According to “The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding,” the most frequently violated law of branding is consistency. “Markets may change, but brands shouldn’t. They may be bent slightly or given a new slant, but their essential characteristics (once those characteristics are firmly planted in the mind) should never be changed.”
Lack of consistency is certainly a common pitfall for many businesses both big and small. All too often, workshops, seminars or stakeholder meeting presentations are generated with different logos and no consistent message or theme throughout. The harm in such a practice is each time your audience sees your logo, it is unrecognizable, which suggests that not only is the brand confused, but those running the company are also confused and disorganized.
By providing a consistent brand and message in your proposals and presentations, your company develops a personality and creates credibility in the marketplace. Making consistent branding a top priority in your Public Relations strategy, your presentations will stand out in a flooded market where innumerable brands are vying for attention.
However, the importance of consistency does not end with proposals and presentations. Conducting a marketing audit will help you determine how consistent your firm’s materials really are. To do this, gather all information that actually leaves your office – either through the front door, e-mail or fax – and examine each piece carefully for inconsistencies in your message or theme. Don’t forget items such as advertisements, coffee mugs or other giveaways, business cards, invoices and more. Reviewing these materials at the same time will help you see obvious discrepancies, but will also allow you to evaluate which message you want to send.
A great example of consistency in branding is the recent changes done at The San Diego Union-Tribune. There was a discrepancy between their online brand, a.k.a. SignOnSanDiego.com and their identity as a print publication. Now, the company name and logo on all of their media products and communications will be U-T San Diego. This change will help them unify their print and digital products under a single brand with a clear and consistent expectation of quality. This new company name will also match the nameplate of the newspaper, Facebook page and their newly released iPad app, making U-T San Diego operate as one integrated media company. Kudos, U-T San Diego!
Public Relations Manager