No matter where you are in the world, if you see the symbol of an apple that has a bite taken out of it, you will know which company it represents. You see a red can with white writing on it, no matter what language is on the side of the can, you know that is a Coca-Cola. What is it that makes this type of branding so successful? It is consistency, which has created these university recognizable brands. While, of course, both Apple and Coca-Cola are extremely wealthy organizations, that does not mean to say the consistency in branding is something only multi-national corporations can afford. Consistency in branding is an approach that can be utilized and leveraged by even the smallest companies.
What Is Consistency in Branding?
Consistency in branding is an approach that impacts all decisions made relating to branding, marketing and advertising. Branding consistency will affect the way that a company delivers messages, defines its core values, designs its customers’ experiences and identifies the brand itself.
Brand consistency allows companies not only to become easily recognizable but to build trust with customers. The more recognizable your brand is, the more familiar a customer becomes, and the customer learns they can trust and depend on your brand. This, in turn, allows you to form a deeper and more meaningful relationship with your customers.
Research has found that 95% of purchasing decisions are based on subconscious motivators. The way that your company brands itself and builds relationships with your customers is, therefore, vital for increasing your sales figures. By maintaining consistency in branding you are building a brand identity, one that the customer can trust or relate or aspire to. Creating more meaningful relationships with your customers is vital for long-term growth.
How to Maintain Consistency in Branding?
The first step to maintaining consistency in branding is to come up with a clear and appropriate brand identity. No matter how fastidiously you apply the marketing principles of branding consistency, if your brand image is confused and ill-defined, then your success will be forever limited.
The first place to begin when creating your brand identity is with a thorough understanding of who your target audience is. You should try to establish a deep understanding of who your target audience is right down to the smallest detail. A good tool for helping you gain this understanding is customer persona. You can create a customer persona to help you see your target audience as an individual, this helps you to get to know your target audience on a more personal level. Always back up your choice in target audience with market research to ensure you are choosing the most appropriate demographic for your business and market niche.
Once you have established a clear understanding of who your target audience is, you can begin to create an appropriate brand identity. Some useful starting points for this include choosing a brand personality. Although you will want to define your brand identity yourself to ensure it is unique, a brand personality is often a helpful jumping-off point. Once you have defined who you are as a brand you can then begin to consider how you are going to represent this brand identity.
You will need to decide the best ways of effectively communicating your brand identity, in simple, easily recognizable symbols. This is the point at which you decided things like your logos, your color schemes and other details. You should focus on the most influential brand aesthetics first, like your logo and use this to guide other decisions. Once you have defined your brand identity, based on a clear understanding of who your target audience is, it is time to focus on consistency in branding.
Have One Aesthetic Theme for Everything
Once you have decided how your brand image is going to be represented aesthetically in your logo, you can then use this to create an aesthetic theme for your brand. This aesthetic theme will involve choosing a font, or a range of fonts that will be used by your brand. You will also want to choose a color scheme. Brand aesthetics is not simply a visual process, you will also want to create a brand voice that will be used in everything from written copy to customer service teams. It is important that you decide a clear set of brand aesthetics early on to ensure that you are able to maintain consistency in your ensuing branding efforts.
Internal Focus Is Equally Important
Many people assume that branding is a completely customer-focused enterprise, however, this can often be misleading. Successful branding is not so much a marketing practice but a set of core principles that guide and influence a company in its everyday operations. It is important that you maintain consistency in branding across your internal operations. This might involve using an email signature creator, to ensure that every single person working for you has a branded email signature. Alternatively, you might choose to provide all employees with a branded T-shirt or water bottle. You should make branding resources and guidelines easily accessible for all staff so no one is ever left in the dark.
Whatever you can do to spread brand identity internally is important as when your staff share in the brand identity, this will impact every interaction they have with a customer, supplier or partner.
Make Your Brand Identity Easy to Understand
If your brand identity is too complex or convoluted, then it will not be successful. One of the best ways of making sure that your brand identity is easy to understand is to simply define it in one sentence, if you can’t do this, your branding is too complicated.
When consistency in branding is employed successfully it has the power to define your business, unite you with a loyal customer base and turn a small company into a household name. To ensure success you should not think of consistency in branding as a short-term goal. It might take a bit of time to see results, but trust in the process and you will be rewarded in time.