Brand consistency is the process of having a strong and consistent brand personality and business identity that incorporates all your branding efforts from brand messaging and designing to brand promise and communication elements.
Brand consistency in today’s extremely competitive environment is crucial. It is straightforward for a brand to get lost. The marketing department, the sales departments, or the production units are all constantly making assets for a brand. The larger the organization, the more it needs to pay attention to brand consistency.
Brand consistency is essential to gain the customers’ trust, improve connection, and let the customers identify and remember the brand more clearly. Consistency adds definition to the brand and allows the customer to connect the dots between all the brand’s marketing efforts.
What is Brand Consistency?
Definition- Brand consistency is defined as a consistent branding effort via brand message elements (like visuals, offerings, design, or perspectives) to maintain messaging and positioning as per the core values and identity of the brand to optimize brand recognition.
Brand consistency ingrain your branding elements ingrain in the minds of the target audience in a way that they are more likely to remember your brand. It can be termed as the basis of one’s business identity. It encompasses several elements of your marketing tactics, from messaging to logos to the core values and everything else. A customer who has invested time and efforts in a brand digitally or physically should have a consistent experience.
Brand consistency instills the thought that the brand has a strong brand personality in the customer’s mind. It is unwavering and stable. This brand personality is also easy to recognize. Brand consistency can be persistent by delivering messages which are always aligned with the core brand values. The visual elements such as the color palette, the logo, the outlet of the brand should always be similar. Apart from building trust, consistency also ensures that the brand is easily recognized across various marketing channels.
Importance of Brand Consistency in Marketing
The importance of building and maintaining the image of a brand is essential for its success. Let’s look at a few reasons why it is that:
1. Consistency makes a brand memorable
The key to instilling a brand’s name in people’s minds is to keep repeating it. There’s a reason why we keep repeating stuff, as we want to memorize.
Different brands all across the world are emerging every day. How does a brand make sure that customers remember them in the long run? Brand consistency hence is the key. When the audience sees different marketing tactics of other brands, people tend to gravitate towards that brand if one has made its brand consistency powerful enough.
2. Brand consistency also leads to brand recognition
The perfect example of this is how one instantly remembers the name of an old brand if they saw its advertisement somewhere!
Brand consistency, if done correctly, leads to customers recognizing the brand. Customers are more likely to opt for products and services of a brand they identify with rather than one they haven’t heard of. Brands with distinct and consistent marketing strategies are more recognizable.
3. Brand consistency projects professionalism
If a brand is haphazard, it shows up in different ways. This means it is not consistent in its visual branding. People are hence going to assume that the brand is not professional.
By being consistent, the brand provides a level of authenticity to its products and services. It clarifies what the brand does, what the company stands for, who they are trying to serve and what they stand for. It enhances the level of customer trust.
4. Consistency provides simplicity to the brand
Consistency offers clarity to all the actions that one takes. This simplicity is not just limited to the customer about experiencing the brand. Still, it also provides simplicity to the stakeholders and to the people who are doing work for the brand.
So the marketing department, the production people, or the product designers. Having a clear and consistent brand makes it more evident to them what they are supposed to do.
5. Brand consistency helps the business stand out
The competition in today’s world is extremely high. Companies are coming up with several tactics to generate customer faith and loyalty.
Therefore a brand must have a solid, consistent identity in order to stand out in the crowd. The brand should also be able to maintain this identity that is created.
6. Brand consistency raises brand awareness
The marketing consists of a brand that helps build awareness regarding the brand. Customers tend to opt for a brand they are aware of rather than one they know nothing about.
7. Consistency generates authority
Authority is an essential element in the field of branding and marketing. With proper consistency, a brand can develop authority over its peers. This means that sometimes a brand becomes so big that it becomes synonymous with the name of the product!
That is, when thinking about a particular product, the consumer makes a direct association with a specific brand. This is the product of consistency as to how a company has developed its image so well that the authority has tied the brand’s name to the product.
8. Brand consistency increases brand revenue
Increasing revenue is directly proportional to growing customers. The more the customers recognize a brand, the more they come for it, and the more income is hence produced.
When customers trust a brand, they tend to promote it, which also eventually brings more customers and therefore increases brand revenue. Brand identity links directly to a business plan to a business’s strategy.
9. Brand consistency builds trust
Being trustworthy is an essential element to build a brand. If a brand is not consistent, the customers tend to believe that there is something that a marketer is hiding.
The frequency and the tone of the brand hence need to come off as consistent in order to win the trust of the customers.
How to build and maintain Brand Consistency?
