Brand Standards

Why Consistent Brand Standards Matter

When you walk into your favourite store, you expect to find their other locations to look similar or the same. It’s an unconscious expectation. However, admit it: you become used to the look and feel of a brand once you know it a little better.

Conversely, if a store’s locations have a confusing layout, use different logos or do not seem consistent, the business seems disjointed. You begin to ask yourself, “Is this even the same company?” and feel a sense of unease and sense of trust because your expectations don’t match up with the reality.

Keeping brand standards is an important component of businesses and can be easily overlooked. It’s important to develop branding for a multitude of reasons.


Brand standards allow you to:

Efficiency: Creates collective ability to shape and manage successfully one core brand over time.

Credibility: Most prospective customers look for highly visible, well-defined businesses, and the "look and feel" of your identity plays a major role in their decision-making process. This confirms your credibility as part of a larger, unified brand.

Appearance: A professionally developed Brand/Identity Guide positions your company to work with larger organizations and increases your margins by allowing you to set premium rates for your products and services.

Retention: Most people remember what they see much better than what they hear or read. Having a consistent visual identity throughout all of your business and marketing communications will keep you at the forefront of existing and potential clients' minds when they have a need for your product or services.

Differentiation: When partnered with a strategic marketing program, a well-designed logo and a strong identity system will position your business far above the competition in your market. 

The breadth and depth of your brand standards can vary greatly, depending on your needs. 

Four Key areas to focus your consistency on: 

Logo: There's perhaps no single more important element to your brand standards than the consistent use of your logo. First, you should never change or alter your logo. Second, its placement and sizing should remain as consistent as possible within each communication channel.  

Graphics: Use distinctive symbols and shapes in a consistent way. Choosing the same basic graphic elements will help customers remember your brand faster. Also, be consistent when using borders and backgrounds, or show a pattern of consistency that complies with your brand standards. 

Colour: One of the most important components when it comes to brand identity. The colours you choose will make an immediate impression on your audience, and play a large role in memory retrieval. Therefore, colour can significantly impact someone's perception of your brand. For example, gold, silver and burgundy are perceived to be upscale, while green is viewed as fresh and healthy. 

Fonts: Choose just two or three fonts for use on all your materials, selecting at least one serif font and one sans-serif font. Serif fonts have "feet" at the bottom of the font to guide the reader's eye, while sans-serif fonts don't--"Times" is an example of a serif font; "Helvetica" is an example of a sans-serif font. Serif fonts work well in paragraphs or body copy because they give the eye something to "hang on to." Sans-serif fonts should be reserved for headlines, numbers in charts, very small text or text that's reversed out of a colour. As a general rule, you should use no more than two fonts in a document, although a third, decorative font could be used sparingly.


Brand consistency requires both focus and commitment, but is essential to your success. clearmotive can redesign or refresh your existing brand and document it in a detailed Identity Guideline. All files and digital templates are delivered along with printed copies of the identity guideline. We can also create a digital brand guideline in the form of an online Wiki to improve collaboration and streamline brand management.


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