The True Value of Brand Consistency and How It Impacts Your Bottom Line
Slap a logo on it! That is the battle cry of so many businesses when it comes to branding. However, successful branding is so much more than stamping logos on your products or displaying them on your social media.
The truth of the matter is that successful branding is consistent and consistent branding means aligning not only the visual identity of your business (such as your logo, color palette, and imagery) but also the messaging of your brand. That is its voice, the values it's built on, its personality, and the solutions that it offers.
Unfortunately, many of the busiest and most important folks high up in the business hierarchy pass over the key takeaway here - that brand consistency isn't just the right way to do things but is also the more profitable way. Studies show that companies presenting a consistent brand can expect around a 33% increase in revenue, an inarguably significant increase in sales.
A consistent brand is the hero for a business, swooping in to save its bottom line and boost sales. Brand consistency is essential to success because it encourages several positive reactions in potential customers- from increasing brand awareness, to building trust, to even helping businesses stick in the minds of their audience.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Have Customers Recall Your Brand When They Need it the Most
Brand consistency has the power to boost sales and positively impact growth through building awareness of your business. Brand awareness is all about getting customers to recognize and recall your brand across a range of different platforms, situations, and conditions. Indeed, statistics show 71% of consumers state they are more likely to purchase a brand they follow on social media. This demonstrates that high levels of brand awareness can be valuable to a business looking to increase its revenue.
A great example of this concept in action is a well-known beverage brand. When it comes to carbonated drinks, Coca-Cola is nearly always the first brand that springs to mind. People will even ask for a 'Coke,’ a specific product Coca-Cola offers, rather than a Cola. Now that is some serious brand recall power!
However, successfully achieving brand awareness can be more complicated than it first appears. This is because it can be tough to make sure that the messages your customers are getting about your brand are the same across all experiences.
Brand awareness is more than simply making sure your logo is seen; you must also ensure that your audience is educated on the authentic identity of your business. Establishing brand awareness involves a more genuine portrayal of the promises you make, the values that your brand is built on, as well as the solutions and benefits that you offer your customers.
It is by crafting and revealing this more authentic personality that a reputation can be built and a relationship of trust between your business and the customer can be forged.
Talk is Cheap
Customers Trust Actions Over Words
Another reason brand consistency is so important is that it helps establish a relationship of trust between you and your customers. Over time, a brand that puts out consistent messaging across all platforms will appear more stable and grounded than one with an inconsistent message.
For example, in the 1980s, the well-known toothpaste brand Colgate decided to diversify its offerings and make a move into the frozen food market. The products they came up with were a line of frozen meals known as “Colgate Kitchen Entrees.” Mmmmm, don’t they just sound yummy? No? Well, it's not surprising as the Colgate brand was then, as it is now, associated with minty toothpaste and dental care.
You probably hadn’t heard of Colgate Kitchen Entrees before as they were a resounding failure and are no longer offered. The main reason for this product’s crash-and-burn ending was the inconsistency between this product and the rest of the Colgate brand.
By offering toothpaste and frozen meals, Colgate came across as having an identity crisis that for customers, called into question whether they knew what they were doing (and, if they could be trusted to do it well). In retrospect, we can glean from Colgate's mistake that consistent brands reassure their audience of their competence, whereas inconsistent brands confuse and place doubt in consumers minds.
Consistent branding is demonstrating you are an established business by leading with a consistent brand that knows what it is doing and can be trusted to deliver on what you promise. All of which has massive potential to convince customers to choose your business over that of your competitors.
Brand authenticity is another vital element to establishing trust. After all, talk is cheap, especially when it comes to brands. Therefore it’s important to demonstrate your values in the way that your company acts and does business. 64% of consumers say shared values are their main reason to develop a relationship with a brand.
To that end, when establishing brand consistency, your business needs to 'put your money where your mouth is’ and follow through on your valued actions. If supporting social and environmental causes is a significant selling point of your brand, you better take action on those values.
If you are shown only to be paying lip service in one area, who's to say that your intentions and promises are any different across other parts of your business? It is through backing up its values with action that a company can win the trust of its audience and reinforce its long-term success.
For instance, a successful example of brand consistency through value-based action is Starbucks' Shared Planet Initiative. This initiative demonstrates a commitment to using ethically sourced coffee beans that are grown in a responsible way across all of their franchises. As environmental and social concerns are increasingly high on consumers' lists of priorities, customers not only feel an affinity with this brand based on its values, but they can trust that they will take the action they have promised.
Emotional Connection is ‘Priceless’
Make Your Brand Memorable to Your Customers
Consistency is the context in which all other activity around your brand will sink or swim. This means that even the cleverest, creative, and timely advertisement can be ineffective or forgotten if your brand lacks a consistent identity.
The good news is that there is one more stellar tactic that can help lodge your brand in your audience’s memory, ready to be recalled at just the right moment- the point at which the customer makes a buying decision.
This tactic is to make a lasting impression by establishing an emotional connection between your customers and your brand. That is, it's not just about what you say or do as a brand, but also the way you make your audience feel that matters.
A prime example of this is Mastercards branding, some might even call it 'priceless’! Their brand is built around positive emotional experiences that their services can provide. Because of this, their emotion-triggering advertisement, such as the one below, integrates successfully into the overall context of their brand. This advertisement also triggers a positive emotional reaction that due to all sorts of ‘magic’ in the brain, makes their particular brand much easier to recall and more memorable to their audience.
Let’s Build Brand Consistency Together
Brand consistency is a vital and valuable aspect of increasing sales and boosting growth in business. However, creating a brand consistent across a range of touchpoints can be tricky, especially when you have other critical aspects of running a successful business to juggle.
The good news is that at PH3 we pride ourselves on crafting, and helping you to maintain, a consistent brand identity that will allow your business to access all of the advantages of brand consistency including brand awareness, better customer trust, and being able to establish that ‘priceless’ emotional connection with your audience.
What’s our secret? Well, it's not the beer that we also produce onsite in our very own brewery, but the questioning and listening skills in which our marketing creatives are adept. We can expertly craft an effective and consistent brand identity that accurately represents your company and appeals directly to those with whom you want to connect.
If you need better brand consistency, as any business looking for more sales and growth does, we look forward to creating a partnership with you. Contact us to get started.