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The Idea Bureau

Why your organisation is struggling with brand inconsistency

We often receive briefs from charities, non-profits, and NGOs where there’s a common theme and pain point for these organisations, and that’s branding. Either their branding is inconsistent or their website doesn’t reflect their brand.

Having a clear and consistent brand is so important, both internally as a team and externally to our users. If our branding and messaging aren’t consistent then this leaves room for mistakes to be made and for our users to not be able to truly align with our organisation and our values.

How do brand inconsistencies occur?

There can be several reasons why organisations struggle with this and we’re here to shed light on a couple of those:

There are no brand guidelines in the first place

Especially in smaller organisations, it can be very common that there are no guidelines for people to follow in the first place. This typically means that the knowledge lives in someone’s head e.g. Digital Communications Manager, and whilst this might be okay in the short-term, problems will soon arise.

What happens when they’re on annual leave or what if a tasks needs delegating to achieve a fast approaching deadline? Someone else on the team will make a decision and here’s where the inconsistencies begin. A bigger problem is when the person with all that knowledge leaves the team as their knowledge is then lost forever.

The brand is becoming outdated

Whilst the foundations of your brand may rarely change there are aspects of your brand that will continuously evolve and change over the years. Often when teams feel like their brand is becoming outdated, individuals start experimenting with new concepts and ideas internally. Whilst this is great and your brand growing can be a good thing this does also lead to further inconsistencies. These new concepts and ideas then lead the further exploration, perhaps from other team members, and before we know it the brand is misaligned.

What’s the solution?

The solution to this is actually pretty easy. Say hello to your new best friend, brand guidelines. Let’s talk about the benefits your organisation will feel from having this.

To have a strong brand you need to have brand guidelines that act as a single source of truth for the entire organisation

  • The goal here is that it shouldn’t matter who is trying to create a new presentation, social media content, or other marketing materials. With clear rules in place, anyone should be able to create something that’s on brand and is consistent.
  • Guidelines will help avoid confusion and provide clear dos and don’ts for people.
  • Everyone will be singing from the same hymn sheet meaning that your whole organisation knows your mission and your core values, which means you can all communicate in the same way.

What do our brand guidelines look like?

Traditionally brand guidelines would exist in a static PDF document that was designed to show people how to use your brand and then your assets (logo and fonts etc.) would be stored elsewhere e.g. Dropbox or Google Drive.

Whilst the above approach is okay, we much prefer to use methods that allow for updates to be made very easily and act more as a living breathing document. After all your brand is likely to change and evolve, so these brand guidelines need to be able to do the same.

We love using Zeroheight to document our client’s branding. This is a fantastic tool that connects up with our design software (Figma) and allows our clients to have a one-stop shop. They can find all the rules and guidelines on how to use their brand along with all of their assets in one place. Another benefit is that when the brand evolves changes can be made directly in Zeroheight without the need to update a PDF and circulate this with the team.

Do you need new brand guidelines?

Contact us today