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What the U.S. Department of the Treasury needs to know about brand consistency

I recently attended a fantastic event hosted by 85Broads, White & Case Women’s Initiative, and Ms. JD featuring the inspiring Laura Liswood. Afterwards, as I networked and chatted with other women there, I met two women from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. We talked for a bit and then performed the ritual business card exchange. As I took their cards, I noticed that even though they worked for the exact same office in the same government agency, the color, fonts and layouts of their cards were very different. In fact, the women didn’t even realize the difference existed until they saw each other’s cards.

And it gets worse. Take a look at the Treasury website and you’ll find multiple logos, inconsistent navigation and page layouts, not to mention how dated the site looks overall.

(For comparison, check out the consistent, clean and audience-focused design of one of Treasury’s bureaus, the Office of Thrift Supervision.)

The mismatched marketing creates the impression that the U.S. Department of the Treasury is an unorganized agency that doesn’t mind the details. Now, I’m not suggesting that the Treasury’s poor branding is related to the economic death spiral we are just now pulling out of, but the lack of consistency does make it difficult to cultivate the image of stability and trustworthiness they need right now.

To build a strong brand, it is essential to have a coherent identity. Every touchpoint with your audience—from your email signature to the design of your office space—should reinforce your unique brand value and create a unified image of your organization. Consistency allows you to:

1. Speak with one voice
2. Project a unified image
3. Generate trust and goodwill
4. Own a market position
5. Gain mindshare

In the coming weeks I’ll talk more about how you can leverage brand consistency into a memorable brand experience and brand conversations that generate excitement about your brand and drive business.

In the meantime, Treasury, if you’re listening, contact me. I’d love to help.

Do you struggle with brand consistency or have tips to share? Tell me about it.

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