Is Your Online Branding Consistent With Your Offline Branding

By Mike Maddaloni on Wednesday, September 08, 2010 at 04:00 AM with 0 comments

Editor’s Note – This post is in follow-up and support of The State of Your Web Site, a checklist from Dunkirk Systems, LLC which helps guide Web site owners to objectivity on the current state of their Web site. You can download a free, no obligation PDF copy at TheStateOfYourWebSite.com.

By their definition, branding and logos exist to help you easily identify something. From a parking garage to the sneakers worn by a top athlete, branding matters. This is not the first article to talk about it, and surely not the last!

So why is it that many times we see inconsistencies in branding when it comes to the Web site or other online use of a brand by a company, organization or person? And note I am using the word “consistent” not “perfect” – nobody is going to expect your logo to be in the upper left corner of a Facebook page replacing their logo altogether. But where you can use your brand, it should be consistent with how it is used offline – in print, on products, etc.

This is thus the second question asked on Dunkirk’s The State of Your Web Site checklist. As we previously talked about your brand being prominent on your Web site, it should also be consistent to ensure its effectiveness online.

The measurement of consistency can be very straightforward. A brand guide will outline the parameters for a usage of a brand. Call it the “spaghetti test” for your brand. If it doesn’t meet it, it should be corrected. If you don’t have a brand guide, create one! In its absence though, a person or small team of people should serve as the “brand police” to ensure its consistencies.

So how do these inconsistencies manifest themselves? Many times a Web site is developed prior to the creation of a brand, or vice versa. A level of effort is then needed to ensure the business cards march the Web site, and so on. When a Web site is designed, if creative license is taken too far, it can obscure the brand in the design of the site. Providing a brand guide or guidelines to your designer, and working with a Web designer who not only can create a compelling design but will respect your brand, will also ensure this.

Catching inconsistencies early on will ensure the recognition of your brand no matter where it appears, not to mention The State of Your Web Site being that much stronger.


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