Your brand is the identity you have created for your business. Not unlike your own persona, the one you share at dinner, the one you share with your family and the one your coworkers see….
Your brand has a life and a voice. It has character, it has a vision, it has a mission, it has its own values, it speaks to the people you wish to engage, it invites people in. Your brand informs people about who belongs in your sphere, about who you are and what you offer them.
With that in mind it is easy to understand the importance of knowing how to create brand consistency. And also how to maintain it so that this character, vision and mission of your business is clearly communicated every time you deliver on your promises. Brand consistency means your target audience receives the same core messages, visual branding, and character of service every time. There is nothing that solidifies positive brand recognition in the minds of your customers than fulfilling brand consistency.
Brand Consistency Has its Benefits
It Shapes People’s Perception of Your Brand
When your business maintains the consistent quality, service, character and mission of your brand it steadily shapes peoples’ feelings about and response to your brand. The minds of your customers and potential customers are positively influenced when results achieved or products received match with your brand consistency.
It Connects by Creating Positive Feelings
When your business communicates with your brand consistency through vivid images and well-crafted text your message produces positive emotions that people then connect with your brand. When these positive feelings are reinforced repeatedly through your products and services they get transferred or connected to your brand name and logo. When this happens simple exposure to your brand makes people feel happy and trusting.
It Builds Long Term Trust – Brand Loyalty
Speaking of trust, brand consistency builds consumer confidence and connects a certain experience with experience with your brand. Starbucks coffee has used consistency to build a brand with worldwide recognition. Wherever you are in the world you know how your coffee from Starbucks will taste. That is because brand consistency demands that the customer experience is always the same. When your business consistently supplies a superior product, your customers trust your business products to meet that standard every time. The bottom line is maintaining that trust demands hard work, clear strategy, and lots of in house communication.
It Sets Your Brand Apart
This may seem counterintuitive but brand consistency is also a key factor in differentiation. When competitors offer a variety of near-identical products, brand consistency is often the differentiating factor when earning people’s loyalty. Loyalty means your customers will readily return again and again because your brand is something they like and trust.
7 Ideas for Building Brand Consistency
1- Open your Mind to Change
Catchy bylines and cool logos do not make a brand! Behind it all is excellence in customer service, core values that truly reflect your values and character, commitment of quality and a pinch of habanero. If your brand is no longer reflective of who you are then be open to change. That could be a whole rebranding or it could be just a tweak here and there. Be willing to go there and do the hard work.
2- Ensure that Everyone is Clearly On Board
Any time you hire new employees or contractors, clearly communicate with them the values, details and importance of your brand, whatever their role in the business. More than anything it is vital that from top to bottom everyone who works in your business not just knows your values but lives your values.
Give every employee a copy of your brand guide and brand assets. In fact there are now numerous companies that devote public websites dedicated to their brand.
3- Always consult your brand, values, and customers before publishing new content.
Any business can make a decision somewhere along the line that seems like a super idea but ends up completely off brand? These mistakes will often be revealed by customer confusion. And they only occur because a great new idea or content release was made without consulting their values, piloting with their customers, or maintaining cultural sensitivity as a priority. Not all great ideas will fit within your brand, values or customer base.
4- Minimize Changes to your Branding
Everyone wants their brand to weather the tests of time and remain eternally relevant. But, it’s unlikely that your entire brand messaging will stand those changes. The natural evolution of business and culture and styles will require some change to remain current and relevant. Our advice is to minimize the changes as much as possible! Rather than making frequent or major changes to your brand, instead allow your brand to evolve slowly enough that your loyal customers don’t get startled even if they recognize the changes..
5- When Changes Occur, Diligently Remove Old Assets
Any time you do make an evolutionary change to any of your brand assets, make sure you take down the old assets. Make sure this is done diligently and double checked. Maintaining the old assets in archives under lock and key is fine; but having last decade’s logo showing up on letterhead down the road is bad for business. This also means that all changes need to be over communicated internally throughout all departments. Clear communication of all changes and the reasons for those changes is the only way to maintain brand consistency.
6- Allow for Creative Flexibility within Brand Consistency
The really great businesses aim to beat expectations. But doing so is easier said than done. When you can offer your team the gift of creative flexibility on top of the solid foundation of your consistent brand presentation, and can buttress it all with great internal communication, you can build your brand consistency to power growth throughout your business.
7- Create a Brand that Reflects Your Company Values
Sometimes a company will self-reflect and will realize that they have no clear brand. Or perhaps that their brand has lost all cohesion and must be renewed. There are many branding workshops and other ways to create a brand for your company. If you are at this point make sure that you create a brand that reflects your company values, vision character and mission.
I hope you have a better idea of what is the importance of branding. The benefits of establishing brand consistency are numerous and real. These seven ideas for how to create brand consistency can guide you through whatever stage your company is going through. You may just need to tweak a few things and several of these tips will help you do it the right way. But it is also possible that you need to create or recreate your brand. Whatever stage you find yourself in there are ways to get there. It will require a lot of work and cooperation but you will have options.
One option is to approach a full service marketing agency with your goals in mind, and work with them to hone your brand, design an overall marketing plan that is tailored to your needs, and let your marketing agency develop and grow your marketing of business products and services.
Here at zo agency we work to build long term relationships with our clients. We call it Tribe! We will work diligently to discover your vision, your passion, your needs, your hope and dreams for your business and then will create an overall marketing plan that meets your needs and fits your budget. Visit us today at www.zo.agency