aesthetically pleasing branding. When branding is consistent, it’s nice to look at and see patterns. Consistent branding satisfies the part of our brain that loves patterns. “Humans have a tendency to see patterns everywhere," Jamie Hale, M.S. states. Whether we know it or not, our brain is making connections every second of every day. When someone can look at your branding across all social platforms and see a pattern, it’s pleasing to them. It comes down to the way our brains work and the visual neuroscience behind it. When you use visual neuroscience in “everything from your logo, to your online content, you can begin to trigger more consistent emotional responses from your consumers.” It helps your brand be recognizable. Before your audience can even think of it consciously, they are already swaying toward your brand.
Everything you do as a company in branding affects the perception of your company. To give you the best consistency possible, you need cohesion even in the perceivable “small things.” What does consistency mean to a company? It means that your logo needs to be seen consistently throughout the profile pictures of social accounts, throughout the pages of your website, advertisements, business cards, etc. Make sure to keep your color palette limited and use every color across the board. The only colors that should be on your social media account, website, etc. are your brand colors. Besides neutral colors, any other color causes confusion where there does not need to be any. When using imagery with your brand, the lighting should be consistent and should visually “fit in.” While there may be times when there are unique fonts used across your company's platforms, there should only be two or three fonts used consistently for recognition’s sake. If there is a style of illustration used, keep it the same across the board. When someone looks at your social media accounts, there should never be a graphic or image that feels out of place. If that is the case, pinpoint where the consistency failed and try again. It may take a few tries, but the more you identify what makes your brand yours, the more consistent it will be.