Whether it’s designing, messaging, communication, or the identity, look and feel you want to create. There is a lot to consider with ‘Staying On-Brand’.

You’ve spent countless hours building your brand’s look and feel. You’ve:

• Identified your target audience
• Developed a strong brand identity and visual communication
• Created consistent brand design assets
• Outlined a marketing strategy and brand awareness campaign

Through continuous engagement, your audience becomes familiar with your brand and its touchpoints, finding a place in their minds and hearts.

Going Off-Brand

Sometimes, brands choose to go ‘off-brand’ to mix things up or draw attention. Done right, it can amplify their message. Done wrong, it can cause confusion and damage the brand.

Role of Brand Guidelines

Brand Guidelines ensure consistency across all communications, messaging, and touchpoints. They help those inside and outside the brand understand and work with it better.

For example, using different colors or fonts can make the brand unrecognizable and out of sync with the audience’s expectations. Imagine Starbucks changing its colors to bright pink – it would be jarring and off-putting.

Messaging can also go off-brand. If a corporate brand suddenly uses slang or informal language, it can harm its professional image and offend its audience. This creates a disconnect and undermines trust.

Staying On-Brand: Benefits

1. Clear Communication and Trust: Consistency leads to trust and loyalty. Creative ideas should be tested in small groups before public release to avoid damaging the brand’s reputation.
2. Improved Brand Awareness: Aligning voice, messaging, and communication with the brand makes it easier for people to connect and remember it.

Think about Coca-Cola. Its design, shape, and feel are instantly recognizable worldwide. This level of detail and consistency has built global familiarity.

Finding the Balance

Establishing consistency with an ‘on-brand’ approach lays a strong foundation. From there, you can explore off-brand strategies that might benefit brand awareness.