Brand Consistency is the way that a brand delivers its message, values, identity, and brand promise. It makes sure that you’re easily recognisable across different platforms as your forms of communication – both aesthetic and messaging – are always delivered in the same way. It makes a brand “iconic” and evokes an emotional response – just like when you see the Coca-Cola bottle silhouette and suddenly feel the urge to quench your thirst.
Why is it so important?
It helps you win the recognition game.
Consistency in branding is so important because that’s what makes you recognisable, without having to plaster your name or brand on everything. Remember how easy it is to recognise Coca-Cola just by seeing its signature bottle shape against a cherry red background? That’s one perfect example of how brand consistency works. The way Coca-Cola evolved over the years but still remained true to its core values has established itself as “THE” major player in the beverage industry. As a result, it has built trust and credibility as people feel that they already know it so well.
image source www.beveragedaily.com
Another example is Cadbury Chocolates. They recognised that the colour purple was as iconic to their brand as their logo, and trademarked the colour codes so no other brand or company could use that particular shade. That is how much value big brands put on their brand consistency. They are paying big bucks to protect their reputation, increase recognition and invest in consistency.
image source www.dailymail.co.uk
So what does it look like for small to medium enterprises? Here’s an example.
One of our clients sent our team face masks. They had seen them on a shelf at a shopping centre and felt that they were made for Lightbox as the colours and shapes reminded them of us! That is the power of consistency and brand recognition – people start to think of you and your brand beyond the materials and marketing that you send out!
It helps you gain trust and loyalty from customers.
A big aspect of generating trust with customers is delivering on expectations. Doing what you promise and to a degree – not throwing out too many shocks and surprises. From a brand perspective, showing up for your customers in the same way, in the same tone of voice, and on the same platforms, is a great way to demonstrate you are dependable. Now that doesn’t mean you stick to the mundane – it means you stick to your brand strategy!
If your brand messaging and values are geared more towards fun and quirky, then the way to communicate with your target audience should be just that! Bright colours, exciting photography, whiz-bang offers – and a logo mark that reminds people where it all came from. In time, that style of communication will become associated with your brand. But let us say this… consistent brand colours make a business 80% more memorable – so keep this in mind as you create your assets and marketing material.
For you to be able to gain trust from customers, brand consistency is key. When you gain recognition, your brand is seen and because of that, you provide people with the opportunity to feel as if they know you on a more personal level. That personal “relationship” creates a chance for your brand to trigger the right emotions – and those emotions are what will drive them to engage with you directly and TRUST what you have to say.
It brings out the right emotions about your brand.
A study by Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman states that 95% of purchasing decisions are subconscious. As you gain people’s trust through brand consistency, you evoke emotions from them that create the need to purchase a product or avail of a service.
Remember that sense of being thirsty when you see a bottle of Coca-Cola? What other feelings do you have? Coca-Cola’s main message has always been about happiness and they have always been associated with a good time. So in the back of your mind, having that coke makes you feel like you were having a little treat or a mini celebration (and why not – you deserve it!).
It allows your team to speak in one voice.
This is more of an internal benefit, but it’s a great one nonetheless. When there is consistency in your brand’s messaging, your team is conditioned to recognise it, thereby making it easier to represent your brand as individuals in a consistent way.
We explored Aēsop over the weekend and spoke to one of their shop attendants. She spoke so well of each of their products and answered the questions we asked her while recommending products that she used herself. We even sensed pride in her voice as she talked about how calming the room spray was. In the end, we went for the splurge and bought ourselves a Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm (and a few other things – room spray included).
This is one demonstration of how brand consistency allows your team to speak in a unified voice. A voice that allows you to communicate more effectively. Your team needs to embody your brand, believe in your products and advocate for them. A big part of this is making sure everyone knows what you stand for as a brand and you are hiring people who also share the same values as your business.
**Remember** you can teach skills – but it’s very difficult to change attitudes, beliefs and values – so making sure you hire the right fit for your business is incredibly important for your operation and brand.
Brand consistency may be difficult for some businesses. There will be struggles in remaining consistent, but here are some simple ways to get you on track.
Start from the beginning.
As an organisation, you have to identify what you believe in. That includes your philosophy, values, tone of voice and the overall feel of your brand. Your team has to be on the same page on this.
Don’t stray from your brand’s style guide and strategy.
We believe that a brand style guide is one of the most valuable assets a business has – so make it front and center in everything that you do. This includes your use of brand assets, philosophies, values, logos, fonts and even photography styles. Say you’re putting out a social media post, you can keep your brand’s identity consistent by making sure you always use the same filter. These steps may seem small, but they make an impact.
Keep the quality in check.
Let’s say you’re a business owner, and you do the marketing on your own too. A good way to stay consistent is to set up your brand kit on your design software (whether it be Adobe Suite or Canva). That way, no matter what content you create, it’s always consistent. Every single thing that leaves your doors, inbox, social account or website should feel like it belongs to your brand.
Here at Lightbox, we take brand consistency to heart. We are taking steps towards achieving consistency in our own brand. Every single element counts – from creating set templates, showing up to engage with people online, communicating in one voice, and even ensuring all our touchpoints (from email signatures to company drink bottles!) follow our brand strategy. It makes it so much easier for our team to share our brand message outside of the organisation. All of this sends out a clear message of who we are: We help entrepreneurs create impactful brands that shine.