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5 Crucial Tips for Maintaining Brand Consistency

5 Crucial Tips for Maintaining Brand Consistency

5 Crucial Tips for Maintaining Brand Consistency

Ever stop and wonder what makes a brand like Coca-Cola one of the most recognized English words in the world?

Think I’m just blowing smoke? I’m not.

Coca-Cola, along with their original and still most popular product “Coke” are equally considered the second most popular words on the planet, next to the word okay or “OK” as it’s often spelled.

Coca-Cola achieved this top brand status with years of clever marketing, through a variety of media channels.

Consistency the Key to Coke’s Success

The real thing that makes the brand so darned iconic and recognizable is that same simple logo they’ve used since Frank Mason Robinson created it back in 1885. The logo’s Spencerian script font, clear white text, and bright red background are unmistakable and well known by people of all ages.

Note: Coca-Cola is one of the best examples of unwavering brand consistency I can think of! Please leave a comment if you can think of an even better example to share with your fellow readers!

Here are a few things that consistency helps control when growing and maintaining a brand:

  • Confirms the brand is professional and driven to achieve its purpose and social commitments,
  • Shows how focused and intentional the company is in achieving its goals and maintaining standards,
  • Avoids issues resulting from people confusing your brand with others in similar industries, or those possessing the same or similar name as yours,
  • Manages perceptions: Sticking to brand values and maintaining a consistent image in the public eye will shape the way people see the brand, during the good times and also the not-so-good times,
  • Builds more brand equity in the long run — as the brand gains traction, your name and logo will become synonymous with trust and value and opportunities to leverage that value will eventually come your way,
  • Ensures consumers know what to expect each time they do business with you — what level of service and quality they’ll get in exchange for their money, and how your brand compares with others (ie., Coke vs. Pepsi; Ford vs. Chevrolet; Hyatt vs. Hilton, etc.)

Consistency isn’t just something a lasting brand strives for, or something you try once in a while to change things up; consistency is an essential element to any brand’s growth and longevity.

Without further ado, here are five crucial tips for helping to keep your brand solid and consistent:

1. Don’t Get Fooled into Thinking Consistency is Boring

Do you find Coke, or Apple, or Virgin Records boring? All these brands and most of the rest at the top, middle and bottom of the heap all regard consistency as one of their top three secrets to success and longevity.



2. Your Entire Team Needs to be on Board with Striving for Brand Consistency

The easiest way to keep team members on the same page is to ask them what companies they admire/love most and why. Do this regularly at team meetings and you’ll find all kinds of examples of consistency shaping your employees’ overall perceptions of the brands they mention.

Regardless of who in the company is involved with the early stages of brand building, everyone needs to understand what’s considered proper use of company taglines, social profiles, forum accounts, logos and other graphics, and anything else that directly affects brand consistency.

3. Make a “Branding Style Guide”

There’s no hard-and-fast as to what should be included in a branding style guide. They will vary a lot from one company to the next. This guide will basically be a go-to bible for people in the company when it comes to what’s deemed “fair and acceptable” use of your brand and branding materials.

Here is the basic information you want to include:

  • Company Name.
  • Mission Statement.
  • Company Slogan.
  • Logo Design(s) and what/when/where each rendition is used.
  • Color Schemes you use — Include as much detail about color usage as it relates to your brand.
  • Typography — What fonts and overall writing style you use in your blog content, press releases, emails, sales copy, sales agreements, etc.
  • Imagery and Photo Styles — How should these look to the market? Under what circumstances are different styles used (ie., warm/cool, saturation levels, feelings they should evoke, etc.
  • Copy Guidelines — The more details the better about capitalization of letters in the brand name/brand material, and specific circumstances and locations in certain content to put trademarks, affiliations, slogans, disclaimers, etc.
  • Potential and known examples of what the company considers poor use of the brand — such as employees using inappropriate language while signed into company social and other online profiles.

All employees must get a paper copy and have cloud access to the guide as needed.

