It doesn’t matter whether you’re a large multi-national or a small business in a local town—or whether your business focuses on selling to business or consumers—developing and promoting your business’s brand will help you grow.
What is a brand?
A brand is a collection of attributes that includes things such as your business values, your USP (unique selling point/proposition) and what you sell to customers (products and services).
Your brand values matter because these are reflected in everything you do as an organization. From the colors that represent your brand to the words and feelings someone experiences when looking at your advertising. It also includes the experience a customer has when they contact your office support team on phone or electronically.
Your brand is your business’s identity in the eyes of consumers. It will set you aside from the competition and communicate what your core products or services are and why a consumer should choose your brand over others.
Burger King is a great example with its competitor, McDonald’s: BK’s social media team consistently trolls its rival’s main product range and generate a stronger connection with its main customer base.
The benefits of consistent branding
When a potential consumer thinks about your brand, what do they think about? If I was to mention Nike, McDonald’s or Coca-cola, what images instantly appear in your mind? Probably a picture of an advert, logo or a famous person who represents that individual brand.
Whatever image came into your mind you will also have had a feeling. This feeling might have been slight, or it might have been strong, and it could have been positive or negative. This is how you feel towards that brand because of their promotional messaging and imagery.
Your brand needs to be consistent. It will benefit by:
- Helping you differentiate the brand in customers’ eyes
- Gives your brand a personality and makes it relatable
- Drives trust in your brand
- Encourages customer loyalty
- Positions you to generate the most profit for your products and services
It’s also important that there is consistency across all marketing channels too. A study by the Verde Group found that two-thirds of shoppers use information from more than one channel to decide about whether to make a purchase.
How to define a brand
There are lots of different elements that come together to define your business. Gathering these and then highlighting how different you are from the competition is what will define your brand.
Your brand is then reinforced through external communications with customers: through your logo, brand colors, signage, email marketing, social media posts/ stories, and print materials.
Pay attention to internal culture
Brand consistency isn’t just what customers see on the outside of the organization. You’ve taken the time and put the effort in to create a brand voice that resonates with customers.
The team around you are internal customers and your marketing team should put together training on your brand’s values. By providing branded items such as shirts, mugs and laptop cases, you can create an internal culture of brand loyalty.
When your internal audience understands your brand values and embraces them, brand delivery to your customers will be more consistent and customer experiences through your support portal will improve.
Why is it important?
Ensuring your brand has a consistent message that provokes the right feelings in your target audience and has the right visual appeal across all your marketing channels is important. Brand consistency will reinforce identity, as well as positive feelings and trust.
This will have a rollover effect when it comes to delivering a business proposal to a customer for their project. Keeping all of your company’s colors and voice in a proposal will help retain a connection with the reader and reinforce the reasons behind them choosing your brand in the beginning.
What it means for business
Consistent use of brand imagery and messaging across all channels of communication will help you develop a strong brand identity.
It doesn’t mean all your marketing materials have to look the same or have the same message on, but it does mean you should work towards visual cohesion and a consistent feeling in the mind of your ideal customer. This means a similar tone and outlook in your writing, accompanied by the same font, spacing and visual style of your brand imagery.
It makes sense to develop some documentation setting out your brand guidelines for any future designers or marketers so that all individuals who work on your marketing materials have a blueprint to follow.
This guidelines documentation doesn’t need to be complex; it can be as simple as including detailed information on your font, colors, basic styling information, and who your target audience is. With this, you will be able to keep your visual messaging and visual identity on point to help your business have a positive and lasting impression.
Brand consistency is a must if you want to build trust and recognition among your target audience. It will also help you increase the number of repeat buyers and grow business profits. If you don’t establish brand recognition and consistency across all your marketing channels, customers will fail to recognize your brand, won’t associate it with the way it makes them feel, and won’t have the confidence to buy your products or services in the future.