The Mill Brand Design


Using consistency to cut through

As we navigate our very busy lives we find ourselves defaulting to trusted brands, brands that consistently deliver and meet our immediate needs. So whilst consistency sounds a tad dull it’s how those big iconic brands draw us in. They make it easy, they deliver (most of the time) and even if they have an off day we forgive them because we are already hooked on their reliability.
So what’s the key in balancing brand consistency with innovation and reinvention to pull new consumers to your brand?

Brand Health
Firstly you need to understand how healthy your brand is in the eye of your consumer. Brand health isn’t just about brand awareness, it’s about a brands ability to be clearly differentiated from its competitors whilst delivering a consistent brand promise. If your brand is not healthy it will seen to be interchangeable with a similar product, leaving itself open to being evaluated on price alone.
And given the rise of Aldi, the impending arrival of Amazon and the supermarkets current obsession with price dropping this is a dangerous place for any brand to be right now.

Visual Consistency
If brand consistency is rooted in the brand's promise, visual consistency is how you build recognition and presence with consumers. This isn’t just about logo repetition (although this is key too), but about using each of your visual brand assets in a way that is relevant and appropriate, building the story, disrupting the landscape and consistently delivering your brand message in a distinctive way.
So unless your assets are distinctive being consistent might just be a waste of marketing spend. There is a lot of aesthetically pleasing packaging out there and with some of them clearly not communicating the ‘why’ of the brand, they're not really doing anything other than being a container for the product.

The take out
Healthy brands have distinctive brand assets that not only communicate their purpose, but also build trust with consumers and provide the springboard for innovation and activation. If a brand’s visual assets aren’t distinctive, it doesn’t matter how consistently they are used across touch points, they are more likely delivering a category building message rather than a branded one. And that’s just another win for the supermarkets.

Claire Riley
Founder & Strategy Directory, The Mill Brand Design Agency, Melbourne

Contact Claire if you would like to take advantage of her 20 plus years in the branding and packaging industry. With experience in the UK and Australia working on consumer goods brands, from cheese to gin and everything in between, Claire is passionate about creating unique brand assets that tell stories and increase the bottom line.


Rob Riley