4. Everyone on the Team who Distributes Branding Material Needs Full File Access to all Logos, Graphics and other Branding Materials

The last thing you need is a branding faux-pas because someone had to tinker out their own rendition of a critical branding graphic such as the company logo. Regardless how big or small the company is, your team must to have all the tools they need to maintain brand consistency in every task they do.

5. Designate an In-House “Branding Police Squad”

You can’t do it all. Few SME owners have the time and resources they need to monitor how your brand name and branding materials are distributed and used. And you shouldn’t have to. It’s likely you have everyone you need already to form your own little in-house brand police squad.

Find the needle-in-the-haystack types who work for you and encourage them to call people out when they see something that goes against your official branding style guide. Also, encourage them to touch base with you to add and/or change rules found in the guide as you continually strive to build and maintain the brand.

Conclusion

Brand consistency is something you’ll have to persistently strive for as the years tick on and the company grows.

If you make daily use of the five tips mentioned on this page, fewer branding nightmares will take place and you’ll never have to worry about your company being mistaken or lumped into the same category as the competition.

This article was partially inspired after reading this great oldie-but-goodie about the power of consistency in entrepreneurship on Inc.com.

Original Article

Signs Manufacturing, a Dallas Sign Company


Hazards of Cloud Based Sign Software

THE CAKE IS A LIE!

Gamers are getting a kick out of this one.

Sometimes hacked signs can just be funny. Usually, not so much…

 

Coyote Drive In Theater Opens in North Texas

Coyote drive-in theater opens in North Texas this weekend

OCTOBER 28, 2016 12:09 PM

6 Collin County Cities Among Best Real Estate Markets

Six Collin county cities among best real-estate markets

6 collin county among best in real estate

According to latest WalletHub study, 6 Collin County cities were named among the best real-estate markets nationwide. Overall, there are 8 Texas cities in top 20.

See rankings below.

Overall Rank City Total Score ‘Real-Estate Market’ Rank ‘Affordability & Economic Environment’ Rank
1 Frisco, TX 86.76 1 1
2 McKinney, TX 83.87 2 2
3 Richardson, TX 80.95 3 12
4 Murfreesboro, TN 79.80 4 13
5 Austin, TX 79.75 5 8
6 Allen, TX 79.30 14 4
7 Overland Park, KS 78.32 7 40
8 Thornton, CO 77.61 12 17
9 Plano, TX 77.49 13 18
10 Arvada, CO 77.47 9 43
11 Denver, CO 77.11 6 101
12 Denton, TX 77.01 15 28
13 Greeley, CO 76.99 10 60
14 Nashville, TN 76.78 8 80
15 Lincoln, NE 76.56 16 37
16 Cary, NC 76.09 31 3
17 Carrollton, TX 75.95 17 23
18 Seattle, WA 75.38 11 133
19 Boise, ID 74.28 20 68
20 Irvine, CA 74.18 22 53

In order to identify the best real-estate markets, WalletHub’s analysts compared 300 cities across two key dimensions, namely “Real-Estate Market” and “Affordability & Economic Environment.”
They evaluated these categories using 16 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with 100 representing the healthiest housing market.

They then calculated overall scores for each city using the weighted average across all metrics, which were then used to construct final ranking.

Original Post

Collin County Sign Company

Communities Continue to Grapple with Revising Sign Codes

Sign and Graphics Companies, Communities Get Guidance on Temporary Signs

September 1, 2016

Communities continue to grapple with revising sign codes to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Reed v. Town of Gilbert. In recent days, cities and states have faced lawsuits, questioning whether existing codes meet the Supreme Court ruling.

The court case dealt primarily with temporary signs, ensuring that communities must treat all types of temporary signs the same regardless of the message contained on them. Temporary signs have long been an important type of signage—and a complex issue for communities to navigate. The Signage Foundation has revised and updated its Best Practices in Regulating Temporary Signs to provide additional guidance in light of Reed. The research offers information on various types of signs, regulating them and ensuring that any sign codes comply with court rulings, including Reed.

“Because of Reed, real-estate, political and construction signs, etc. are now considered content-based signs because you define them by their content…While it is true that before Reed a few court cases allowed the regulation of a limited number of content-based signs, such as real estate or political signs, those decisions have now been effectively overturned by the Reed decision and should no longer be considered good law,” Wendy Moeller writes in the updated document.

