Brand consistency is the delivery, over time, of brand messaging in line with your organization's core values, brand promise, customer experience, brand identity elements, and strategy. It means that your target audience is being exposed to the same brand elements repeatedly, which can make your brand elements become ingrained in their minds and hearts.
If your brand is not consistent, your audience will get different versions of your brand on different touchpoints. Just like you wouldn't trust someone who doesn't have a defined identity and personality, your audience would find it hard to trust you. So how can you make your brand more consistent? There are 3 main areas in which it's vital to be consistent:
- Customer experience - Make your customers feel special every time they interact with your brand. Make sure your customers are always satisfied in every interaction with you.
- Values - Make sure what you say is always in harmony with what you do.
- Brand identity elements - your customers need to feel that your message, personality, and identity are the same at every touchpoint.
Benefits of Brand Consistency
1. Brand Awareness and Recognition
Brand consistency helps your target audience to know of your existence and what you stand for. It also helps them build a strong association between your core message and values and visual elements. How well your audience knows and recognizes your brand is called brand awareness.
The way you use your brand elements plays a big role also in making your brand recognizable. Consistency gives your target audience a visual reference whenever they experience your brand. Your goal is whenever they see something you did, they easily recognize it. The more consistent your brand is, the more recognizable it is to the audience, which provides a feeling of reliability.
2. Builds Trust and Loyalty
If you present your brand differently in different touchpoints, it'll be hard for users to know who you really are and trust you. But if you present yourself consistently, your users will know for sure what to expect when interacting with your brand. Take Coca-cola as an example: No one wonders what a bottle of coca-cola will taste like. Why? One reason is that because they keep it consistent worldwide. So, by making sure your audience has a consistently great user experience every time they interact with your brand, you build trust and loyalty.
3. Shapes Brand Perception
Your brand is your business reputation; it's what people think of it. You can't control what others think about your business, but you can influence it by consistently present your brand. Its much easier to influence and shape your users' perception of your brand. You want people to feel the same about your brand every time they interact with it. By sticking to your core message in every touchpoint, you keep a reputation of keeping promises and stick to your values.
How to Build and Maintain Consistency?
Hopefully, by now you understand that brand consistency is important for your business. So how to build and maintain it? Here are few things to get you started:
1. Use a Brand Style Guide
The brand style-guide (a.k.a Brand Guidelines) helps everyone in your company to know how your brand should communicate to its audience. This includes both the narrative (tone) and the visuals (typefaces, color palette, imagery, etc.). It's vital to make sure everyone in the company is familiar with them. One way to encourage the use of style-guides is by making them easily accessible to everyone.
2. Organize your Marketing Assets
Making sure your brand assets and elements are easily accessible for everyone can help to maintain brand consistency. To achieve this, you can use cloud-based tools that allow all team members to access it anywhere, anytime.
3. Rebrand with Caution
You don't want to freeze your brand in the time, so sometimes you may want to consider a rebranding. But think twice. That is especially important if some of your visual assets are already established and ingrained in the minds and hearts of your audience. If you decide to rebrand your business, try to maintain some core elements of your old identity to soften the transition.
Your brand is what your audience thinks about you. You can't control it, but you can influence it. If you present your brand in a cohesive and consistent way to your customers, you increase the chances of building trust and loyalty and ingraining your brand in the minds and hearts of your audience.
This is by no means everything involved in building and maintaining brand consistency, but it can get you started.