Branding is a marketing practice of giving meaning to a specific organization, company, products or services by creating a name, symbol or design elements to create a unique and attention-grabbing profile. It is the set of actions you take to cultivate that brand. This helps people to quickly identify and experience the brand. Distinguishing it from competitors gives people a reason to choose your products over the competition’s, by clarifying what it is you offer that makes your brand the better choice. Brands should be a true representation of who you are as a business, and how you wish to be perceived.
The main objective of branding is to attract and retain loyal customers and other stakeholders by delivering a product that is always aligned with what the brand promises. This affects a range of people, from consumers to employees, investors, shareholders, providers, and distributors. As an example, when as the consumer you feel like the brand offers products that inspire you, you would probably desire to be part of its world. And as an organization, your brand is the way your customer perceives you.
Creating a connection with people is important for all organizations, and a brand can embody attributes which consumers will feel drawn to. Don’t leave your brand open to a variety of interpretations and customizations, as customers can be disappointed or confused when something does not live up to a brand’s promise. Over time, it could diminish the power of the brand and have irreversible effects for a business. Considering this impact, let’s take a closer look and discuss Brand Consistency.
The goal of a brand is to stay in the consumers’ minds for a long time. For your product to be competitive it is crucial that the first impression of the brand should be impactful as well as memorable. It’s not only about your business being instantaneously recognizable, it is also about promoting the value of your products and services through messaging and style elements, and, in the process, building trust and loyalty. And in today’s frenzy of content creation, there is a lot of marketing material to keep on-brand and ensure brand consistency across all channels.
Why is it important?
Branding allows you to control how people perceive and experience your brand—and you can ensure that perception and experience stays consistent across all your brand touchstones. By being consistent in your messaging you can set your brand apart from your competitors, which is especially valuable in a highly competitive and saturated market. In doing so, the brand becomes more and more entwined in the consumers lives making it incredibly powerful.
The most obvious benefit of brand consistency is brand recognition. And being immediately recognizable by their target audience helps not only build a strong association between the core values and the visual elements of your brand, but also sets your brand apart from the competition – a particularly valuable perk in highly competitive, saturated markets.
How to maintain it across teams?
For many businesses, marketing is fragmented—one marketing team devoted to traditional, the other to digital marketing. That creates a problem since the goal is consistent messaging across both digital and traditional channels. To reap the benefits of promoting the value of your products and services and in the process build trust and loyalty, teams need to collaborate and design a unified strategy.
The most successful brands keep a check across their teams by implementing the following:
Building the brand image
The brand image should be tied to an organization’s core values, and relate specifically to the brand’s promise, personality, audience, and competitive positioning. Create a brand style and usage guidelines to ensure all messaging and brand asset use is on-point and consistent. These guides not only help the marketing department, but they also serve as guides to other employees and departments. And above all, the guidelines should align with a company’s vision and mission.
This is a long-term, documented plan that includes scheduling regular (at least annual) meetings to update your plan, review key design elements, and repeat the audit process to ensure your branding sends the right messages to your audience members about what you do and what they can expect if they engage with you further.
Creating or Revisiting your Branding Guide
The branding guide should include several key elements and if you don’t have a clear and persuasive repository of what your brand allows—and what it doesn’t—you need to create one. If you have one, you need to give it a second look.
Without these guidelines, the branding becomes inconsistent across channels. To avoid this eventuality, commit to a plan for the future. That should include scheduling regular (at least annual) meetings to update your plan, review key design elements, and repeat the audit process.
Ensure Brand Consistency with DAM
One of the most common reasons that brand consistency begins to waver is that organizations find it hard to control digital assets. Seamless integration of the digital assets with a Digital Asset Management (DAM) system will keep you in sync with your brand guidelines.
Organizations can achieve consistent brand experiences by having a central location to store and access the guidelines and digital assets for brand use. It allows you to maintain brand consistency by keeping everyone on the same page.
In conclusion, brand consistency is top priority and is the driving factor in building trust with an organization’s target audience. The goal is to stay in the consumers’ minds for a long time and by following the above strategies for maintaining brand consistency, organizations increase their brand value.