Whether you’re trying to make a name for yourself in the world or representing your business well, make consistency your best friend.
Consistency is the heart of a great brand. It’s the glue holding all of the pieces together. It depicts who you are and what you value. It shows organization, deliberation, and drive. Consistency matters.
Okay, okay. Enough word play. Let’s break this concept down into bite-sized sections. How do you implement and maintain a unified front?
What You Say
Choose your words wisely. Whether you’re developing content for a website or face-to-face networking with potential clients, double (or triple) check your information’s validity and purpose. You have the upper hand; it’s your presentation. Know your strong points, state the positives, and give well-informed answers.
Details matter! …But avoid jargon. The last thing you want is potential customers making their exit due to an overuse of excessively specific terms. Keep your content accessible to the general public, all the while leaving room to show that you know your stuff.
How You Say It
As a writer, I witness most brand inconsistencies in this category: grammar and punctuation. Keep your standards high because, in the long run, knowing where to place a comma and when to use “it’s” versus “its” is entirely worthwhile.
Here are just a few tips to jot on a post-it note and tack to your computer screen:
- Capitalization is reserved for the first word of a sentence, proper nouns (names of specific people, places, and things and the pronoun “I”), and titles. If a word or phrase is important to you, consider italicizing or bolding the text rather than capitalizing its first letter.
- Commas matter! They’re perhaps the most misused of all punctuation marks. They belong in a series of items (red, white, and blue); between two independent clauses joined by a conjunction (I hate mornings, and I need coffee!); and in a specific places within quotations.
- Correct spelling builds credibility. You probably have the basics covered like a pro, so just keep an eye out for sly homophones:
- So, you’re wearing your scuba gear to the prom?
- The effect of spilling spaghetti sauce on white pants will affect your laundry routine.
- They’re on their way to meet us there.
- It’s the cookie jar’s fault! Its cookies are just too tempting.
- Two ostriches had too much fun sticking their heads in the sand to avoid sunburn.
- I’ve accepted the fact that everyone has an iPhone except me.
How You Look
Moving into the visual realm of brand consistency… You probably have a myriad of photos, logos, and themes you want to show the world. Well, that’s great, but be intentional with presentation. Showcase your photos neatly and similarly throughout your site. Use no more than two to three fonts (I’d recommend one for titles/highlights and one for the text body), and choose them wisely. Keep font size in check; bigger is not always better. Balance is king! Never underestimate the value of margins and white space, which are staples in the art of balance and simplicity. These concepts apply not only to websites, posters, and brochures, but also to personal resumes, emails, and thank you notes.
Pull Yourself Together!
Above all else, know your mission statement. What are your goals? What do you want to represent to the outside world? What do you have to offer? Keep a bird’s-eye perspective of your overall image, from tiny to great. And remember, it’s okay to ask for help! Have friends or family weigh in with a fresh set of eyes. (Or hey, shoot us an email.)
What tips do you have for keeping a consistent brand?
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