Moeller, AICP, is a principal and owner of Compass Point Planning, a planning and development firm based in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is a member of the Signage Foundation’s board of directors.

In addition to the temporary signs research, the Signage Foundation has updated its analysis of the Reed case. Professor Alan Weinstein, a nationally recognized expert on planning law, provides the guidance in The State of Sign Codes After Reed v. Town of Gilbert. The analysis looks deeper into the court decision and provides guidance for communities in responding to the ruling.

Best Practices in Regulating Temporary Signs and The State of Sign Codes After Reed v. Town of Gilbert are available for free download from the Signage Foundation.

Original Article

Texas Sign Company

Small Businesses Take Major Step Forward in Sign Fight

Small Businesses Take Major Step Forward in Sign Fight

Industry News • July 27

Small businesses hampered by a restrictive permitting process now will now have an easier time getting approval for signs to help advertise their businesses.
The victory came when the Chicago City Council passed a law streamlining the permitting process earlier this month. Previously, those seeking a sign permit had to receive approval from the city council before the sign could be installed. According to the Small Business Advocacy Council, which had worked with a coalition to improve the permitting process for more than a year, the old permitting process could significantly delay the installation of new signs.
According to testimonials of businesses affected, some were unable to install a sign for a number of months after opening—significantly impacting their ability to attract new customers. Others said they took the risky move of installing signs without the proper permits.

The Small Business Advocacy Council coalition included work from local chambers of commerce as well as the International Sign Association and the Illinois Sign Association. ISA and the Illinois Sign Association both brought expertise on the economic value of signs to business and insight into the benefits of streamlining the permitting process.

When the bill passed the City Council, the Small Business Advocacy Council estimated it would reduce the amount of time spent waiting for a permit by 50-80 percent.

To learn more about ISA’s advocacy work on behalf of small businesses, contact David Hickey,David.Hickey@signs.org.

Original Post

Sign Company in Dallas, TX

The coolest new sign in the world (or at least in Portland)

05.11.16 | 2:29 PM

The coolest new sign in the world (or at least in Portland)

Panic, which has been making nifty software for Apple devices for a very long time, just dressed up its headquarters with signage. Which would not be worth even a medium-sized whoop except for one fact: The company not only rigged its sign to change colors, but also built a web app that lets anyone choose a color scheme.

More details—lots of them—from Panic’s Cabel Sasser here.  

Original Post

Signs Manufacturing Sign Company in Dallas Texas

Digital Sign Manufacturer Reviews

How Do The LED Billboard Companies Stack Up?

 

By Dwight Burdette (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0) or CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

The question is, “What do outdoor companies really think about each of the digital sign manufacturers?” A national billboard trade magazine surveyed experienced outdoor advertising company owners.  Here’s what they found:

Daktronics is generally regarded as a good LED product with very poor customer service. Because Daktronics deals with so many very large national accounts, if you are a small company you will not be treated well.  They also require ongoing upgrades to keep their signs functioning. Not a recommended vendor.

Watchfire is also regarded as having a good LED product but an awful sales force (we’ve had problems with them in the past as well). They have decent hardware and software. Technical support is responsive although not stellar by any means.

Formetco is considered a strong brand. Similar to Watchfire.

Yesco and Samsung focus on scoreboards and have poor sales and support of anything else. The hardware is sub-par and the software is poor quality as well.

Chinese manufacturers are terrible. Their claims are incorrect, they ship product that is different from what they sold, technical support doesn’t exist, signs ultimately end up much more expensive than what was bid, BUYER BEWARE!

Signs Manufacturing’s Sunburst Displays aren’t a big entry into the market … yet. But in the Dallas / Fort Worth / Denton metroplex of Texas they are one of the only manufacturers and can provide a turnkey solution with reliability, excellent customer service and accountability.

Dallas LED Digital Billboard Manufacturer

Why Have A Sign Ordinance?

How often do we see this? The City wants to control the clutter of the community so they hone in on their sign ordinance.

