Imagine you meet a new business contact; he’s five minutes early, and has prepared for the meeting. All looks good. The second time you meet he’s ten minutes late, and looks a bit dishevelled. The third time he doesn’t show up at all, no call, nothing. Your impressions have travelled a long way from your first meeting. Can you still trust that first impression you formed?
This is the essence of consistency in branding – there’s no point in getting it right once, it has to be right every single time, or customers lose faith in the brand.
Whenever we at BISON develop a new brand identity for a business and we help our customer to roll it out, we can’t stress enough the importance of using their new investment consistently across everything from signage to email signatures, photography, copy and letterheads.
In branding, predictability can be a positive. Customers can trust you to look and behave in the way they expect; the subtext is that you will give the same consistent level of thought to your relationships with your customers.
How to present your brand consistently
1. Invest in your brand
Branding is more than putting the same logo on everything – there’s a lot more to integrated marketing than that. Most important is to invest in a professionally produced logo, and if it’s old and looking tired consider updating it. This doesn’t mean you’ll lose any of your brand’s heritage, far from it – you’ll be demonstrating your ability to evolve, and build on your experience.
Consistency also means you can leave the logo off and still recognise the brand, and this comes from the look and feel, fonts, colour palettes, tone of voice, language and layout.
2. Make a brand promise
Your brand visually represents your brand promise, and you should be true to your word at every touchpoint. If your brand promises a premium service, a fast turnaround or high quality then it’s important to deliver on this at every point of contact, from the customer-care line, to the product and delivery times. Otherwise the visual brand identity is just an empty promise, and sadly that will lead to lost repeat business and diminished customer loyalty.
Take our brand hero, Virgin: the promise of ‘heartfelt service’, being ‘delightfully surprising’, and ‘red hot’ extends across travel, banking, entertainment, health and fitness and communications and makes it the desirable, trusted and successful global phenomenon it is today.
3. Educate your team
Your team need to live and breathe the fundamentals of the brand if they’re going to be its ambassador. Inform them about the way to approach their work, including how to answer the telephone, how to tweet, or put together a landing page for the website.
Make it easy by providing a tool kit that offers central access to branding guidelines, images, templates and videos. And set the tone with internal culture, including the approach to solving issues, conducting meetings, celebrating staff anniversaries and the content of the staff newsletter.
So, our message is simply this: be true to your brand’s DNA each and every time you communicate because it will aid recognition, build trust, reinforce your brand identity AND that all adds up to business growth.
Follow in the footsteps of successful business owners and leaders by tapping into the BISON BLUEPRINT methodology to achieve growth. Start the conversation today by calling Managing Director Mark Bidewell on 01622 677541 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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