What is brand consistency and why it matters.
The reason why most brands fail at marketing is because they don’t value their brand. Too often it was pulled together on a shoestring budget based on a legacy of ill-informed decisions. You only need look at the businesses and charities from around the world that you remember to know that branding and brand consistency matter,
Making your business memorable through words
Do you know what you are doing? Do you know who you are doing it for? Do you know how you want your brand positioned in the market (e.g. discount, affordable, luxury etc)? Can you tell other people while keeping it relevant, engaging and ultimately memorable? Do you consistently deliver this message across all your materials and in conversations?
If you are answering no to any of these, you are doing your business a major disservice, limiting your ability to maximise its potential.
A brand is nothing if it is not delivered in a way which is memorable and repeated. Think of it in terms of a person. Let me pain three scenarios for you:
- If you meet someone and you barely notice them – not memorable.
- If you meet someone and unknown to you, they do something completely out of character, you might remember them but for the wrong reasons.
- If you meet someone and they entertain you, but you never learn their name and never see them again. It is a missed opportunity for a relationship to form.
Establishing a brand which is positioned correctly in the first step. Then you must stay true to it in any contact it has with people, be it in person or digitally.
This is the mistake I see businesses making time and time again, inconsistently portraying their brand. This is your business we’re talking about here. The slightest mistake could lead to misunderstandings and might even drive potential customers away. The idea is to drive home your message, so people remember it.
Here is what you need to do
- Be able to define your business in one to three sentences.
- Have an expanded version.
- Make sure you and your staff recite it accurately, maybe not word for word, but close to.
- Make sure the definition is written in the same way on any brochures, on your website, on social media and in presentations.
Engagement is a core element of marketing success. Brand consistency is not about being boring, you need a memorable statement about your business and what separates it from the rest of the market. If you don’t have this then stop everything you are doing and work on this fast. If you start out with something unremarkable, like “I have an accounting practice”, then you are missing opportunities.
Here’s a simple marketing tip: The goal is to be both memorable and create an emotional connection with the people you are targeting.
Sometimes the best way to be consistent is also to be brief. Here for example is how a few well known brands define themselves.
“NIKE, Inc. fosters a culture of invention. We create products, services and experiences for today’s athlete while solving problems for the next generation.”
“Commonwealth Bank is a leading provider of integrated financial services. We provide retail, business and institutional banking and wealth management products and services. 1 in 3 Australians call us their main financial institution.”
If you go through any materials for these two brands, you will see a consistent approach to the language they use. It may not always be the same exact words because you have to adapt to different scenarios, but you can bet the meaning is the same. It takes time to get your wording right, but it is worth working on and reviewing annually. Include all your staff in the process and sometimes, utilising an independent person to manage the process can help you focus.