Street View, Cluttered

Certainly there’s clutter. Look at that mess!

But what’s wrong with this picture? Where’s the clutter? Are the signs causing a distraction, a mess … a clutter? If you eliminate every sign from this street, is it going to make a difference?

Now let’s go to the extreme. Las Vegas!

Signs on Las Vegas Boulevard

Certainly Vegas has A LOT of signs! You can see them up and down the Boulevard. Digital LED signs, a favorite target of City ordinances, are tremendously popular in Vegas.

So what’s the best way to go? Where is the line between a reasonable, fair ordinance and over-restrictive regulation.

For a business, that’s an easy answer. Eliminate the ordinance altogether! It’s not like a business is going to blanket their building in signage. And if they do, so what? They just spent a ton of money to bring revenue to the City.

For a City, it’s also an easy answer. 12″ tall white unlit letters on the building. One word. No freestanding sign. Believe me, I’ve heard many Sign Inspectors tell me, “They don’t need that signage!”

For my money, the City of Dallas USED to have the best ordinance. They allowed pole signs yet the City was never cluttered with them. They allowed monument signs and again, no clutter. They allowed 8 words or less per elevation on the building. It was a simple ordinance, yet comprehensive.

Now they’re making changes. They enacted a pole sign ordinance that is so severe it either eliminates pole signs or makes them so huge and out of place, sitting in the middle of a business’ parking lot.

Monument signs are now all over, in-your-face blocking street views and lines of sight.

They just recently created an insane ordinance against LED signs. They dramatically increased the amount of time a message had to display on them (as long as 20 minutes per message!), created unenforceable restrictions on the way the signs must be built (and created a legal time bomb between the sign owner and the sign company) and, on top of it all, their new ordinance actually ENCOURAGES larger signs!

Will it make any difference? The pole sign ordinance changed 15 years ago. Have you noticed it? Would you say the City is more or less cluttered now than it was 15 years ago?

I think the solution is a simple ordinance that is also simple to enforce, not creating an unnecessary burden on your City Inspectors. Generally limit signs to 75% of the width of the building and 25% of the height.

Limit pole signs to 200 sqft on side roads, as long as there is a 10′ setback from the property line and the bottom of the sign is at least 10′ off of the ground to keep it from cluttering the street.

Monument signs should have a 15′ setback to keep from blocking visibility to the side streets. Other than that, no restrictions on their size or height (any other restrictions are pointless anyways).

I’m sure my suggestions fall on deaf ears, as it is in the government’s nature to regulate. But maybe some City, somewhere, will see the reality of Sign Ordinances and make the right move to help their businesses, their economy and the poor Sign Permitting Technicians that have to deal with these Cities.

 

 

 

Butting Heads With a non-Business Friendly Regulating City Sign Ordinance

 

EMC Signage Texas

Digital EMC Sign

Fight EMC Regulations with Information

As we monitor sign code issues around the country, one of the most frequent challenges ISA encounters is the issue of brightness and Electronic Message Centers (EMCs). Communities often want to regulate EMC brightness which, if not done properly, can make these kinds of signs less effective.

That’s why ISA developed EMC Night-time Brightness Recommendations to guide local officials on the responsible and effective use of these innovative signs.

Over the past few years, more than 150 cities across the country have adopted ISA’s recommendations in-whole or in-part, making it easier for sign and visual communications companies to use this tool to better serve end users. The research upon which these recommendations are based was conducted by Dr. Ian Lewin, a leading lighting expert with more than 30 years of experience in the lighting industry.

“With so many cities across the country focusing on digital brightness issues, this has been a great opportunity for the sign and visual communications industry to provide useful and easy-to-understand information on what can be a controversial and complex issue,” said David Hickey, ISA vice president of government relations. “In many ways, local officials are in the dark when it comes to knowing how EMCs work and how to optimize their effectiveness. These recommendations can and have been used many times to help provide answers to these problems, to everyone’s satisfaction.”

If your local officials are discussing regulating EMCs, EMC Night-time Brightness Recommendations is a great starting point. Other popular resources include:

www.signs.org

Signs Manufacturing Corporation