Showdown: Steve Jobs v Yellow

Perform a Materials Audit

Are your company’s materials killing or building your brand? Brand is much more than a company logo, a brand is the customers’ perception of a company. This means that building your brand takes more than trendy graphic artists and clever slogans. Brand building also requires a consistent messages and visuals.

There is a popular story that emphasizes the importance of brand consistency told about Apple’s Steve Jobs and Google’s Vic Gundotra. As the story goes, Steve Jobs called up Google’s Senior VP of Engineering in regards to a problem with the Google button on the new iPhone.

The conversation went like this:

“So Vic, we have an urgent issue, one that I need addressed right away. I’ve already assigned someone from my team to help you, and I hope you can fix this tomorrow” said Steve.

“I’ve been looking at the Google logo on the iPhone and I’m not happy with the icon. The second O in Google doesn’t have the right yellow gradient. It’s just wrong and I’m going to have Greg fix it tomorrow. Is that okay with you?”

Apple and Google understand the power of consistent branding. Do you?

Every customer facing material is a part of building your brand, so keep them consistent. Avoid confusing your customers by making them guess whether they are dealing with you or your competitors. Solidify your company’s image by portraying a consistent message that focuses on your expertise. By building your brand you will increase your customer loyalty and build awareness and recognition for your company.

Customer facing materials include items like your company’s website, logo, business cards, and advertising mediums like billboards, commercials, promotional items, etcetera. Ensure that your company’s logo looks the same on all of these materials. Then ensure that the company name, employee titles, company colors, and tagline or messaging are consistent.

Consistent materials build clarity for your customers. With brand clarity comes brand recognition and then familiarity. These then lead to customer trust and confidence, which should be goals of every growing business. Consistent branding is more than just portraying your logo in a consistent manner, it is about ensuring that all the messaging of all of your materials is pulling in the same direction. When you provide a clear direction, you create an environment where your customers can pull others in your direction.

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