Brand consistency helps you to stand out from your competitors and encourages brand loyalty. If connecting with your target audience is a priority, (and it should be) a unified brand can help to drive this connection.
If your brand is not consistent, your consumers are likely to get confused. Confusion often results in your consumers losing interest. Not to mention the impact brand consistency can have on revenue. In fact, consistent presentation of a brand can increase revenue by 33% proving that consistency is key to successful branding.
Use these 5 tips to establish and maintain a consistent brand
1. Establish who your target audience is and understand them
It’s ineffective to target everyone. An effective brand remains consistent for its specific target audience. Not everyone is going to want to be your customer, and that’s ok. You don’t need to saturate the market, you only need a small piece of a whole pie to be successful.
71% of consumers prefer buying from companies aligned with their values. So, make sure your target market also holds the same values as your brand. These will be the people who are most likely to take an interest in what you offer. They also usually have characteristics, demographics or behaviours in common. As you delve deeper into who your target market is, don’t be afraid to get really specific – this will come in handy when creating your messaging. In this instance, consistency means exposing your target audience to the most relevant core messages that are specific to their interests.
2. Get your messaging right
When you’re thinking about your messaging, answer these questions:
What does your audience care about?
What do you want your brand’s appearance and actions to convey to your audience?
What type of message are you trying to get across?
How do you want customers to feel when they interact with your brand?
What tone do you want to communicate?
If you aren’t sure what your key messages are, your consumers won’t be either. Keeping your messaging consistent will help to keep your brand consistent and build recognition.
3. Keep your actions aligned with your brand
Consumers see through brands that don’t align their actions and often point out a company’s hypocrisy online.
If you say you stand by something, then do just that. Show rather than tell what your brand is doing to support its messages.
Whether it is a post on social media or a motto or slogan, Every action should be completed consistently with your brand. If your actions don’t support your brand’s vision, you’ll risk your consumers losing trust in your company.
Bear in mind that rebranding or pivoting your business is more difficult than keeping your actions aligned.
4. Be flexible
This may seem counterintuitive when we’re talking about consistency, but flexibility can help if the situation calls for it.
This is because flexibility gives you space for creativity and offers the opportunity for you to change if something doesn’t feel right. For example, if something isn’t as aligned with your brand as you first thought, you can change that. To develop a strong and consistent brand, make sure you take the time to make adjustments along the way.
5. Create your brand guidelines
Setting rules and standards for how your brand is used is important for establishing brand consistency. Completing this work upfront will help you in the long run. Not only that, but brand guidelines can help you to implement all the tips above.
They are a great tool for you and anyone who works with your company for maintaining brand consistency. They are also beneficial for helping employees to understand the company’s branding and how best to communicate it to customers.
Your brand guidelines should include:
Mission – Communicate what it is you want your business to achieve and how you plan to serve your consumers.
Values – Consumers invest in brands that believe in the same things they do. Show what values your brand holds and what it stands for.
Personality – This is something your consumers should be able to relate to. Use a consistent set of traits that your consumer segment enjoys will help boost your brand equity.
Messaging – Describe how your value proposition is conveyed and what language should be used in your content. Cover everything from describing your products or services to speaking with customers.
Visual Elements – Supply a comprehensive set of visual elements. Make sure your fonts, colour palettes and logo uses are covered here. Give clear application examples of how each is used and misused. The visual look is important for catching your audience’s eye so you don’t want to get this wrong.
So, now you’ve got our top tips for avoiding a brand identity crisis, it’s time to implement them. But, if you’re looking for a bit more guidance, get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.