Consistency Through Branding, and When It’s Ok to Change Things Up Change.
Change is scary. It is new, it is uncomfortable, and sometimes, change is necessary.
One of the mantras we’ve espoused since Day One has been consistency. Be consistent, we’ve said. Consistency is key. And it is. Consistency is a fundamental factor in the overall success and relevance of your brand, whether it be something more impactful like your packaging or slogan, to smaller details, like the typeface you use and the frequency with which you post to your social media. Not only do the facets of your brand need to stay consistent, but so does your implementation of them. Are blog posts a key instrument in your brand’s voice? Make sure you post often. Make sure the content of your blog posts is consistently relevant to your brand, your product, your company. That being said, there may, however, come a time where you need to switch things up – and that’s ok.
If consistency is crucial to the success of a brand, then change is crucial to its survival. Brands with legendary longevity are living proof of this. There is no logo more globally recognized than McDonald’s golden arches, an integral part of their brand’s DNA. Though that beaming M is as consistent as they come, McDonald’s brand has evolved several times over the decades as a way of responding to their market’s newfound interests and ever-changing tastes. As consumers became more health conscious, salads were added to their menu, along with other health-forward items. Consequentially, McDonald’s marketing changed to accommodate its new product additions. Instead of them simply becoming add-ons, McDonald’s health menu is now a definitive part of their brand. One of the reasons McDonald’s continues to be the major player it is, is because of its ability to respond and adapt to its market.
One of the major changes to today’s markets is the continuous emergence of new technologies. More specifically, how these new technologies affect and influence brand communications. Long gone are the days of the telephone book and the print ad. Consumers rely on today’s technologies as their ultimate source and medium of communication. We’re talking mobile, web, animation – even augmented reality. These are the major channels your brand needs to communicate through to thrive; your brand now has to adapt itself to these mediums. Brace yourselves, change is coming.
Your design suddenly has to be responsive. GIFs are now a featured part of your social media strategy. An app is in the works because the majority of your market uses one. As new and unfamiliar as this may all seem, do not see it as separate from your branding, see it as an extension of it. New mediums do not translate into new brand. They just require a little transformation: the voice of your new online content might need to adapt itself slightly to the outlet, be it Twitter or YouTube, but it should still reflect the overall voice of your brand.
Change is important to a brand’s relevance – when it is called for. Making unnecessary changes to your branding without a solid basis of reasoning, or doing it for the sake of, is dangerous. There is an age-old adage that says, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That applies here: listen to your audience. Look at your market, if they are responding positively to what you are doing, and your branding is working well, there is no need to make changes. Instead, keep at it, and be consistent.