Consistency is essential for branding success because it takes as many as seven contacts with your marketing message for a consumer to remember your brand. This means that every piece of marketing collateral counts and leaves an impression on new and old customers, as well as partners and vendors. Inconsistent branding can leave a neutral impression, perhaps even a negative one, while consistent branding builds a positive impression.
Since consistency is such a key element in branding, its important to get clear on what it means to be consistent. After all, consistency can often be confused with rigidity in the face of change.
Here are some main features of brand consistency:
Your brand does not have to be boring and can vary slightly for different audiences to engage their interest.
Your brand should present a clear idea of who you are, including your values and interests, and what you do.
Your brand should offer a foundation on which to build relationships.
Your brand should be authentic, as well as transparent.
Your brand should remain open to changes in the marketplace while still maintaining its roots and identity.
Think of What Established Brands Do to Balance Consistency with Innovation
These elements of consistency can be seen with most recognized brand-name products, for instance, Coca-Cola, Apple, or Starbucks. Sometimes, these companies may change their marketing to appeal to a new audience. Sometimes, they may come up with a revolutionary product that changes their industry. Yet through all these changes, their core identity remains the same. Consistency is held in place by relevancy. The new offer or the new marketing campaign has to be relevant to what the brand stands for. Instead of radical change, brand consistency calls for variations, or perhaps upgrades, on an existing theme.
The value of consistency in branding can be summed up in one word: trust.
Trust does a lot of things:
1. It turns the curious into consumers.
2. It creates loyalty.
3. It results in repeat sales for new product lines.
4. It develops word-of-mouth marketing.
5. It ignites enough interest to help a company scale up.
Here are ten fundamental ways to build up your brand:
1. Know what your audience likes, dislikes, wants, and needs. Unless you know your audience and can win them over, you dont have a business.
2. Be clear about what your company can provide its audience. While idealism is a wonderful place to start, use the resources you have right now to offer your audience some solutions.
3. Define your short, medium, and long-term goals. When you know where you are going, you have a better chance to get there.
4. Start building your brand from the employee level out to the world. When your employees think of your brand as part of their role in fulfilling the companys mission, they will consistently deliver the same high standards of work to establish that brand.
5. Create a core structure for your brandfor instance, your colors, slogans, and logo. While flexibility is a good thing in a changing world, you have to retain a few fundamental identifying symbols to distinguish your brand.
6. Leverage all forms of social media marketing that you can. Identify what social media websites are most relevant to your product line and then consistently add content to those platforms.
7. Develop a blogging calendar to turn out content on a consistent basis. Content that is thematic and that develops a series of ideas will be more engaging than random content that is churned out without much forethought.
8. Use the same professional profile photographs for key spokespeople. Using the same two or three pictures for your key spokesperson on your social media platforms as well as on your printed marketing materials makes it easier for consumers to identify that person.
9. Focus on some meaningful social message. If your brand can take on a cause, it will be easier to identify with it. Apple computers, for example, got a lot of mileage by making commercials about how mavericks change the world.
10. Dont overdo it, and think of less as more. When it comes to branding, infinite choices are available, and at a certain point, a high level of creativity in brand management can become overwhelming and make it difficult to stay consistent.
A brand that is consistent, relevant, and trustworthy will help a business prosper. Additionally, the ten suggestions to build your brand will help create a high level of audience interest and engagement. When you have all these pieces in place, it’s easy to figure out how to manage marketing collateral.