We all have our favorite brands and we’ve probably been loyal to those brands for years. We follow them on social media, open emails and newsletters, and even sing along to commercial jingles, and we come back to them again and again with renewed excitement. But why? Simply put, it’s because we trust them. Our favorite brands never let us down. They provide a certain level of comfort in an ever-changing world by maintaining brand consistency.
What is brand consistency?
Brand consistency is the representation and delivery of your brand messaging across all visual brand elements, marketing channels, customer service interactions, company culture, employee training and engagements with your audience.
The repetition of tone, colors, logo design and messaging create a clear idea and depiction that becomes implanted in your audience’s minds.
Businesses that have brand consistency often become an association for products of an era. The Walkman radio started as an individual product sold by Sony alongside similar radios. Over a short time, the term Walkman didn’t only refer to the actual Sony product. People all over the world began to use the name as a description of all handheld portable radios.
The Walkman became more than a product. It became an idea and that association lives on today.
Why is brand consistency important?
Your brand is how your customers recognize, remember and experience your business. It is, without a doubt, one of the most important aspects of any business – large or small. Brand consistency is a promise to your customers. It tells them what they can expect from your product or service and it differentiates you from your competitors.
Simply put, when customers have a set expectation of your brand and your people deliver on that expectation, they have an emotional response, a sense of satisfaction. Creating these consistent experiences for your customers builds trust (i.e. loyalty) and shows that you do actually care about them as a person and customer.
Consistent branding sets the expectation that every step of the buying process will be as pleasant and seamless as the last. When customers have great experiences with your product or representatives, they are not only likely to remain loyal customers but will also tell other people about their positive experience.
How to create brand consistency.
If you haven’t already established a brand for your product or service, you will first need to conduct some customer perception research. To some extent, your brand is who your customers want and need you to be, so it makes perfect sense to see what kind of messages and imagery resonate with them.
The next step is to come up with a brand strategy; the how, what, where, when, and whom you plan to communicate your message to.
Your brand strategy should include everything from where you plan on advertising to what the materials will look like and what happens after customers interact with your content.
Like we’ve discussed, it’s important to keep your brand consistent across all marketing mediums. You can do this by developing a brand standards guide. This should cover topics such as each product’s color palettes, fonts, layouts, and graphical treatments as well as positioning statements for the company.
Next, you need to define your brand. You can do this by asking yourself these simple questions:
- What is your company’s mission?
- What are the benefits and features of your products or services?
- What do your customers and prospects already think of your company?
- What qualities do you want them to associate with your company?
The challenge that many businesses have is pushing these standards across a network where diverse personalities, geographical distance and lack of oversight can lead to shortcuts and forgetting. In the retail and franchise industries, this is especially common.
Tight standards from merchandising, customer service, uniforms, marketing, pricing and operations ensure that brands are instantly recognizable regardless of where you encounter them. Remember, your brand is your corporate identity and solid branding reinforces that identity.
At Action Card, we make brand consistency a virtually automated piece of your business strategy. The Action Card app helps retailers identify, track and reconcile action items critical to your compliance and brand standards. Our mobile and web-based solution eliminates time-consuming paper reviews while adding efficiencies to field visits. Action Card aggregates your review data and allows you to see how you perform comparatively on your site reviews as a company, by region, location and even down to the standards themselves. Connect with us now and request a free demo to see how effortless brand consistency becomes with Action Card.
* This post has been updated as 03/02/2020 from a previously posted version from 2015