Psychology Today defines a brand as “the total emotional experience someone has with you….all of your business’s touch points.” That includes marketing tools, website, customer service – basically every time a person comes in contact with your brand.
And if that emotional experience is negative or confusing, you can lose a customer for good. Serving your customers is not just about providing top quality products or services. It’s about creating a memorable brand that they can trust. To provide a positive experience that helps your company retain future and repeat customers, you must develop brand consistency.
What Is Brand Consistency?
Developing and implementing brand consistency ensures that people see accurate picture of your company and what it stands for. Why is this important? It helps your clients get to know you.
Here is what brand consistency does for your customer:
Brand Consistency Builds Trust
Focused, clear messaging with a consistent look, feel, and tone helps current and prospective clients feel like they can depend on your company. It assures them that you are trustworthy because you project reliability.
Brand Consistency Builds Customer Loyalty
Maintaining a uniform voice and image helps clients and prospects distinguish your brand, making it easier to build rapport.
Brand Consistency Eliminates Surprises
There is nothing that will turn away a customer faster than an unpleasant surprise but having a consistent brand behind all of your communications reduces this tension for your audience. Using a professional tone within the hallmark of your brand can even help you to address errors and rebuild trust more quickly.
Brand Consistency Makes You Memorable
Your loyal customers must be able to spot you out from the crowd of your competition – and that allows them to share you with their network more easily. Maintaining brand consistency makes your company memorable.
3 Mistakes To Avoid When Developing Brand Consistency
If you need to develop a more consistent brand across your company’s communications, be sure not to make these mistakes:
Mistake #1: You upgraded your look on some, but not all, of your marketing materials.
When you rebrand any of your marketing materials, keep all of your media consistent. The website design should match paper materials, which should match social media ads. That may mean you’ll need to invest a bit more in updating your marketing tools or take a loss by discarding old print materials.
Social media marketing often requires unique tactics but it’s still critical to make sure that everything works hand in hand. For example, do not indulge in an edgy online presence if your overall brand is more professional or laid back.
Mistake #3: You’re not protecting your brand from trademark infringement.
If your brand is not trademarked, you are at risk of having your name or logo be stolen. If you do have a registered trademark, keep an eye out that no one is violating it by using a similar name or logo. This can confuse customers – or even drive them away.
Additionally, you may want to buy up domain names that are similar to your website URL so that you don’t unintentionally lose customers to a similar site.
How To Ensure Brand Consistency In 5 Easy Steps
If you’re not certain that your company is on target in this area, these 5 steps can help you develop brand consistency:
1. Revisit Your Corporate Vision and Mission
Go back to your business plan and review your vision and mission. Then review your current corporate images, online presence, and communications. Does your visual presence and tone match the essence of your brand? If not, it’s time to develop a clearer brand.
2. Review Your Ideal Customer
Next, look at your brand from the position of your ideal customer. Is he or she seeing a pattern that makes your brand recognizable across all areas of contact? Or do you need to reposition so that your assets are more in line with your prospect’s needs?
3. Align Brand, Customer, Unique Selling Position, and What Makes You Stand Out
If your customer communications seem disjointed, it’s time to sit down and re-think your brand as a whole so that there is consistency. Think about the tone and “voice” your brand conveys now and what it should say to everyone who comes in contact with it. Then, develop a plan to get all those assets in line.
4. Define Your Brand’s Voice and Tone
If tone and voice are confusing to you, try this thought experiment: pick adjectives to describe each component of your business that interacts with customers, such as your website, newsletter copy, and Facebook ads. Do the terms all fit well? Or is your website using a bold, exciting color scheme while your newsletter is written in a calming tone? Invest in redesigning any elements that need to be adjusted.
5. Create a Style Guide
After you have defined these aspects of your brand, create a style guide that defines colors, fonts, tone, and voice for brand assets and customer interactions. This will help anyone who works on your customer-facing communications to stay on brand when developing assets or interacting with clients.
Brand consistency is an important tool in getting your customers and prospects to know, like, and trust you. Don’t miss out on this important way of developing a reliable brand for your current and future clients.