Is Your Brand Consistent?

Today’s post is applicable to all business and we’re going to be talking about consistent branding!

What is brand consistency?

Brand consistency is when all elements of your business work together to create a cohesive and united front.

Let’s take a look at a fantastic case study. About three or so years ago, a new sandwich shop opened here in Franklin, TN called Which Wich. We thought it was maybe just another Subway but oh, no, my friends – this was much more and very well thought out and cool! We could talk about quite a few things in regards to Which Wich and business (like how it’s a total experience eating there) but we’ll just stay focused on their branding for today.

If any company milks their brand for all it’s worth, it’s Which Wich. They have their logo:

But then practically EVERYTHING throughout their restaurant points back to that branding and helps envelope you in the experience of Which Wich. For those of you who have never walked into a Which Wich or don’t have them nearby, we feel we might have to explain a bit of what happens when you go into their store to understand their branding elements.

1. You walk into the store, look at their menu and grab a sandwich bag to mark which kind of sandwich you want.

2. Then you go up to the counter and place your order. They take your sandwich bag and put it on a wire, and it slides across as the sandwich artists make your ‘wich!

For those who are the creative/crazy/fun types (cough *Zach*), you can write things on the back of your bag for all to see as it makes it’s way down the assembly line. Cool and interactive!

3. Then they call your name that you wrote at the bottom of your bag, and you come and collect your sandwich. If you’re in a funny mood, you can make up a name and it’s funny when they call it out…

So then you take your sandwich and eat it :) However, the rest of your experience in Which Wich is a total consistent brand experience… for example:

And then check this out – You get your napkins from these metal pillars…

and then when you head over to the restrooms, the toilet paper even comes on metal poles just like the napkins! Perfect for making you feel great even while you do your business. ;o)

And the consistent branding does not stop there, my friends. Yes, even the required-by-law “please wash your hands” sign is consistent with the Which Wich branding!

One other totally cool thing (there are so many!) that we wanted to highlight is their gift cards:

The casing for their cards even looks like a little sandwich bag!!!! It helps keep their look and their brand in your mind even after you leave the store. Love it!

So that’s highlighting a bit of the inside of their store, but look at how the brand carries over to their website:

Love the uniqueness! Love how they incorporate their hanging bags into the navigation of the site!! There is so much awesomeness about this! Even the wood color of the chairs that they have inside of their store is carried over into the background of their site!

Check out their Twitter page… It’s consistent branding (yes, we are still using the old Twitter ha ha).

Same with their Facebook page. Granted, you can’t do too much customization there, but their page is easily recognizable because they have their logo on there!… not a picture of a sandwich :)

We are subscribed to their mailing list, and in December we got this newsletter from them, and even the Christmas tree was made out of the Which Wich bread!

What we love about Which Wich is that the experience that it gives its customer simply through its branding is consistent and there is absolutely no brand confusion. If we saw just the Christmas tree made of bread in our email, or the handing bags on a wire, we would know exactly what company it was representing – no questions asked. The brand is strong and reflects the experience that we have when we go into the restaurant.

“How does this translate to my business?” You may be asking!

Simple. It is crucial that no matter where you are represented, either at a meeting in your studio, on your website, blog, Facebook or Twitter, that you are keeping with the theme and feel of the brand (it is crucial to know what your brand is and how to represent it, so don’t worry if you are not there yet, we will get into that in a newsletter Tips and Tricks).

Brands are about making your client feel a certain way about your business. Those signs and symbols that represent your brand need to be seen everywhere your business is represented. That way, there is no mistake that it is you and your business, and clients will recognize and know exactly who you are at all times wherever you may be because of the consistency in how you “stamp” everything, . When we see the Which Wich symbols, we get hungry for the experience that we get when going to get one of their sandwiches, and that is exactly what they are trying to do!

Jay Levinson from Guerrilla Marketing talks about how you need to think like a marketer every day and with everything we do. He says that whether you want to or not, you ARE marketing all the time whatever you are doing. You are either preaching the consistent message about your business and what it stands for, or you aren’t. As an example, there is no such thing as a “personal” Facebook page. Everything you do online or in person will reflect on your business in either a positive or negative way. Be sure that you have consistent branding on everything everywhere to increase the visibility of your business and to help create a persona of YOU and who YOU are in the mind of your prospects.

A few Quick Steps to help start with Brand Consistency:
-Make sure the business photo you have of yourself reflects the kind of person you are/photography you do (are you more serious, fly on the wall photographer? Maybe your photo is more serene. Are you more outgoing and bubbly and happy? Maybe your bio photo should be of you smiling/laughing with bright colors, etc.).
-Make sure the image that you do use to show your mug is the same one posted everywhere – Website/Blog/Twitter/Facebook. *Twitter side note: If you use a full length shot for your main bio image, make sure to crop it in to a head shot for your Twitter Avatar so people can actually see your face!
-Think about the design elements on your website – do they flow with that is on your blog? (We are currently having our blog tweaked! Can’t wait to show you the new and spruced up blog!)

Those are just a few to start! If you don’t know what your brand is, then there is hope! (For those who ask – we highly recommend a fantastic designer who we have used from the very beginning – Allison May). If you want to hear more about creating a brand, then let us know and we just might do a post on it!

**Remember, every first Tuesday of the month, our Tuesday’s Tips & Tricks exclusively goes out to newsletter subscribers! Make sure you are signed up for it to receive all the goodness that is shared only with subscribers.

PS. At the end of this post we officially will no longer have any trouble spelling sandwich anymore….. Spell check has corrected us every single time we spelled “sandwhich.” ha ha.