Brand consistency happens when a company, organization, group or even a person delivers messaging across communication channels (both online and offline) that is fundamentally the same in voice, graphic elements, topic focus, and more.
A recent study by Utah-based brand templating platform Lucidpress found that branding experts across industries believe their organizaiton would achieve, on average, 33% overall revenue growth if their brand was consistently maintained. In a blog post on its findings, Lucidpress wrote that brand consistency “tells people you care about what you deliver, that you live up to what you promise, and it shows off a glimmer of your personality. Ultimately, brand consistency has an extensive trickle-down effect, that when implemented correctly can boost your bottom line, brand status, and employee morale.”
Those are compelling reasons to strive for brand consistency in your digital/traditional marketing, sales, product, and overall communication efforts. These six strategies will help you stay on brand.
1. Create a Clear Brand Mission
Encapsulated in a thoughtfully crafted statement, this mission provides the foundation for your brand. Without it, you’re rudderless.
2. Establish Well-Defined Brand Guidelines
Develop guidelines that spell out how your brand should be represented. The guidelines should be tailored to build a brand that augments your company’s mission and desired image – one that speaks in a positive way to tar-get customers. Guidelines should include the mission statement, proper spelling of the company name, your tagline or slogan, and an explanation of your brand voice – its personality, so to speak. Will your tone be irreverent and off-the-cuff, or more buttoned-up and corporate? The document should contain logo and color usage guidelines. Relatedly, there should be guidance on the types of imagery and typography that define your brand. Also, establish rules for text, indicating where it’s important to capitalize certain letters and use elements like trademarks, affiliations, slogans and disclaimers. Words and topics to avoid, along with an example or two of poor brand portrayal, could also be edifying.
3. Educate Employees
Having a strongly defined brand with specific guidelines will be for naught if employees are ignorant of it. Ensure that staffers understand the brand persona and how it should be communicated visually, through the written word (which includes social media) and in interaction with customers. This education can occur when on-boarding new staffers and reinforced periodically with training. Since every employee is an extension of the brand, it’s important to provide everyone with an overarching understanding as well as their department’s role in reinforcing the brand. Furthermore, give employees access to the branding guidelines. Lastly, see to it that employees who will be communicating both externally and internally on behalf of the brand have easy access to things like logo variants, graphics, fonts, color palettes and stock copy.
4. Always Craft On-Brand Content
Employees in marketing, human resources, corporate communications – any department or role that generates a lot of content on behalf of the brand – should always do so with the branding guidelines in mind. For instance, the marketing team should deliver advertising, catalog or product copy in a tone that conforms. Similarly, the team should produce blogs, articles, social media posts and white papers on topics within the brand framework – again, in the tone and voice defined in the guidelines.
5. Be Smart About Social
Only participate on social media platforms that work in conjunction with your brand. For instance, just because TikTok or Twitch are popular, it doesn’t mean the platforms are a good fit for your organization. Be selective, getting active in forums only where customers and prospects are likely to engage. Also, designate specific team members to handle social messaging. When it comes to social, a few well-trained chefs are better than a plethora of bum-bling cooks.
6. Appoint a Brand Czar
This will likely be a marketing leader or executive – someone who knows the branding guidelines by heart. If the company is especially large, it might be necessary to have multiple people whose job responsibilities include ensuring the communication efforts of certain departments remain on-brand. Having a “buck-stops-here” person will minimize off-brand messaging.