The world of brand and marketing is evolving at high speed. As old channels evolve and new channel emerge, business owners and marketing managers are sprinting to keep up. In the midst of the chaos it’s important to not forget about your brand. Remembering that picking the right channels and communicating with consistency is vital to gaining trust and building brand loyalty.
We all know customers research before they buy. How your brand presents across all digital touchpoints is important. From your website, to social channels, local directory listings, staff LinkedIn profiles, in Google, Bing or Yahoo search results, display advertising and online reviews a clear message is paramount.
You can’t know which of these touch points will be a customer’s first contact, or which poorly presented channel will change an existing customer’s perspective of your brand. Wherever a customer might find your brand – online or offline – you need to be make the best impression possible. Your brand’s tone, visual style and messaging must be consistent.
Find out more: Measuring the ROI of first impressions
What is your brand?
Your brand is the sum of all the experiences and touchpoints that your customers have with it. It’s an abstract concept, but a poor customer experience over the phone has as much impact as a billboard or an inspiring social post. Each element builds a picture of your brand in your customer’s mind. The more in sync these messages are, the more you can control and ensure it is a positive experience for your customer.
How much effort have you put into developing your brand identity and creating a personality and visual style for your brand? If your business has grown organically, it’s likely that the only time you touched on this was in the initial logo development.
Often startups and fast growth businesses don’t look into brand strategy until they reach the point of hiring their first marketing manager, who is faced with the daunting prospect of distilling the founders values and existing culture into a recognisable personality and visual style that can be shared.
Also, just as technology, your customers, your products and your services evolve over time, your brand needs to evolve as well. Reviewing your brand identity – even just for the sake of confirming you’re still on track – is an important part of business growth.
Feeling lost? Read our post: Expert advice for building a strong brand
Your brand is your businesses identity. It reflects your mission and personality and tells a visual story. Is it fun, quirky and friendly, or serious, reliable and trustworthy? Are you the same online and offline?
Don’t forget the importance of offline marketing: Develop your brand with print in mind
Why is strong branding important?
- It allows you to create a unique personality for your business.
- It differentiates you from the rest of the market.
- It’s memorable – you want your brand to be the product, like Sellotape or Google.
- It positions you as an authority on your subject and an expert in your field.
- It helps build loyalty among customers, brand affiliation and engagement.
- It adds value and grows profits – white t-shirts are all the same, but a designer label makes a white t-shirt worth more.
- You become dependable and reliable – stability in a sea of choice.
The top 10 secrets to brand consistency success
Brand consistency is vital, but achieving it takes some planning and regular monitoring of your channels.
1. Use your proper name in all instances.
We are Thirst Creative, not Thirst and never TC. If you use a nickname or acronym for your business name it’s time to make a decision – are you Coca Cola or Coke, Amex or American Express? Be consistent to increase recognition and name recall.
2. Curate good content.
Content that’s relevant to your brand personality. If you’re a Byron Bay brewing company it makes sense to affiliate your brand with a beach and surfer lifestyle. If you brew whiskey in the mountains of Tasmania, then don’t talk about surfing. Jumping on topics outside your personality is confusing..
3. Be a person or a business, not both.
I’d buy skincare from a trusted girlfriend, I wouldn’t let her broker my next asset purchase.
4. Evoke memories
Remind people of good physical experiences. Use remarketing to target in store customers. Talk about and show the experience and emotions of using your product or service.
5. Do the SEO.
Make sure the SEO basics are in place and all your hard work is responsive and visible on all devices.
6. Bring customer service into focus.
Ensure social interactive is followed up promptly and reinforces your brand. An angry customer is likely to vent their frustration on social, so if your company value is caring for the customer, it’s vital the customer feels cared for. Have one person respond swiftly and keep the brand message promoted throughout the communication. (eg. It’s important to Company X that all our Health Insurance Members receive their full benefit, we will look into this right away).
7. Empower internal advocates.
Your whole team needs to understand your brand values, your tone and style so that all communications are consistent from phone calls to emails, to the message at the bottom of your invoices. If your staff aren’t passionate about your message or values, your communications and channels will become uninspiring/boring to your market and interaction will lag. Make them part of the process of defining your brand personality.
8. Plan, plan, plan
Take the time to develop strategy around your brand, your communications and key messages and your social channels. A quarterly plan keeps you on track and on message and gives you time to create quality content.
9. Make channel consistency important.
Think about employing a social media manager or outsourcing your social content to an agency. Channeling the voice through one person or team will ensure consistency and a clear brand message that’s been developed from the start.
10. Review your brand and your strategy.
An annual review to make sure you’re keeping up with your market, your evolving with your products and the technology to deliver your services is vital to staying relevant.
Look at the messages you’re sending and make sure you’re showing your best at all touch points.
Keeping your brand on track
If you’re looking for a place to start, begin at number 10 and put the work into developing your brand or reviewing your existing brand strategy.
If you need help with the process of creating strategy around your brand, your communications and channels, or your marketing and bringing consistency to your touch points, get in touch with our team at Thirst Creative.