Brand consistency is essential to a business’s long-term success, yet all too many small and new businesses fail to recognise its importance. It doesn’t just help your business stand out in a crowd of competitors; it ensures you speak directly to your ideal customer and that customers get a consistent experience with your company whenever they buy from you or come into contact with you.
When your branding is consistent at all touch points, you offer your customers the reliable level of customer care and experience they’ve come to expect from you and they don’t hesitate to buy from you. Think about walking into a Tesco – it doesn’t matter where you are in the UK, the store and the experience is always the same. If you fail to have this consistency, you are forgettable, inconsistent, and at worst, may alienate your customers.
Let’s start with a quick overview of the basics. Branding is not just logos and colours – it is everything your company represents, from visual branding to how you talk to your customers, deal with problems, and what kind of topics you cover in your marketing. When you fail to define how your business looks and acts, or fail to maintain this look and voice across all your touch points, you fail to connect with your customers. For more information on what the term “branding” encompasses, read What does branding actually mean? next.
Brand consistency ensures your messaging is always clear and your customer experience is replicable. Without brand consistency, your message can become diluted, and your ideal customer may doubt if you’re really the right company to work with or buy from. Customers don’t like to feel confused – if your messaging is vague, customers are unlikely to buy from you, especially if what you’re offering is at a higher price point.
Don’t forget that humans are creatures of habit so creating a customer experience that is predictable is nearly always a good thing – we all frequent certain stores because we know what to expect. 95% of purchasing decisions are subconscious, so you need to make sure you aren’t putting anything out there that could put off your ideal customer.
Think about the businesses and stores you buy from often – why do you choose to return to them? That consistent brand experience they create keeps you coming back time after time and evokes warm feelings when you think about contacting that company for future business. This same level of brand loyalty can work in favour for your own business, too, ensuring you have reliable revenue for years—and even decades—to come.
We often forget that few customers will buy from us, or even remember us, from seeing our branding or content just once. In reality, it takes, on average, 5-7 impressions to make a lasting impression on a customer. So, what does this mean for your brand consistency? It means that if your branding looks or feels different from one touchpoint to the next, potential customers may fail to recognise your brand and it may take many more impressions to connect with them.
Studies have found that focusing on brand consistency increases revenue by an average of 23%, thanks to all the things we’ve talked about above. When you create that consistent positive experience and ensure you are recognisable whether online or off, you give your ideal customer a reason to choose you over your competitors time after time. Better still, this level of brand loyalty can further increase revenue because your current customers will talk about you positively and increase word-of-mouth marketing.
Whether you’re a company with every aspect of your business in-house or a small team working with numerous freelancers and other businesses, you need an easy at-a-glance way to share your brand information with the people creating assets for your business (and that includes interacting with your customers in-person or online). Make sure you’ve got documents not only conveying what visual branding to use, but also what tone of voice and language to use in written materials, and how to communicate with your customers to create the right customer experience.
Cloud storage makes it easier than ever to share your visual assets with anyone who needs them – and a DAM (digital asset management solution) takes this a step further. Another key here is to make sure you have all the necessary assets created before you need them – if you aren’t sure what you need, we can help. When all of your visual assets are easily accessible, every piece of content can be properly branded.
You can give someone your brand guidelines and ask them to follow them, but if their natural personality is counter to those guidelines, they’re going to struggle. For example, if your brand is bubbly, peppy and excitable, don’t hire someone who has an extremely dry sense of humor. Similarly, if you have that peppy brand, don’t hire the designer whose entire portfolio is full of law firms – they likely won’t nail your brand voice and feel. Make sure anyone working with your brand has the same, or very similar, brand values. Not convinced? Read 6 Reasons Why You and Your Team are Essential to Your Brand Identity next.
If you’re ready to create a brand identity that speaks to your ideal customer, we’re here to help. We’ll work with you to ensure your visual, tone of voice, and unspoken brand elements are all aligned to help you build a business and brand that lasts. To find out more about how we can help you, click here.
If you are a small business and would like some support with your branding, then check out our competition to win a branding package or a set of social media templates. Sign up now!