Three steps to building a consistent brand
Today’s consumers want more than just a logo or catchy tagline from the brands they trust. They want relationships and consistency.
In today’s competitive business landscape, being able to create and maintain a strong and consistent brand identity is essential for long-term success. Your brand identity serves as more than just a first impression. It’s the sum of all experiences that customers associate with your business.
Being able to achieve brand consistency across all touchpoints will benefit your business in a variety of ways. Not only will it increase recognition, but it will build trust and loyalty among your target audience. Word-of-mouth advertising is practically worth its weight in gold, and having a consistent brand message can give that kind of “free marketing” a big boost.
Once you’ve established your brand identity, maintaining consistency in your marketing, customer service, and products or services is easier than you might think with a few effective strategies. Read on for three steps to building a consistent brand.
1) Conduct a brand audit
If you’re not sure what your existing brand needs to be more concrete and consistent, consider running a brand audit. It’s a great way to establish a starting point and learn more about your strengths, weaknesses, and how your target audience perceives you.
There are several steps involved in conducting a brand audit, including:
- Determining your framework
- Reviewing your existing marketing
- Conducting customer surveys
- Reviewing data and demographics
- Conducting an internal survey
- Looking at competitors
- Creating an action plan
- Monitoring results
From a branding perspective, an audit helps you get a clearer picture of the story of your business and brand. What’s the message you’re giving your customers, and how can it be more consistent in things like packaging, social media, and even your colors and logos?
Once you complete an audit, you’ll be able to put together a brand identity that resonates with your target audience, even if that means completely overhauling your current strategy.
While names and logos are important, finding a voice for your brand that’s consistent across everything you do is even more essential for building trust and loyalty.
2) Build a brand people love
Whether you’re starting from scratch or revamping your current branding strategy, what can you do to foster loyalty with your audience? First, take a look at the customer surveys you collected during your branding audit. What does your audience want? How do they perceive you already? What needs to change?
When you make actionable changes based on the needs and wants of your customers, they’ll notice. They will feel seen, heard, and understood by your business, and will be more likely to stick with you.
It’s also a good rule of thumb to tap into the emotions of your target audience whenever possible. That starts by humanizing your brand. What’s your tone like? Is it personal and approachable? Do you engage your audience with your message? If not, do what you can to speak your audience’s language, especially on social media when you’re directly interacting with them.
Don’t be afraid to let your sense of humor show, and share your “about us” story so your audience feels more connected to the people behind your business.
You can also stir emotions more subtly, by focusing your external branding efforts on things like color. The idea of color psychology is very real, and it shows how different colors impact feelings and actions.
For example, blue is often associated with peace and understanding. Green tends to be associated with growth and renewal. Red is associated with high energy and passion. By diving into color psychology for things like logos, web design, and even packaging, you’ll convey a message without having to say a word.
3) Have fun with visuals
Don’t be afraid to step outside the box and be unique with your visuals, from the products you package to your logo. These are often the best ways to establish a first impression with your audience and grow your reputation. If you’re unsure about what your branding style should be, consider things like:
- Brand purpose
Maybe you’re already happy with the overall look of your logo and design, but you still want to add something extra to boost your brand voice and help your audience know who you really are. Consider unique strategies like using sustainable materials in your packaging, sharing your brand story whenever and wherever possible (even printing it on your packaging!), and showing cultural sensitivity in your practices.
The more you can resonate with your audience, as well as those who might not directly be in your demographic, the more likely it is that you’ll become a household name. When people talk about your brand, they will be able to decide who you are, what you stand for, and what your business represents.
Visual branding isn’t just about being flashy or having a good marketing strategy. The visuals and engagement are important, but it’s really about sharing who your company is at its core. You can’t talk the talk with your branding efforts if you aren’t willing to back it up with action.
Building brand consistency is a fantastic way to help with growth and recognition, improve word-of-mouth advertising, and give your business a chance to build a solid identity that will resonate with your audience. No matter what your existing brand strategy looks like, taking the time to make these changes can make a big difference in your current and future success.