Few constant and strategic efforts help to build brand consistency. Here are a few ways to build and maintain consistent branding:
1. Define the brand
The first step into providing any application towards the success of a brand is to understand and further define the brand. This means the meaning of the brand and what purpose and value it holds and provides. Brand consistency can only be provided after understanding the importance of the same.
2. Define core values
Core brand values are what an organization stands for. They are the pillars of a brand identity. They build relationships with clients.
3. Use brand style guide
To ensure brand consistency, and a brand must follow a set of rules and procedures. Policies are essential for a brand to work in a strategic manner. These rules should never be neglected as brand consistency is hugely affected by standardization and discipline.
Specific guidelines will leave no room for rookie mistakes. This ensures brand accuracy and consistency. Examples of some procedures are: putting down ideas of classic posters, advertisements, social media graphics, and so on.
4. Involving the entire team
The brand should make sure that all the people of the company are well aware of the brand’s core values, the purpose, the vision, and eventually the mission.
Everyone on the team should also be well versed with all the guidelines. This also stands correct with freelancers. They should too be aware of how the brand should be presented to the public.
5. Use of visual elements
The visual elements, such as the brand’s logo, can be the “first impression” that can either make or break its image. A logo should align with the color palette of a brand. One cannot keep changing the logo or any visual element of a brand frequently.
This disrupts consistency, and it will just be like introducing oneself to the audience the first time every single time! If the visual elements start becoming boring for a marketer, then the aim has been achieved.
Apart from being recognizable and alluring, the logo needs to be definitive, consistent, and descriptive. People should be able to recognize the brand even after having a glimpse of the brand. The colors, fonts, logos, and imagery all communicate through something known as semiotics.
Semiotics is a scientific interpretation of what symbols are perceived to mean. The consistency in visual branding affects the brand’s success.
6. Establish consistency w.r.t brand voice and message
Brand consistency is not only about sticking one’s logos everywhere. It should also be able to send a consistent and coherent message to its audience.
The audience should recognize the brand due to its visual elements and the message it delivers. After all, the words are ultimately the deciding factor if people will trust the brand or not.
7. Use of consistent tone and personality
While communicating or marketing as the brand offline or via social media. It is important to maintain a consistent tone and personality throughout. The tone of the brand should be able to convey the personality of the brand.
People should be able to decipher the brand by the tone that is being used. This means copyright or verbal tone of voice: how things are said. How things are said on videos, social media, podcasts, etc., should be consistent as the visual branding needs to be.
8. Consistency should be achieved on all the platforms
To deliver a definite brand identity, one has to be consistent with their branding on all the different platforms they use. Brands sometimes showcase different personalities on various platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, or print ads.
They end up looking like different brands. A brand needs to have guidance. It needs to include uniformity to establish consistency with its branding. Different platforms may have different audiences and may sometimes demand this personality change in how one puts its brand forward. Social media graphics or adverts that use the same visual styles and tone of voice and look consistent across all these platforms should be included.
These rules also apply in terms of marketing on traditional platforms like radio or television. The visual elements and the tone of voice need to be delivered the same way as they do on the other platforms.
9. Have a brand guardian
A person or multiple people can be delegated to be in charge of making sure that any marketing materials or branding that are out there follow the brand guidelines and are completely on-brand. Being completely clear and consistent with the branding comes across as confident to the prospective customers.
While choosing which brand to go for, a customer tends to gravitate towards the brands that come off as the strongest. A confident and clear brand about its message and purpose and offers the solution to its problems.
10. Regular audit of the brand
The branding guidelines should be assessed regularly. This ensures cutting out the inconsistent steps.
The elements that can be looked into are web pages, social media platforms, brochures, letterheads, business cards, store decor, labels, packaging, etc. Everything that is a brand touchpoint should be looked into.
Examples of Brand Consistency
Some of the popular examples of brand consistency can be-
Starbucks and its Effective use of its Visual Identity
As one of the world’s most popular coffee brands, Starbucks is known for offering good coffee as well as an elegant place for its customers to enjoy. In the year 2011, when their sales were going down, they decided to remove the word coffee from the Starbucks logo and offer other products such as mugs, shirts, etc.
They did this for optimizing their branding via effective use of the brand’s visual identity. It not only increased sales but also made the brand more recognizable and stronger.
Netflix and its Consistent Communication
Netflix is known for channelizing its brand communication by engaging in some crucial social causes and using humorous language.
It is also quite consistent in interacting with its users on social media. Netflix team utilizes excerpts from movies and series for generating fun and engaging content.