Companies strive, especially when first established, to develop a brand identity that represents the culture, ideals, and vision of the company. For potential customers to be familiar with a company’s brand to the point it is accepted as a household name, the brand’s identity must maintain consistency across all media. Consistency may be threatened when a company has a team of marketing professionals writing content and creating imagery for the website, social media, television, radio, print, and more. To remedy this issue, companies should:
Develop a Style Guide
Companies can organize documentation or create a portfolio of past advertising that assigns a personality to all communications. All representatives should be familiar with the voice and company culture, and aim to represent these values in all communicative efforts.
For example: Company XYZ is family-friendly and ecologically aware. Communications that sound too corporate or otherwise do not adhere to the values of the company will confuse customers and possibly even deter potential buyers. A conflicting corporate identity can even turn a previously loyal customer to turn to a more consistent brand.
Attach Logos and Colors to All Communications
A majority of customers are visual learners and the internet is an especially visual commodity. Making sure all the company’s digital, traditional media, and print communications “match” is an easy way to ensure customers know who is talking to them.
Colors are also highly memorable to customers. Home Depot has a trademark orange, and UPS actually encourages customers to “go brown” in its advertising campaigns. Nearly every company has a color or colors which represent their brand. It is psychologically proven that colors can indicate certain moods or attitudes for customers, and it is imperative for businesses to understand the color implications of their logos and to be certain their colors align with company culture.
Example: Coca-Cola is a global brand recognized virtually everywhere and by everyone. This continuity is not achieved overnight. For decades, Coca-Cola has evolved in product quality, packaging, and advertising without losing sight of identity. The Coke of a half-century ago would still be recognizable to today’s consumers. If today’s Coca-Cola were to travel back in time, buyers wouldn’t see much of a change; a shift from glass to plastic, perhaps, but the brand is the same. The Coke sold in Dubai, Tokyo or Hong Kong would be just as recognizable by an American or someone from the UK, for example. The consistency reverberates trust and industry leadership all over the world.
Marketing professionals and other communication representatives of the firm should all be educated on how to engage customers the same way. Companies who have internal employees communicating through digital and traditional media should hire individuals who understand and respect the brand’s identity. Other companies who use media organizations, marketing strategists, content writers and more need to outline the tone, the voice, even the persona of the brand and ensure all vendors and outsourcers are sticking to it. Companies that are unsure of their brand identity can have marketing consultants help discern the company culture and procure proper training tools.
Example: Company XYZ has a company culture unwavering in its professionalism and boasts responsiveness to clients. A marketing representative not trained on these ideals could be creating marketing materials that are too bold or too casual which would confuse the client base. If a customer response is overlooked by a representative, that customer could spread the word that XYZ isn’t living up to expectations. These errors are bad for business. XYZ should train all representatives, from marketing professionals to CSRs, to represent the same persona.
Determine Goals of Communication
If the goal is to promote a cause or sponsorship to an event, all communications should reflect that. If the goal is to raise sales by a certain percentage, communications should indicate that. This seems simple enough but many companies have it wrong.
Example: Company XYZ has an individual who handles social media and another individual who writes for the company blog. If the social media writer is blasting about new and improved products while the blog writer is boasting a history of consistency and reliability, customers may be confused even if both are true. Coordinating these two individuals and making sure the goal and purpose are the same can eradicate any potential confusion by current and potential customers.
Frequent posting and advertising will allow customers to forge a relationship with the brand and see the brand as part of their life and routine. “I haven’t heard that name in years” is not where any company wants to be. Example: Company XYZ, and the XYZ brand have become household names because people are remarking on their clever Twitter posts and the new microsite advertising their sponsorship of the really big event that is happening now. This is exactly where a company wants to find itself.
It can be especially effective for companies to hire one marketing firm to handle all communications in order to promote consistency. But why does consistency matter?
The brand’s logo, company culture, colors, and tagline are the first things a customer sees and learns about any company. Every company has the chance to choose what makes a first impression, and after the initial exposure, changing someone’s mind is significantly more difficult.
Unless the company is brand new, chances are it has customers who choose it over the competition. This is great news, but customers break up with their old favorites all the time. Changing up the strategy can get companies noticed, but consistency is more apt to keep customers returning. If it is not broken, it does not need to be fixed.
Differentiation from Competitors
How often do consumers stand at the store, desperately trying to remember which brand they liked the best the last time they made a purchase? Consistent marketing and product quality can ensure the customer remembers.
Consistent brand identity across all media platforms is an essential way to ensure that potential customers understand what a company is about, and it keeps current customers secure in their buying decisions. Relying on an experienced digital marketing firm is one way to guarantee your company’s brand is consistent across all platforms.
For more information about brand identity and what it means for you, contact SPINX Digital today.