is brand consistency actually important?
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Brand consistency is the first thought that enters into your customer’s mind when they see something created by one of your team members. It’s the colors that immediately pop in their mind, the font they picture, the voice they hear – and the tone that goes with it. This mental image should materialize the second your customers see your logo, one of your social media posts, one of your advertisements- anything created by your company.
Brand consistency is not something that you should try and incorporate into your marketing plan a few months after the creation of your company, once you get a grasp of things. It is not a second thought. Your brand’s personality is the thing that all of your marketing materials need to be based on.
You’re probably wondering if any of this actually matters. Or more importantly: why. We’re here to fill you in on the secrets:
Making purchases is an emotional choice.
Studies have proven time and time again that the thought process behind human purchasing patterns is not one of logic. You can’t beat out your competition by having the best price or the most appealing product; you dominate your competitors by having the most trustworthy brand. Humans are a loyal race. They want to know the company they are buying from; they want to have a relationship with you. So, give that to them. Make your customers feel like they’re having a conversation with their same old pal whether they’re on your Twitter, reading one of your advertisements or on your website about to make a purchase.
Your target market may forget you.
Do you remember your teachers telling you year after year to go over the materials you learned in class that day when you got home? It turns out they were on to something. Our brains aren’t the best at remembering things they only hear once. Make sure your target market hears you over and over again. More importantly, make sure your target market hears the SAME VOICE over and over again. Otherwise, you’re going to have to re-introduce yourself every time and start from scratch. If they see a light-hearted post in a green bubbly font from your company in the morning and then see another black and white serious advertisement that evening, they’re not even going to realize they’re seeing the same company again. They’re not going to remember you. Consumers trust brands they recognize and they buy from brands that they trust.
You want them to have faith in your goods.
Consistency makes you seem professional and dependable. If you can’t even figure out the simple things like what message you’re trying to deliver or what color scheme you like, then your target market is going to wonder how you could possibly handle the complex things, like delivering a quality product or service.
You want to save money.
Changing your brand image is expensive. You have to get a graphic designer for a new logo. You need to find a copywriter to make sure your mission statement and web content is right. You need to purchase a whole new set of promotional products. If you just pick one look and stay true to it, you will save A LOT of $$$ in the long run.
Okay, by now you can probably see that brand consistency is pretty important. But, what are you going to do about it? Lucky for you, we have a few tips on how to go about that as well.
1) Do research on your target market.
Look at your competitors. See what kind of branding and voice that they use. Then, more importantly, see how your target market reacts to that. Learn from your competitor’s mistakes; capitalize and improve on their strengths.
2) Create a personality document.
Definitively document your brand’s persona, and make sure it aligns with your mission statement. Outline your:
- Tone/voice/messaging style
- Color palette
- Graphic style
Then, make sure that the document is somewhere where every employee in your company can always access it. Upload it to a sharing site that all employees have access to, include it in the onboarding paperwork- whatever it takes.
3) Teach the document’s contents to your employees.
You are not the only one who needs to understand your brand persona, because you will not be creating every piece of content. Make sure the creators know what they need to create and the managers know what work is acceptable to approve. You can be creative with how you teach your employees your brand’s style. Make a video, post literature around the office, have a meeting- whatever works for your company’s culture. Just make sure your employees hear you loud and clear.
4) Create templates.
Hearing how something should be done and seeing it in action have two completely different effects. Make sure your employees have documents to reference so they can feel confident in the work they’re creating. Have sample social media posts, blogs ads- everything. You can never be too thorough.
5) Create a checks and balances system.
In today’s fast-paced world, it’s tempting to push out content as quickly as your employees can think of it. The issue with that is that every employee has the potential to interpret and recreate your idealized brand message differently. Make sure every piece of content is edited or checked by a minimum of one other employee to ensure brand consistency.
6) Constantly update your process.
It is inevitable for your voice to change at least slightly over time. In order to prepare for that as well as for unintentional voice shifts, it is important that you are constantly updating your company’s community brand consistency document. Make sure those changes are realized by all team members. If that means you need to have meetings, then schedule them ASAP.
Does this all seem a little overwhelming? Don’t worry, it was for us at first, too. But, we’re experts now, so you don’t need to be. Let us at Bullish manage your Brand Consistency for you. Schedule a call with us today.
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