Like most things in the digital age, businesses are growing and changing faster than ever before. From technological advancements to new social media platforms emerging each year, it’s easy to feel the need to constantly change your messaging and marketing strategies. Although it’s necessary to adapt to the ever-changing business world, your brand should remain consistent throughout the years. Brand consistency is key to establishing trust with your clients, creating brand awareness in your marketplace, and ultimately, making key sales. So just how do you stay consistent in the digital age? We’re here to help break it down.
What does brand consistency look like in the digital age?
Before you dive into the intricate ins and outs of brand consistency, it’s important you ask yourself these questions to define your brand:
- What is your mission statement?
- What does your company believe in?
- What problem are you solving?
- What makes your business different from another one?
- Why should people hire you or buy your products?
- When someone interacts with your company, how do you want them to feel?
After you’ve answered these questions, it’s time to take the necessary steps to establish brand consistency that will last. In order to do so, you must consider the following:
Consistency of branding
Are you maintaining your brand through logos, colors, fonts, filters and yes, even business cards?
Did you know before Google was Google, it was BackRub? They only kept BackRub for a year. When you are starting out, it’s easy to have a period of time when you are changing your brand or business name. That’s okay for a very short time. But, you’ll be given very little grace here. Ultimately, it’s in your best interest to pick a name and stick with it as soon as possible.
Along with finding the perfect business name, it’s vital that you create a logo and try not to change it. Regardless of if it’s just your company name is a special font, seeing several different logos for your company is confusing so be sure to stick with one. If you change it, change it everywhere. Also, consider different sizing needs such as square and rectangular. Make sure your logo is in jpeg, ai and eps format so that any publication can work with it. This will save you a lot of headaches in the long run!
While creating your brand, keep in mind that professional-grade photos of your work are a MUST. Find a photography student if funds are low – we once used a 15-year-old student and got incredible photos! When grainy, overblown flash, blurry, or dark photos are posted on your website or social media outlets, your professional credibility is diminished.
Finally, let’s talk about business cards. They still matter! No matter what industry you’re in, you need to consider a card that matches your brand esthetic and will stand out. Your card says something about YOU and the image you’ve worked hard to create for your company. Whether you prefer a traditional business card made of heavy card stock with letterpress or lean towards a more modern approach like wooden or photo cards, your brand will be well represented, and consistent, with a well-designed business card.
Consistency of message
What are your core values? For Blueprint.Inc, we strive to have a positive message, to support women, to champion local businesses, to be smart, fun and respectful and to have a company culture that is flexible enough to let our employees enjoy their life outside of work. Your mission statement, core values, and company culture should be clear, concise, and reflect the image of your brand.
Consistency of communication
How do you communicate with your customer? This includes each touchpoint with your audience including social media, blogs, and email.
It’s undoubtedly hard to get noticed via social media today. But with persistence, consistency, and the help of your online community, social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest can be a great source for new clients, page views, traffic to your website, and much more. Be sure to share your pages with family, friends, current clients, and through local groups – the more exposure to your posts and messaging the better.
Gaining a larger audience on each social media platform is the first step, followed by promoting some of your best posts. Each platform makes it easy to target people within your city. Yes, you have to pay to do this, but it’s a marketing expense. $200 has the opportunity to get you in 50,000+ people’s feeds. That is pretty good! What does $200 buy in other marketing to such a targeted audience? Even a $5 boosted post can bring you in new followers. When creating your content calendar, don’t only post about your own work. Work in desirable content to make your page relevant and note that great photography can help engage your audience and grow your presence in your local community. Having your own photos, not ones everyone else has, will make you look like the expert, not “just” the curator.
Do you have a website? Unlike a blog, your website should be more static with the only things changing being additions to your portfolio and additions to your press section. Do you have a blog? Link to it from your website, but have it be a distinctly different product with similar branding. Make sure to include links to all your social media platforms from your website and from your blog. Overall, your website should reflect you and your brand. At the end of the day, you want to use your page to attract the type of person you want to work with.
Consistency of expectations
Are your customers getting what they expect to get?
The biggest reason you’ll lose customers, and their loyalty, is confusion. Confusion comes from not staying on brand, expanding your brand, and not meeting customer expectations. Avoid confusion by creating a line of open communication with your clients and keeping your messaging as consistent as possible.
Overall, creating lasting brand consistency is something that has to be consciously worked on and reinvented each year. Get your team involved in your creating strong company values and communication. Effort is 100% required when it comes to maintaining brand consistency through the years, but that effort always pays off in the long run.