Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Great Brands are Consistent

Branding is about consistency. It's about acting in a manner consistent with your core purpose. It's about deciding in a manner that is consistent with your goals. It's about communicating to your stakeholders in a manner that is consistent with your value to them.

Jeff Brooks goes a step too far in dismissing the importance of brand guidelines (and the look of your brand). If you have a great brand, the last thing you should do is dismiss the "puny efforts of the brand police to achieve consistency." If you have a great brand, you should applaud the efforts of your "brand police" to ensure that there is a thread of visual connection among the messages you're selling to your stakeholders -- be they employees, customers, donors, shareholders or members of the general society. After all, great brand guidelines (which do exist, contrary to Mr. Brooks' assertion) provide context and share the story of the brand: where it came from, what it stands for and why it's important.

Plus, we live in a world of appearances. What you look like matters. And, in a world of uncertainty, people are more likely to support organizations that connect all of their messages -- the written, the actions, the spoken and the visual.
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