Brand consistency. We’ve all heard of it, but why is it so important?
The concept of branding is of course synonymous with visual identity. For example, the name of your organisation, logo, packaging and visual marketing aesthetics all falls under your branding. However, in recent years, the definition of branding has widened to include its emotional relationship with customers.
With so much competition out there, it’s crucial businesses ensure brand consistency in their marketing. From on-site marketing materials found in brick and mortar locations to online digital content, brands need to go the extra mile to ensure everything is cohesive.
Branding is key in making memorable impressions on your target audience. It’s become a way of distinguishing a business or organisation from its competitors. If you can nail your branding and keep it consistent, you can control the way your business is perceived. Consistent branding is also instantly recognisable by your target audience.
Branding tells your audience about the beliefs behind your marketing, as well as your core values and identity. The concept is hugely important for any business or organisation, regardless of industry. It can help build trust and ‘brand awareness’ by presenting your business as credible and authoritative.
Keeping your branding consistent gives your business a sense of autonomy and authority. It also means your target audience will always recognise your signature style, and (hopefully) stay loyal to your brand. There are many examples of consistent branding in the global economy. Apple for example is instantly recognisable by their signature logo and sleek, modern advertisements. Apple’s branding is successful because it focuses on lifestyle. The brand is about how it makes you feel to own an Apple product. Their marketing connects with their target audience on an emotional level. Apple’s branding portrays a sense of progress, innovation and a better life.
Successful branding is based on authentic, down to earth marketing strategies that are both consistent and transparent with consumers. While it’s logical to maintain brand consistency, there’s no denying how difficult it can be. With the rise of the internet and increased accessibility to digital technology, it’s become increasingly simple to create content without a proper vetting process in place. Brand consistency is a particularly difficult challenge for large businesses whose employees often can’t help but create marketing material that is indicative of their personality and character. For many organisations, this can result in a disjointed and visually inconsistent portfolio. Even if your staff have the best intentions at heart, your branding should never be open to interpretation or customisation.
Building and maintaining brand consistency is key when building trust with your customers. If your business or organisation can present a similar message across your marketing with a consistent voice, use of colour and visually appealing style, then your target audience will be able to recognise your brand. Essentially, brand consistency assists with a more persuasive and credible image – but how does a large organisation stay consistent?
Creating a clear set of rules is the first step to establishing brand consistency. Brand guidelines, otherwise known as a brand style guide, is basically a set of rules laying out your organisation’s voice, tone and overall message. Your rules will also help individuals within your organisation adhere to visual standards that have been set. To set strong brand guidelines, it’s important to go through your marketing step by step and create strict rules for every aspect of your campaigns. Your employees should have clear and concise directions.
Your brand guidelines should outline and stress the importance of the following:
It’s important businesses and organisations recognise the significance of brand consistency. Branding is a company-wide effort. Encouraging your teams both in your head office and your brick and mortar sites to learn the values, guidelines and overall message of the brand will ensure consistency across the board. If you’re responsible for multiple brick and mortar sites, then streamlining the process in which you create, approve, distribute and communicate how to display your marketing materials is vital.
Management tools such as Colateral’s innovative online platform allows businesses to simplify the in-store marketing and visual merchandising process. Checking brand standards can be streamlined across your brick and mortar sites and marketing materials tailored to the bespoke display infrastructure present at each site. The assistance of Colateral’s software gives your employees the digital tools they require to strictly follow your brand guidelines and work together as a team to ensure brand consistency. These days more and more brands are ditching company intranets, emails and paper spreadsheets and guides to communicate information, and are turning to innovative, digital solutions to reduce errors and save time.
Among the driving factors in building trust with your customers is ensuring brand consistency. Brand consistency should be applied across your marketing materials, both digitally through your online channels and in-house across your brick and mortar sites. Ensuring your brick and mortar sites are easily recognisable and easy to navigate is especially important. Effective brand consistency helps to create a welcoming and familiar environment in your brick and mortar sites that is difficult to be replaced online.
Colateral allows brands and retailers to streamline their planning and installations of marketing materials across their physical sites, create bespoke, infrastructure-specific campaigns that are tailored to each location and ensure brand consistency across every site with easy-to-use communication and reporting tools.
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