Consistency is what customers expect and love in a brand.
Let’s think about Lush for a moment. All these lovely colors and scents, combined with the raw form of their natural products, will bring around bouts of guilt-free indulgence, happiness and fun whenever you walk into their store.
Your experience will be pretty much the same wherever in the world the store is, and similar feelings will arise if you engage with their website or their social media channels. And they’ve accomplished it all by being consistent.
Still, brand consistency requires strategic efforts from your end. Here is how you can maintain the consistency of your brand across different channels.
Use brand guidelines
One of the first things you should do to keep your branding consistent is to create guidelines that will be accessible to all your employees and used for external purposes too.
Depending on the size of your business, your guidelines don’t need to be very elaborate. The basic brand guidelines, most often include the following:
- Logo- design, variations, reversed and monochrome logo, responsive logo and logo spacing.
- Typography- your brand’s font, headlines, sub-headlines, paragraphs.
- Colors – primary and secondary brand colors.
- Brand imagery – a selection of appropriate and inappropriate photos when it comes to lights, composition and subject.
- Social media assets – avatars and header images.
- Brand stationery – letterheads, business cards.
Since your brand is more than your visual identity, try to make your guidelines a bit more comprehensive, and include:
- Brand mission – what defines you as a company,
- Brand story-why you’re different from others, why your brand matters.
- The tone of your brand voice- how you communicate with your audience (professional, friendly, informative…)
With such extensive guidelines, both your employees and the external agencies won’t be having any difficulties in delivering a consistent experience to your customers.
Make your assets easily accessible
Apart from creating your brand style guide, make sure all the professionals who are creating branded materials have easy access to your approved brand materials.
Having the most up-to-date versions of your logos, images, templates, fonts, and even copy, in one place, will make your workflow run smoothly, and decrease the chances of making a mistake.
It’s of crucial importance to dedicate one member or a single department team to manage your print and your promotional merch so that they will make sure your brand assets are used correctly.
Your customers want your brand promise delivered through each one of the touchpoints, and for such purposes, a brand style guide is simply not enough.
To provide the kind of experience your customers expect, your employees need to believe the promise of your brand. They need to have a deeper understanding and be inspired by the brand’s values and identity.
You can successfully achieve this by establishing a corporate culture that is consistent with the very same values your brand stands for. Try the following:
- Incorporate your brand values into your onboarding and training programs.
- Communicate the role each one of the employees has in delivering the brand’s promise clearly.
- Incentivize your employees to be your brand advocates.
Your employees’ satisfaction with their working environment is also a significant factor in your brand’s consistency – a brand that stands for human rights will be seen as false and abandoned by many for discriminating their staff based on any premises.
Thanks to digital communications nowadays, bad news travels fast and reach much wider audiences. Unfortunately, not many employers can be as proud and transparent with their employees’ reviews as PostcardMania is.
Whatever the form the contact between your customers and your brand takes, they need to have one more thing in common –quality.
This touchpoint may be a content piece you’ve posted on Facebook, a customer’s complaint or in-store purchase – all very different, but pretty much the same.
In each one, you have to focus on the needs of your customers and try to address them, adding some value to their lives.
To add value, you can:
- Make your content piece useful by successfully solving your customer’s problems.
- Make your customer support efficient by resolving your customer’s complaint during the first contact.
- Make an in-store purchase unforgettable by offering a special discount when your customers least expected it.
A good path to achieving quality is consistently making your customers’ time worthwhile.
If you want your business to be successful, your customers must first be aware of your existence and easily differentiate you from the crowd. Focus on maintaining your brand consistency to achieve your brand’s recognition. This way you can install trust and positive associations in your customers and make them fall in love with your brand.