Is your amazing product enough to set you apart from the competition? Maybe, but if you don’t have an amazing brand identity to back it up, chances are that sooner or later you’re going to drown in a sea of competitors and similar companies in your niche. Look, it’s a competitive business world out there no matter what you’re doing, which means that someone is likely selling the same thing you are. Don’t let them dominate the market just because they invested in branding from the start.
Okay, let’s say that you’ve done the work and that you also have an amazing brand. The next problem you’re going to face is ensuring brand consistency in the online and offline realms. There are so many different channels you can communicate your brand through, and people expect to get the same brand experience no matter the platform.
Naturally, this means that having a brand identity isn’t enough, rather, you have to focus on brand consistency in order to build a loyal community, keep engagement and awareness high, and push your company forward as a whole. So, without further ado, let’s talk about all things brand consistency.
It All Starts With the Brand Book
A surefire way to make your business look unprofessional is to portray a different image and brand personality through internal and external communication. This is why consistency starts with a brand book, so that everyone in your company knows and understands your brand guidelines, how they affect your standing in the competitive market, and why all internal and external communication should be conducted with your brand identity in mind.
According to Forbes, the brand book (or brand style guide) is an essential tool for establishing a brand’s identity. The brand book should be the foundation of your entire communication strategy, and help all of your content creators communicate the following:
- Your brand’s values.
- Tone of voice.
- Your visual identity.
These elements need to be communicated in a consistent manner across all of your sales and marketing channels.
This way, you can push your customer acquisition as well as your customer retention strategy forward, because if there is anything that customers love, it’s finding that your brand speaks in the same language on social media, over the phone, and through its content.
With that in mind, make your brand book as detailed as possible, making sure to encompass all of the above in a comprehensive style guide that will leave nothing to chance.
Use the Right Software for Consistency and Optimization
Different platforms format different content types in different ways. Across a whole slew of available social media channels, your content might start to look quite differently from what you initially approved for publishing, which is something that can make your business look sloppy and careless. The last thing you want is for your online audience to think that you don’t take yourself seriously.
This is why you need to optimize your own CMS for different platforms to ensure the consistency of all brand elements regardless of the platforms you’re using. You can do this by integrating reliable digital asset management software to optimize different content types for fast publishing, without worrying about brand consistency and the look of the end product.
You might not think that a sudden change in fonts is a big deal when you post content on different platforms, but your customers are bound to notice. Likewise, you mustn’t allow platforms to display your images and colors differently, so be sure to double-check all content prior to publishing and use the preview function every single time.
Your Brand Identity on All Content Formats
Content comes in various forms nowadays, and even though written content might still bring the most
Take infographics as a prime example of a content format that combines the best of both worlds. One of the industry-leading agencies called Infostarters created a truly unique infographic for a top-level-domain provider, Domain.me. They combined a retro look and feel with concrete information on a topic that is highly relevant to the client – digital nomads – and produced a data-driven infographic that boasts all of the information aspiring nomads need to embark on a new career path.
This is but one example of the versatility of different content forms, but what’s more interesting is that infographics and all other content types have to carry your brand’s visuals in order to be relevant, and to resonate with your audience. Your brand needs to be consistent in your articles, videos, images, infographics, marketing collateral, and more.
Leverage Influencer Marketing
The social media realm is vast and chock-full of niche competitors gunning for your followers and your type of audience. You can try to make a name for yourself in a saturated social media marketplace all on your own, but you have a higher chance of improving brand awareness and reach if you partner up with influencers that fit your brand culture and narrative. After all, people trust other people way more than they trust brands.
If you can get someone to tell your brand’s story for you, someone people know, trust, and love on social media, then you will boost WOM and attract customers to your site. That said, influencers can partner up with numerous brands at a time, and there’s always a chance that they’ll inadvertently say something about your brand that isn’t consistent with your narrative.
Here’s a quick checklist:
- First, you need to find the right influencers. Instead of doing this all on your own, consider using a dedicated tool that will help you narrow down your search.
- Next, sit down with potential influencers to check if their personal brands clash with or complement your brand.
- And finally, sharing is caring, so share your brand book with your influencers, and make sure they learn it by heart.
Are All of Your Employees on Board?
On a final note, always keep in mind that your employees are your brand’s biggest ambassadors. The way your team members talk about your brand with their friends and family, their colleagues, as well as potential customers and partners can significantly shape the perception of your company. For better, or worse.
This is your opportunity to capitalize on internal brand consistency by making sure all of your employees are on board with all of your brand guidelines. To achieve this, you will have to conduct branding workshops that are tailored to every department.
It’s not about getting everyone into a single room to give a PowerPoint presentation about your brand’s identity, it’s about tailoring the training to the specific role of a department. Make sure that sales, marketing, customer support, HR, and everyone else understands how the brand guidelines affect their work and the company’s culture as a whole.
Brand consistency is a common problem that many business leaders struggle with nowadays, simply because of the sheer number of available channels across the online and offline realms. With these tips in mind, though, you should have no problem staying consistent on social media, your own website, and other authority sites, and every other channel you use for customer acquisition and retention.
branding – DepositPhotos