“What would you think if you walked into a Starbucks and the barista got your triple tall, half caf, iced, non-fat latte wrong? You’d probably say to yourself, “First-world problem,” not fret too much and go about your day. What if you went to a different location the next day, and your order was mishandled once again? Part of the brand promise of Starbucks is that you’ll receive a customized beverage that perfectly suits your palate and your diet, no matter how complex the details or your order are. How many times would you be willing to experience inconsistency before you switched to a different caffeine dealer?” – William Arruda, Forbes
As we read Mr. Arruda’s article in Forbes, we thought a lot about conversations we have regularly with clients about developing ‘brand’ and what that means. A crucial key to successful branding is maintaining brand consistency. It is much more than simply creating a cohesive look and feel. While important, thinking through your brand goes much deeper. So, what is brand consistency? Brand consistency is staying true to your message, purpose, and promise. From owning your brand’s voice to guiding your employees’ brand awareness, our guide below will give you all the tips and tricks to keep your brand authentic.
1. Deliver on your promises
Confidence is built by keeping promises. Whether that is with yourself as a brand owner or with your customers, brand consistency will not exist if promises are continually broken. To build loyalty to a brand, customers need to feel confident that what they expect from the brand is true. Starbucks essentially promises their customers that they can visit any Starbucks globally and expect the same quality they receive from their day to day location. Delivering on promises builds trust, and trust builds loyalty.
2. Be distinct
One of the more difficult aspects of creating a brand is deciding your brand’s image. A memorable brand will think outside of the box and create imagery and content that is unique to them. In order for this branding to be successful, it is crucial that the brand is consistent with the unique style they have created. For example, our branding at WitMark is fun, vibrant, and represented by a colorful paint splash. If WitMark were to stray away from this branding style and opt for darker colors and a new logo, the brand would no longer be distinct. A great way to ensure consistency in your branding is to create a style guide for your team, filled with high-resolution copies of your logo, HTML color codes, and overall messaging guidelines. Creating branding guidelines is a foolproof way to ensure your team is on the same page.
3. Ensure brand alignment in your partnerships
While cross-promotion through partnerships is a great way to build brand awareness, it is essential that both brands align in their values and mission. While a brand may be eager to access a larger audience through cross-promotion, they should not jump into any partnership too quickly. By vetting the partnership, a company can avoid the negative representation that could occur from working with a brand they don’t align with.
4. Stay true to your brand’s values and beliefs
A great brand is built with core values in mind. As the brand grows and becomes more complex, it can be tricky to stay loyal to these values. It is important to remember what your brand stands for and what issues you will stand behind. Oftentimes brands have honest, genuine intentions when expressing their values and issues they will fight for, but these intentions can seem disingenuous without putting actions behind the voice. When striving for brand consistency, make sure your brand’s actions reflect your core message, and remember that when taking action against social issues, quality trumps the quantity of your actions.
Brand consistency is at the core of a successful business. From creative marketing to strategic brand development, our team is made up of branding experts who can help you navigate a surprisingly complex part of your overall marketing strategy. We have helped create distinct, honest, respected brands that have established a trusting and loyal customer base. If you have questions about how we can make a splash with your brand consistency, let’s chat!