Why Consistent Graphic Design Makes Marketing Effective

Learn why brand consistency is critical for making your marketing efforts successful.

Graphic Design
Graphic Design

Table of Contents

Consistent graphic design is the key to a successful marketing strategy. Learn how consistent graphics help you build a strong brand and market your business.

You’ve probably guessed that good graphic design is necessary for marketing, but there’s more to it than that. When weighing their options of where to get graphic design work, many small business owners consider freelancers due to their flexibility, versatility and affordable hourly rates.

However, working with several freelancers at the same time can make it quite difficult to keep the design consistent and unified.

And why is it important to have consistent graphic design in marketing? Read on to find out.

Building brand image and awareness

Just in case you’re unsure about it, here’s a couple of terms you should be clear about before you start working on your marketing strategy:

  • Brand identity: the term that encompasses the look of your brand (logo design and everything else), your mission, vision and values that you communicate to your target audience.
  • Brand image: the view other people have you, how they perceive your brand identity.
  • Brand awareness: the recall factor associated with a brand; what are the first things that come to mind when people think of your brand.

While you need to create a brand identity and a branding guide before you start, the other two are highly dependent on your marketing efforts—you need to get people to hear about your product or service in some way, right?

There are many technical aspects that can increase your brand recognition (how many people know about your brand), such as search engine optimization for your website or detailed targeting on social media. But once you get people’s attention you need visuals that will help them form an impression about your brand.

If you Google McDonald’s ads, you’ll see plenty of different and creative designs, sometimes with very clever copy. But the basic idea is always the same: you’ll always find their iconic product in the center and the signature red and yellow combo is used almost exclusively.

mcdonalds ads.jpg

Creating loyalty and trust with your customers

It’s 5 times more expensive to acquire new customers than to retain existing ones. That means you’re much better off nurturing existing relationships than constantly chasing new ones.

One way to do this is through consistent marketing design. People who’ve purchased from you previously will respond well to the same design elements that may have prompted them to make the initial purchase. It shows them that what they see is indeed what they get, and if it worked once, chances are they will remain loyal customers.

Of course, don’t mistake consistency for lack of creativity. A great example is Coke’s famous, Share a Coke campaign. The iconic packaging that so many people recognize and love was given a simple twist by adding names to personalize the experience of drinking and sharing a Coke. The brand design was still intact with the red color and the signature logo design, but this little element did a lot: this campaign is credited with an impressive 11% rise in sales in the US!

share a coke.jpg

Providing a better user experience

One of the key elements of a positive user experience (UX) in product and website design is consistency. Consistency allows people to feel in control while using a service or product and makes the outcomes of their actions easier to predict.

That’s why brand consistency is especially critical in designing websites. Not only does it enforce your brand identity and help build awareness, but the importance of graphic design here lies in the actual way users interact with the website.

We’re going to use an example from our own experience to illustrate the point. In our content marketing efforts, we’ve created several in-depth guides on topics that are relevant to our target audiences. Previously we had a separate lead capture landing page for this, where people could download the guides in exchange for their email addresses. We wanted to improve our lead generation system so we creed guide forms placed in the blog with the specific guides relevant to the article at hand.

Naturally, we made sure that the design is in line with our brand so that the forms don’t disrupt the overall reading experience and provide a simple call to action.

This is an example of bad UX. The different font and image sizes completely disrupt the readability of the blog and make it hard for the user to skim through the key information.

A brand guide saves time and money

A brand guide or brand book is the final step in the brand creation process. This document contains all the design elements used in branding and digital marketing, such as colors, fonts, usage of logo and photos. It’s an extremely useful asset to have if you plan on outsourcing design projects to agencies or freelancers since it provides them with the guidelines on how to design for your brand.

With this in mind, it’s clear to see how consistent graphic design can also save you time and money. Instead of a lot of back and forth with your designated graphic design service, you can just provide the guidelines and wait for the final result to be delivered. Similarly, and especially if you’re working with freelancers who charge extra for revisions, you can minimize the number of revisions needed by giving them an established framework to operate in and create the necessary marketing assets.

Consistency in social media graphics

Social media is one of, if not the most important marketing channels for contemporary businesses to use. Creating graphics in this field, however, can be tricky for a number of reasons. Firstly, you usually have to adhere to a predetermined size, quality and format guidelines.

Next, as social media users are experiencing a visual overload, it can be tricky to get your businesses to stand out.

Making your content and visuals consistent with your brand will create a unique look and experience that people will appreciate. It doesn’t have to be the most complex and fancy graphic. Being unique is what really matters.

Take a look at these great ads from Slack. It perfectly captures everything the brand is about. You see people in professional clothes, which suggests Slack is built for professional teams. However, it’s also modern and fun to use which the humor of the ad also captures. To top it off, the ad is created with Slack’s signature colors (purple, yellow, pink) which ensures a powerful brand image is formed in the audiences’ minds.

slack display ad 1.png
slack display ad 2.png

Images communicate faster than text

Did you know that people remember only 20% of what they read and 80% of what they see? In other words, if you want people to remember your brand, you’ll need to communicate visually.

Moreover, visual communication is often a way to bridge language barriers if you’re marketing to a global audience. No matter where you come from, or what kind of local knockoff you used to drink as a kid, everyone has a similar response to a “sweating” bottle of Coke on a hot day!

Absolute vodka had one of the most successful and longest-running campaigns in history. From iconic city landmark to a nod to Andy Warhol’s art, these ads were created to sell the same product to different target audiences. Thanks to one simple trick in consistent design (using the distinct shape of the vodka bottle in different ways), this campaign had huge success and helped Absolute become the market leader in the US.

absolut vodka 1
absolut vodka 2

Learn why brand consistency is critical for making your marketing efforts successful.

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