Branding communicates what you do and how you do it to your target market, it explains what you stand for, what your values and ethos are, and what makes you stand out from all other companies within the market. For these reasons, it is highly important that your branding is applied consistently across everything you do – this is known as brand uniformity and it is something that requires careful planning.
It does not matter how large or small your business is, whether you are focused on consumers, are a B2B firm or sell a product, you will benefit highly from maintaining a recognizable brand throughout everything you do, across all channels.
Branding is an all-encompassing term which loosely refers to all the attributes which are interlinked and make your company you. They are your core values, your physical goods or virtual services, your unique selling points and your history.
From your marketing strategies to your website and your customer service to your physical product or service, they all need to link back to one another. By doing this, you are able to give your business an identity which promotes customer loyalty, makes you recognizable and establishes trust within and outside your target market. This helps grow your bottom-line.
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Successful brands communicate their message seemingly easily, but by no means is achieving brand uniformity an easy task. There is a lot of preparation and planning involved, and you need to keep your thinking cap on at all times to make sure you don’t slip up.
The Benefits of Consistent Branding
By having consistent branding across all your marketing channels, your customers are able to easily identify you in a sea of others. Think of some of the world’s best-known and most successful brands such as McDonald’s and Coca Cola – whenever you see one of their advertisements, whether they be online or offline, their branding is always the same. And you instantly know it’s a Coca Cola commercial.
Sure, the overall storyline may be different, however, they will always use the same color schemes, logos and slogans for example. Their core message never varies.
You can easily apply this to your own business to achieve the same effects, and there are several benefits associated with consistent branding –
- You can differentiate your business from all the others with which you compete.
- You give your company its own identity and personality.
- You can deliver your “message” to consumers easily and effectively.
- It helps establish your company and build authority.
- Drives customer loyalty and overall trust around your company.
These are just a few of the benefits which come with having a consistent message across the entirety of your business.
Why is Consistency So Important?
“Consistency is key!” But why? 3 reasons brand consistency is so important.
01. It Takes Your Marketing to a Higher Level
Returning to the examples of McDonald’s and Coca Cola we mentioned above, this is an example of how branding can take marketing to a much higher level.
These brands are able to convey their message without uttering a word or using a slogan – the McDonald’s M or the colors associated with Coca Cola are enough for us to make this connection in our heads. When consumers see a red dartboard-style logo, they automatically think of Target. When we see a white tick, we think of Nike.
Consistency in branding such as that adopted by these leading companies takes your marketing to an all-new level. You no longer need to convince your target market and other consumers to purchase your products because through consistency, your brand becomes so synonymous with the product or service you offer that when a consumer is exposed to your logo they have already made a connection and are thinking of you.
02. Your Brand Becomes More Trustworthy
When a consumer is only beginning to get to know a company, they develop their own opinions and assumptions based on their earliest interactions. To get an idea of how this can affect your company in the long-term, let’s personify it.
Say you are meeting somebody for the first time. What you are wearing and how you carry yourself will form the basis for the other person’s opinion of you. If you are dressed to the nines in a business suit on your first meeting, you may give off a positive impression. If you then meet this person for a second time and are dressed in a scruffy pair of sweat pants and a dirty t-shirt, you will likely cause some confusion, as they have already identified you with being all business and professional.
This works in exactly the same way for your business, except you need to replace the clothing for your branding. If your message is constantly changing, you can’t establish trust. This is why figuring out what you want to stand for early on is vital: and every marketing tactic you deploy later on should be in line with that initial decision.
03. Customers Trust Those They Recognize
If you are unrecognizable due to the fact that you constantly change your branding, then this all-important trust and brand loyalty is never going to be built up. If you can’t do this you are going to struggle to attract new customers, retain previous ones and, in the long-term, grow.
By being memorable and recognizable you are providing the opportunity for people to grow to trust you, talk about you and share your message with people who have not yet discovered you. That’s how you achieve organic growth and consistency in branding plays a huge part of it.
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As a start-up company it can be difficult to decide how you want to convey your message through branding, however, it is important to figure this out quickly and stick to it. The longer you take to settle on your branding or if you change it constantly, you are going to find it difficult to establish yourself, build trust and grow.
About the author: Michael Deane is a marketing executive working for Printroom. He is interested in all things marketing and advertising, and always trying to come up with the next great promotion idea.