That old adage ‘it doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside, it’s what’s inside that counts’ is as true for brands as it is for any of us. It’s not enough for your beauty to be skin deep. Brands are like people; your values and personality should go right down to the heart of what you deliver.
How you doin’?! When trying to attract customers, looks count and first impressions matter. Your logo, design style and colour palette instantly help people understand your brand’s personality and set their expectations. This means it’s important to get it right. Vibrant colours, friendly graphics and easy-to-read typefaces can shout energy, fun and enthusiasm. In contrast, muted tones, stylised imagery and minimalistic design can exude professionalism, integrity and innovation. So, what does your brand say – and is it turning heads?
Mind your language
Making sure your brand language is married perfectly with its look and feel is a must. Forget any ninja moves, your written style and tone of voice are your brand’s secret weapon. They helps customers understand who you are, connect with your brand on a personal level and decide whether you’re the right ‘fit’.
Innocent Drinks is a fantastic example; its written style has won customers’ hearts with its friendly humour, clear messaging and laid-back approach. Innocent’s head office is named ‘fruit towers’, its drinks have ‘enjoy by’ instead of ‘use by’ dates, quirky labels to love and even humour in their mandatory product information: “Gently pasteurised like milk. Shake it up baby”. What’s clear is that Innocent’s personality is good enough to bottle.
Delivering brand promises
Any interaction someone might have with your brand is often referred to as a brand touchpoint. So, think about ALL of your touchpoints and the ways people engage with you. What experience does someone have if they phone your company or tweet you, or if they visit your website? What do they see if they come to your office or receive your invoice? Everything tells a story. And if the experience doesn’t match expectations- such as if your ‘fun and friendly’ brand provides a stiff and formal response – it won’t seem genuine.
A long time ago, while attending a job interview* at a company priding itself on quality and service, I was given a branded pen that literally fell apart in my hand. On being given another, the same thing happened. It turned out the company knew their pens were faulty but were still using them as branded merchandise. Granted, in the scheme of things pens are no ‘biggy’, but what message was that sending to potential customers about their quality and values? At best it’s an awkward conversation at a new business meeting. If you want people to believe in and trust your brand, the details matter.
*I got the job and the pens quickly ‘disappeared’!
Consistency, consistency, consistency
Your brand values and personality should be clear across every element and it’s essential to be consistent. Because if you’re not, you can’t build trust and loyalty. Think about what your brand stands for and then consider every different way it might be communicated.
If you give everyone who comes into touch with your brand a consistent experience, they’ll remember you, have confidence in the brand and are more likely to come back (with any luck becoming brand champions along the way)!