Is your brand consistent, but not coherent?

What is the difference between brand consistency and coherence? This is the difference...

We all know that brand consistency is important… helping customers to become familiar with and recognise our brand is of huge benefit in an over-communicated society.

Consider that the average supermarket trip lasts about 45 minutes, and the average shopper buys around 35 items from more than 30,000 products – you can see why brand recognition counts. Brands need to be consistent to be recognisable.

It’s the reason why brand guidelines exist – ensuring that the brand identity is delivered consistently across all media.

But often, guidelines can become a barrier to creativity. You need to be careful they don’t stunt idea generation.

Remember, they are meant to be a ‘guide’ – not a set of draconian rules that prevent any kind of brand evolution.

Instead of ‘consistency’ we should perhaps be looking to achieve ‘coherence’.

The key here, is to really understand what your brand stands for.

If you are delivering the brand story consistently – if the experience your customers get is reliably ‘on brand’, you shouldn’t fear ‘pushing’ the guidelines.

Just do it. Since 1988, Nike have executed campaigns in a gazillion different ways, staying relevant, adapting to the market.

Executions don’t always follow a strict visual formula.

The consistency lies in the underlying brand promise.

If you want a coherent brand – by all means keep delivering the brand identity consistently, day in, day out.

But what’s really important is your brand positioning. Deliver that consistently and your brand will make sense to your audience.

It’s not about your logo. It’s about how your logo makes them FEEL.

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