The Importance of Great Branding and Brand Consistency
Brand consistency means keeping the values, design elements, and personality of your brand consistent across all of your company’s platforms.
You don’t have to look towards extreme changes to find instances of brand inconsistency – it can show up in something as little as using the wrong word in an email blast or using a light blue background on your website instead of navy.
So, let’s get into the elements of brand consistency and why it’s important to your business. When it comes to buying branded merchandise, it’s important to consider these elements as you make product selections, design choices and distribution decisions.
What is branding?
First, we should answer the question of branding itself. In brief, your brand is the face of your company. It’s how the company presents itself and its values to its audience, keeping in mind both design elements and company goals. Your logo, web design, typography, public relations, ad campaigns, emails, articles, etc. are all elements of your brand, shaping the way customers perceive your business.
Customer perception is the crucial part here. While companies will try to push their brand in a certain direction, it’s possible that your customers will perceive your brand in a different way. It’s this perception that defines who your company is, because it’s the customer’s response that matters most to your company’s success.
What does good branding do?
While it might take a lot of time to harness your brand, the benefits of effective branding can save you countless hours of work, boost your profit margins, and foster stronger relationships with your partners, investors, and customers. Brands do this in two ways: brand recognition and brand loyalty.
Brand recognition is when people can identify your brand, regardless of whether or not you’re a customer of that brand. Samsung users can certainly identify Apple’s products, and even if you’ve never played a sport, you know the Nike “swoosh” when you see it. That’s because these brands have harnessed a consistent branding strategy that associates their logo and marketing with their name, values, and mission.
Brand loyalty, by contrast, is when customers of a brand stick with the brand. Apple markets itself towards several different demographics: these customers tend to be more educated and wealthier, and are common among professional and arts communities, and also appeal more towards younger generations. Apple appeals to these demographics in their branding by establishing itself as a luxury-oriented, professional brand, with sleek, minimalistic brand design and achievement-oriented web copy. As a result, people who use Apple products among these groups are likely to use Apple products in the future: iPhone users will likely get an iPhone upgrade, use a MacBook, own an Apple Watch, etc. because all of these products connect to each other, and because Apple has created an integrated community of customers through their brand. Let’s face it, Apple may have mastered brand loyalty better than any other brand out there. If a competitor comes out with a new and better feature before Apple, their customer base doesn’t ditch them – they simply wait for Apple to release the same thing.
Finally, great branding can improve your company’s culture. A brand encompasses your company’s value, so if your brand is mission-oriented, it can give your partners a common goal to work towards, which both binds employees together and creates a more productive, enjoyable, collaborative work environment.
How does brand consistency improve branding?
A consistent brand helps create and meet expectations for customers. If you present yourself a certain way, your customers are likely to expect this level of quality and presentation over time; meeting these expectations fosters brand loyalty which, as previously demonstrated, can push your company to the next level.
Other benefits of brand consistency include:
- Solidifies corporate values: your brand crystallizes what your company values most. Brands that value achievement orient themselves towards professionals; brands that value service and social good are oriented towards socially conscious consumers, etc.
- Makes brands dependable: people like consistency and predictability. With consistent brand messaging, you ensure that your customers get what they pay for, so nobody ends up disappointed and your customers choose to stay with you.
- Creates a baseline for your marketing: figuring out what to write, design, post, and sell can be a hassle. With consistent branding, your company internalizes its core values and needs, giving you something to return to whenever you’re stuck on the next move for your business. In the long run, you save tons of hours on work, allowing you to redirect your energies elsewhere.
Brand consistency is a key element of great branding. If you haven’t made it a goal of your company, now is the time to reign in your marketing plan and brand identity! And, if you’re not sure where to begin or need advice on what seems inconsistent, contact the professionals. Branding is our passion, and helping grow your business is our goal, so learn more about us and reach out today to make sure your promotional products, custom apparel and branded merchandise are all representative of the brand you have defined.