We live in a world where brands are fighting for the attention of consumers. Everywhere we go, an advertisement pops out in front of us like Beetlejuice. Brand consistency is the practice of being aligned with your core values and standing out among your competitors.
To make a brand that stands out and people fall in love with, we have to let go of aggressive campaigns. Successful brands are built on the values they provide, the trust they build with the audience, and a powerful message that makes everyone feel important to be a part of our story.
At the core of a trustworthy brand is clear communication and interaction with the audience. Marketing managers often think of communication as a one-way street: how we communicate a message to our audience.
However, the truth is that we ought to listen to our target group as well and implement their feedback every step of the way. To establish a quality relationship with the audience, we cannot allow our messages to give off mixed signals.
What is brand consistency and why does it matter?
Consistency is the key to branding. What does this imply?
From the beginning of building a brand, we focus on the visual harmony of our identity and the coherence of the brand voice. But consistency doesn’t end there.
Brand consistency is the playbook we work by, according to which we design our strategies, activities, improvements. This is how we can make sure that no matter which communication channel they use, our target group will always receive the authentic message from our brand.
Sometimes marketers use different channels to talk to different target groups. And clearly, the language of this communication will be slightly different from platform to platform.
The stories we share shouldn’t be contradictory in any way. Each Instagram picture, blog post, tweet, and billboard, should represent the essence of our brand and our mission statement.
Here are five tips to making your brand consistent and more attractive to the target audience.
Tip #1 Have coherent content strategies for all your channels
Each communication channel is different. They all require a unique content calendar adapted to the algorithm, the rigid content form, and your audience that uses the platforms.
Experts say that, if you share the same content to different platforms, there has to be a break between the two announcements. A few days could be enough.
However, the social media life of your brand should correspond with the activities of your company. Furthermore, the content you share should follow the current trends on each platform, and inspire your audience to get engaged.
Making the cross-posted content consistent is not the same as sharing identical content across different platforms. This is never a good idea.
Every social media platform has different standards and requirements (e.g. character limitations). So, even if you are sharing the same news, you still need to spend some time writing and adapting social media copy for each channel.
Tip #2 Create a powerful message – and work in line with it!
We don’t only communicate a message to the audience when we promote our brand. We promote our message within every new product we design.
Each marketing campaign is unique and every new step of our business development has its own story to tell.
Present your campaign in a new, original way. Reinvent the well-known terms we use in everyday life and surprise your fans.
For example, Heineken has launched a new video commercial for their beer. Beer has been typically considered guys drink in our culture, so they decided to play with this perception.
Their main message is “Cheers to all”, but they have won the audience over with a funny and unexpected punchline: Men drink cocktails too.
The Heineken marketing team has noticed that social equality topics are trending. They decided to get on top of that trend, and the crew on TikTok absolutely loved it.
This campaign is in line with their original brand. They have established a unique place for themselves on the market, and on YouTube, you can find compilations named the funniest Heineken commercials.
Tip #3 Design a standard for your brand voice and visual identity
Designing a standard for your brand matters a lot. This will not only save you time in the long run, but it will also help the rest of your team and new members that might come on board.
It is not uncommon to see that multiple team members are working on different marketing campaigns and posting to your social media channels. They need to know how to use your palette, your fonts, the graphic elements.
By sharing a standard about your voice and your visual criteria, you are enabling all of them to create authentic content that everyone will instantly associate with your brand.
So, in the process of rebranding, don’t forget to keep everyone up-to-date with the new standard and style. This way, anyone using a brand design tool can create content that aligns with your identity.
Tip #4 Talk to your audience and let them contribute
Your audience is not just the consumers and buyers. They are your main asset in running your business.
This is why the audience has the most important role in decision-making when it comes to your company and your next steps.
One of the key ways to boost engagement on Instagram, TikTok, and other platforms is to promote user-generated content. You can do this by asking your customers to take pictures of themselves using your products, as an example. It’s usually enough to ask the user for permission to repost and tag them in the new post on your profile.
You could even create a challenge and prepare a prize for the most creative entry. With the right hashtag or a challenge, you will become a trendsetter and give your customers an opportunity to have more fun with your brand.
Strong brands don’t have buyers. They have a strong community. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your online community and ask questions. They will enjoy the attention.
Tip #5 Learn from experience & constantly improve
As mentioned before, your brand is something that is growing and evolving. To let your business improve, it is essential to listen to your target group.
It is always good to run an experiment from time to time. Try something new and break the monotony of your social media channels and your blog.
Perhaps your new idea will be a winner. Perhaps it will be a complete disaster. Either way, it is a learning opportunity and a stage to have fun and meet the people behind the screen on the other end of your marketing campaigns.
Whenever you come to a new conclusion that will help you optimize content creation and improve brand consistency, add it to the checklist for your next campaign.
This way, you will have a personalized SEO checklist, Facebook checklist, Instagram checklist, and so on. And you won’t have to worry if you have forgotten about any detail ever again.
The final point that you should consider is how to figure out if your content has improved or not. We recommend that you check your social media analytics to make sure that your strategy has been paying off. At this point, you can consider using a social media product like Sotrender to track your results.
Brand consistency is your top priority when establishing and improving your brand. And with the constant flux in new trends across all communication channels, you can easily feel lost.
With the right preparation, strategy, and well-optimized content creation process, you will have plenty more time to ideate and be creative.
And whenever you lack inspiration, just remember – your audience cannot wait to contribute with wild proposals and engaging content.