Getting to know you; the secret of consistent branding

23rd September 2014

Let’s start with the basics; your brand is your reputation. It takes a long time to build a good reputation, and no time at all to build a bad one.

 

So if your brand is your reputation, then what is your logo? Answer: it’s the clothes you wear, more to the point, it’s the clothes you dress your company in.

 

Keeping with the analogy and thinking about yourself for a moment, would it be fair to say that you have a certain belief in whom you are and that you tend to try and dress in a fashion and way that reflects that belief? You can call it dressing the part if it helps, but what it means is that you / we tend to try and mirror our character and personalities in the way that we present ourselves, to the point that recognising the style of someone’s way of dressing potentially gives you a pretty good idea of the person you’re about to meet…and the same is true for our brand and our business.

 

Let’s move the conversation forward. We’ve established that it takes a long time to build a good reputation and similarly it takes a long time for a brand to be recognised and build presence. The clothes your brand wears, your logo, colours and styles will reflect the beliefs and personality of your company, and your products will be marketed based on all of this and supported by the strength of your brand. Suddenly change the way you dress and you risk not being recognised, or even losing your friends… because people don’t like change, they like familiarity, so any change carries a risk. Consistency and predictability are vital…which doesn’t mean being boring, just recognisable and reassuring.

 

Take Bisto for example. There’s a brand that hasn’t changed since mother first made apple pie. But look again, its core message may have remained broadly the same (Browns, Seasons and Thickens in One go, hence the name), and the look has been changed dozens of times over the last hundred and something years, but it’s still instantly recognisable. It still wears the same clothes.

 

The lesson is not to be arrogant. The examples of Royal Mail rebranding to Consignia and of Tropicana making themselves unrecognisable are great examples of this. The brand owners allowed themselves to be persuaded that they were such an intrinsic part of everyday life that nothing could touch them. Both were disasters. HM The Queen occasionally dons casual clothes and wanders around the shops, if she can change her clothes and not be recognised, so can any brand!

 

 


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