Consistency and Gestalt in Branding
Updated: Jul 7
“Brands shape people's perceptions of companies, their products, or individuals.”
In your mind, you most likely know your business. Your heart and soul are in tied up in it for goodness sakes! This business also pays bills, keeps you awake some nights, but gives you more joy than that first sip at Starbucks (at times). Have you written a brand strategy or worked with branding guidelines? Is your message consistent, or do you have a message? Oftentimes companies are busy making, selling, and creating to stop and think about these things. We want to share why this is important.
What Branding Is and What Branding Is Not Branding is not the designs you made on your Canva account, nor is branding your well-designed, thought out website, nor is it your logo, nor even the name of your company. Don’t get us wrong, branding is affected by these things, but branding is more abstract than concrete. Simply stated, your brand is what consumers think of you when they hear your company name. Branding is a happy marriage of your purpose and what you produce. Dive a bit deeper, and branding has been defined by Investopedia as: “...a business and marketing concept that helps people identify a particular company, product, or individual. Brands are intangible, which means you can't actually touch or see them. As such, they help shape people's perceptions of companies, their products, or individuals. Brands commonly use identifying markers to help create brand identities within the marketplace. They provide enormous value to the company or individual, giving them a competitive edge over others in the same industry.
Branding is style, and style that you want others to notice. How you define your own personal style is similar to how a business defines a brand, and the aspects that go into branding are similar to the aspects that go into your style - your name, way of communicating, favorite sweater or sweatshirt, even your personality and behavior can contribute to your own style. Your brand does the same thing - your company has a name, a product or service, even a style. These things, when combined make an impression on people, as do you, business-owner-reader-soul.
Branding is style.
The Gestalt of Branding Just like your haircut, the style of jeans you prefer (or maybe leggings…jeggings anyone?) there are main areas in your business that go together to create the gestalt of your brand. These things inculde your company name, logo, font, colors, tagline/slogan, your brand voice (your personality), your target audience and your competitors. Knowing these things takes time and effort to define, but will save heartache in the long run. Once people know you, trust you, know your product and trust it, they will rely upon your message - do you make them feel deeply, feel safe, feel happy? These concepts go into creating your brand. This is what gets that target audience returning time and again. Why Consistency is SO HARD Ever try to start a new habit - like flossing daily, or getting up 30 minutes earlier to have that quiet cup of coffee, writing time, or run? It is difficult to maintain these areas of our lives. Why is that so? Research, and a really great book recommendation of Atomic Habits shows that we are more often than not going to keep that new, good habit consistently, unless we focus on the process instead of the outcome. When you take time to fall in love with the process, then you can dedicate time to creating things that let your brand shine: like a content calendar, an event page, a branding guide. If branding is the voice of your company that people take with you, then consistency is the friend that reminds your customers you are still there. Keeping your messaging consistent via your messaging, design and content ensures that your audience remains comfortable with you. This comfort level equals repeated, loyal customers.
Developing Consistent Sales and Repeat Customers To keep the process of branding at the forefront, it is necessary that a company develops standards to ensure consistency in all messaging. This is called a branding guide. This guide, when created, will actually save time and keep you from distraction, which we all know well. Know that color that is ‘in’ right now…don’t give into it with your logo, unless it is a part of your branding. You need to have a very good reason to deviate from your set brands to include trendy things such as the Very Peri Pantone Color of 2022 in your next product launch.
The Cost of Branding or Not The low-end cost of branding in 2022 is around $5,000. Averages for branding packages have been known to range from $70,000-$200,000. And this is simply to develop a brand package for you - not to sit down and walk through the ins and outs of daily implementing your brand identity. However, the cost of not branding is much worse. Not having a consistent, daily implemented branding guide can leave you without a voice to share with others. If you don’t know what you do - how does your company know what you do? Branding is vital to taking a business from remaining silent to having a place in your community and truly selling your offerings.
At VanWhy, We Love Branding We were those people in high school who hung out with everyone in all the circles because we could not choose just one. We love all types, shapes, and sizes of brands. We were also those people who became artists, designers, and business people because we love the look of unforgettable businesses that provide unforgettable services to their clients. We actually geek-out over creating branding guides and helping businesses develop their voice, design, and style…and we’d love to help you do the same. Reach out today to speak with our soul-full brand team.
Image Sources https://www.veranda.com/luxury-lifestyle/luxury-fashion-jewelry/g37418099/iris-apfel-style/