How to Keep Your Brand Consistent Everywhere
In my 2015 blog The Ultimate Guide to Brand Consistency across Social Media, you learned how to maintain a consistent brand identity across several social networks and why you should do that. As increasingly more social networks have popped up and people’s attention span has declined, keeping your brand consistent is as relevant as ever. In this blog, you will read about the value of brand consistency and why it is crucial, and you will find 8 tips to keep your brand consistent on various social platforms.
The value of keeping your brand consistent
According to Esteban Kolsky, “55% of consumers are willing to pay more for a guaranteed good experience.” Brand consistency can thus help your bottom line. Guy Larcom of techsmith.com explains that as customers move through your sales funnel, they will perceive the sophistication of your brand through the consistency of the experience. As they continue to encounter content that looks and sounds the same, that feeling strengthens. All of this sets the foundation for the relationship they will have with your company and products.
5 reasons why keeping your brand consistent is crucial
As said, brand consistency is key to the relationship customers have with your company. Joe Latham lists 5 reasons why that is the case.
1. Familiarity and trust
Customers like to deal with businesses they can trust. The more they see your branding, the more you can build this trust. It may take some time and effort, but the rewards can be substantial.
2. Association with something positive
If you send out consistent positive messages about how much value you offer your customers, how you specialize in luxury products or how affordable your products and services are, your business will eventually be associated with these attributes. Yes, it takes some time and effort; as time goes by, you can even add new marketing messages that compliment your branding and enhance your business reputation.
3. Customer loyalty
Many businesses do not follow up with their customers very well, which can reduce the number of repeat sales your business generates. With consistent branding, your current customers and shoppers are more likely to show loyalty to you and your brand, which makes them want to deal with you on a regular basis.
4. Easier integration of various marketing activities
Once brand consistency becomes an integral part of your marketing strategy, it becomes easier to integrate the different types of marketing activities you use. This reduces the amount of effort and cost required to market online and through the more traditional, offline methods of marketing.
Luckily, it is relatively easy to add the same logos and marketing messages to your website, social media accounts, and other online platforms, and it reinforces the trust from people who have seen your offline marketing materials and campaigns.
5. Increase in bottom line
Ultimately, any marketing activity should increase your sales and profit. Branding your business professionally realizes these goals because more people find out about your business and so more people are willing to buy your products or services.
8 tips for keeping your brand consistent
I have read several articles by Larcom, Pam Moore, and Ivan Widjaya on brand consistency. They taught me these 8 tips on how to keep your brand consistent:
1. Brand architecture
Moore first suggests brand architecture. Your brand is much bigger than your logo or a set of colors. Your brand is everything you tweet, post, pin, +1, say and do. Take the time to develop your brand identity and a brand architecture that serves as a foundation for you to execute your digital brand.
Your digital brand is not unique to your overall brand; rather, it should be an extension of your overarching brand. If you are not sure where to start with this, ask for help.
2. Message architecture
Moore also suggests message architecture: develop a message architecture that will help you communicate with your audiences and communities both online and offline in a consistent and relevant manner. It provides a consistent platform that enables you to build dynamic, inspirational, and meaningful conversations while still being consistent.
Your mission with social media should be to figure out where your audience is hanging out online and then figure out how to have the most relevant conversation with them you possibly can. That requires research, commitment, and a structured messaging and content marketing platform.
3. Set the right tone
Is your brand the understanding guide through a complex problem, is it an upbeat partner as customers strive to become better at something or are you the authority on a topic, inspiring confidence in users that you have the ideal solution to their problems? Larcom urges you to think deeply about this question. Your voice will be the personality that your users and customers come to know and love. The consistency of this voice in all company communications will endear you to your customers as they will know what to expect each time they interact with your company.
4. Choose a social profile username and stick to it
Moore advises you to select an online username that can be used consistently. It is best to use the same name when possible. If it is not possible because someone else or another brand has already taken ownership of the name, select one as close as you can.
5. Brand consistency is not boring
Widjaya asks you if you find Coke, Apple or Virgin Records boring. All these brands regard consistency as one of their top three secrets to success and longevity.
6. Your entire team needs to strive for brand consistency
Regardless of who in the company is involved in the early stages of brand building, everyone needs to understand what is considered the proper use of company taglines, social profiles, forum accounts, logos, other graphics, and anything else that directly affects brand consistency.
7. Everyone on the team who distributes branding material needs full access to all logos, graphics, and other branding materials
The last thing you need is a branding faux-pas because someone had to tinker out their own rendition of a critical branding graphic such as the company logo. Your team must have all the tools they need to maintain brand consistency in every task they do.
8. Designate an in-house “branding police squad”
You cannot do it all. Few entrepreneurs have the time and resources to monitor how your brand name and branding materials are distributed. You should not have to. Find the needle-in-the-haystack types in your team. Encourage them to call people out when they see something that goes against your official branding style guide. Also, encourage them to suggest changes in the brand and message architecture.
Are you an entrepreneur reading this blog to learn about brand consistency and branding as a whole? My blog How to Be a Branding Professional as an Entrepreneur might be the perfect read for you!
Branding is indeed very important. After all, promoting your products/services and your brand in a trustworthy manner is what makes the money come rolling in. You cannot just send out a Tweet, say “I have started a new company called [company name],” and expect that to be branding. The magic of branding is hard work and continuous effort. This blog gives you 12 handy branding tips.