When someone visits your business on Facebook, and then visit your website, do they have the same brand experience? Do they look and feel like the same company? Let’s for a minute say no, now imagine the confusion and concern you are giving your customers.
[quote] Branding Definition: “The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.” Entrepeneur.com [/quote]
We all know the importance of good branding, it can make or break a sale, but what’s often overlooked is the importance of brand consistency. Brand consistency itself encopassses more than just the logo of your business, yes keeping your brand visually consistent is a big part of it, but ultimately it stretches to tone of voice, typeface, colour, and whether or not the messaging wanders away from your brand strategy and values.
Every touch-point, from social to email, print to digital, packaging to blog posts should look, feel and sound like it’s coming from the same company. If you’re brand is consistent, your customers will see it, new customers will see it, keep repeating this consistency and the brand will become ingrained in their minds, not forgotten.
Consistency is key – Why brand consistency is so important
By keeping your brand consistent, you’ll not only increase brand recognition and allow customers to differentiate you from your competition, but you’ll also build awareness, which in turn should develop trust and loyalty with your customers.
1) Makes brands feel more trustworthy
Have you ever wondered why the likes of Coca Cola are synonymous with the industry they are in? Consistency is a big part of it, take a look at the 2 ads from Coca Cola above over 70 years apart but the branding and messaging have stayed consistent. While it might not seem like a huge issue, inconsistency across your branding can potentially break the trust of your customers. On the flip side if you are consistent you give your customers the confidence that you are dependable and trustworthy. As more and more people become familiar with your brand and your business, you will soon become an authority in your industry.
2) It’s marketing (kindof)
The more you put your brand out there, and the more consistent it is , the more you will be recognised. If customers recall and understand who you are and what you do, they’ll be more likely to make a purchase from you. When someone sees your brand you want them to instantly remember who you are, consistency will ensure this by building awareness for your brand and making you easier to recognise.
3) Customer loyalty
Delivering consistency to your customers will leave them with a positive experience of your company. Deliver this repeatedly and they will return time and time again. If that’s not enough to convince you, they’ll also spread positive vibes about your products or services to their friends and family. It’s a win win!
How can you improve yours?
Whether you have a huge marketing and branding budget, or absolutely zilch, there are plenty of things you can do to ensure your brand isn’t confusing or turning away potential customers.
1) Check if your brand is up to scratch
Check that your logo and tagline actually represent your brand and business, if they don’t it might be a good time for a freshen up or full rebrand.
2) Check all your channels to make sure they match up.
Check every single touch point you have and ensure they all look, feel and sound like the same company. Check your logo, colours, fonts and tone of voice and ensure all the following and any other medium is consistent.
- Social (Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Instagram)
- Branded merchandise (Clothing, stationery, letterheads etc)
- Paid advertisements (adwords etc)
- Print collateral (Packaging, leaflets, promo material)
QUICK BRAND CONSISTENCY TIPS
- Increase your brand recognition and consistency by providing branded thankyou slips with your orders, even better handwrite them, your customers will love the personal touch.
- Get yourself some branded goodies for your office like the EKM ones above, some pens, mugs, notepads, give them to your friends and family or even your loyal customers, this will increase your brand awareness and doesn’t cost the earth.
- If your budget allows send your products in fully branded packaging, make unpacking your products an experience and your customers will be likely to instagram it, and return to repeat another purchase in the future.
3) Create some brand guidelines (it’s not as difficult as it sounds).
If you have a bad memory, or you have other employees in your business, or your business grows, having some form of basic brand guidelines will ensure your brand stays consistent. Larger companies like Spotify take this to a pretty high level, though a good starting point would be a simple document containing the following –
- Company Name
- Mission Statement
- Logo designs
- Colour schemes (hex codes and pantone shades for future reference)
- Typefaces used
- Imagery/ iconography style
- Tone of voice and copy styles
4) Stay committed
You might think in a few weeks or months time that consistency is boring, don’t. It’s important that everything you do from this day forth whether it’s a social media post, a printed flyer, or paid advertisement passes your new branding checklist.
As the number of channels you are on increases, the time needed to ensure your brand is consistent will also increase. Give your brand the time of day and you’ll reduce the detrimental effects of inconsistency, as well as increase your chances of success.