Branding Consistency Matters
In this digital age, your website is your most important tool for increasing conversion. Whatever marketing methods you employ (digital, traditional or most likely a mix of both), the first thing your customer will do is search for you online and find their way to your website. When they get there, they should immediately have the sense that they’re interacting with the same brand they recognize from in-person communication, phone, email, ads and social. Maintaining a consistent brand across all channels increases the level of trust your customers have in your company.
It’s easy to mistake a brand for a logo and a certain color palette or slogan. While tangible graphics and clever taglines are part of your brand, they alone do not define who you are. Consider these other aspects of your company that should be unified as well:
Imagine when a customer calls your business, they speak with a warm and caring employee — but when they walk in, they are barely greeted or supported in a positive way. Your website states plainly, “Here’s what we do,” but doesn’t ask, “How may we help you?” And your social media consists of posting the occasional sale promotion, never engaging in conversations with others and rarely replying to the customers who connect with you. If each experience a person has with your business is radically different, your customers won’t know what to expect from you. That uncertainty may lead to distrust and an unwillingness to work with you in the future.
Envision your business as a person. How would they speak? How would they dress? How would they behave? Once you know “who” you want your business to be, you want to start injecting that personality into all of your outward communications. When it comes to brands, there’s no “one size fits all.” Like you, your company has a unique personality, which you want to come through in all the channels that your potential customers interact with.
Everyone on your team and everyone working with your team has a hand in promoting your brand. You want to ensure that everyone is on the same page and will project a unified message or tone to customers. Again, the fewer conflicting messages your customers receive from your brand, the clearer they will understand what they can expect from you and whether your business is the right fit for them.
If, like many small businesses, you use multiple vendors to execute online and offline marketing strategies, make sure that there is an understanding on all parts of what the goals are for growing your brand. Creating a style guide for your brand will give you a document that anyone can reference to maintain consistency.
Recommended resource: How to Create a Brand Style Guide – 99designs
What else can you do to make sure you’re on track? Create a list of all the ways your company touches current and prospective customers. This could be through in-person or phone interactions, customer service, advertisements, social media, job postings, and marketing, interpersonal, or transactional emails, for example. Then review the list — does your company’s identity get fulfilled through those various touch points? For every “no” or “maybe,” dive in and determine why those disconnects exist. Implement change where you feel your biggest problems lie and periodically reevaluate the list.
And if your assessments leave you feeling like your website could use some tweaking, check out our article on ways you can update your site without starting from scratch. Then, get in touch and we’ll help you on your way to cultivating your brand!