An overly complicated brand can mean disaster…

for client acquisition, client retention and even internal communication within a business. In the current mean-everything-to-everyone landscape that many businesses face on a daily basis, it can be difficult to maintain a simple, consistent brand. However, doing so may open the door to future growth and opportunity for your business. So, the question is: how do you keep from overcomplicating your brand?

First, start thinking of a brand as an attitude instead of a product–this will free your brand from the constraints of what it sells. The most successful brands have a clearly defined mission through which they filter every choice they make. At Apple, the filter may be “Uncompromising beauty and innovation in tech.”At Red Bull it may be “Pushing the boundaries of creativity in sports” and so on. Defining this attitude or mission is a crucial first step for your brand.

Once you’ve decided on your brand mission, the next crucial step is to align the visual representation of your brand to that mission. Take the necessary time, hire a professional designer or agency and make sure that your internal team or any other partners that may interact with your visual style use the creative assets correctly and effectively. Ensuring that the design of your brand stays clean and on mission will pay dividends in the growth and strength of your brand.

Lastly, great brands manage to keep their branding focus narrow, while their product lines are broad. Nike offers many, many different products, but always has a consistent and simple brand message. Inconsistent messaging or design styles will cause the consumer to feel as though you don’t understand what it is that you do. Priority number one in your communications should always be to stay simple and consistent.

Follow these three rules and your reward may be a brand that’s easy to understand, easy to engage, and easy to grow.