By Diana Cordova, Social Media and Content Marketing Consultant
The job of your company’s brand is to get recognition. That means your target audience is clear about your value proposition and knows your company when they see it. Consistency drives this recognition.
To build consistency, all marketing platforms and material carry the same general look and theme – they all tell the same story. Messaging, tag line, graphics, voice, social media accounts, website, collateral and even customer facing staff (think friendly, whimsical Disney employees or happily hopped up on caffeine Starbucks baristas) all clearly reflect your brand.
After all, your brand is your company’s personality, and personalities don’t change. They may evolve or get a visual face-lift from time to time, but the basic core remains. Great examples are Coca Cola, Nike and Apple.
Having a strong, consistent brand is important for all companies, not just behemoths like Nike.
So how about your brand? Does it have one, well-defined personality that’s reinforced everywhere, or is it hiding behind multiple personalities? Review the below list and find out.
Target Customer – Do you know who wants and needs your product or service? Once you do, you can shape your messaging for your ideal customer, choose colors and graphics that will appeal to them and determine which social media sites to find them on.
Logo – Are you using your logo everywhere, all the time? Your logo is the most prominent, visual representation of your brand. If it’s simple yet stands out, it’s likely a winner. Consider the Starbucks logo, the Nike swoosh and Apple’s apple. They aren’t complicated, and the minute you see them you recognize the brand.
Tagline –Does your tagline communicate your brand’s proposition in a simple, unique way? Is it memorable? Great examples are: Apple – Think Different, SPANX – “Don’t worry, we’ve got your butt covered!” American Express – Don’t leave home without it. All evoke an emotional response and convey the brand’s personality.
Value Proposition/Promise – Is your brand focused on the value your customers gain from the products, services or experience you offer? Hone in on the unique tangible and intangible benefits, and that’s your value proposition. All of your messaging should point back to this.
Voice/Messaging – Have you identified your brand’s voice? Is it casual, quirky, irreverent, formal, funny, silly, dignified or professional? Identifying your brand personality will determine the voice on your website, ads and social media. It will inform your graphics and how you speak to customers. It’s a touch point to insure you have consistent messaging across all platforms.
Brand Standards/Guidelines – Is the criteria for your brand documented? This includes general color palette, approved font, what colors the logo can be represented in, different version of the logo, tagline, trademark, voice, punctuation etc. This will enable you to maintain consistency even if your marketing person or team changes.
How’d you do? If you checked off each one, you likely have a distinct personality and the basics of a clear, consistent brand.
Remember, consistency leads to brand recognition. Over time that recognition will allow your target customers to feel like they know you. Once they know you, they’ll begin to trust you. That’s exactly what you want; because ultimately, we buy from people and companies we know, like and trust.
Got brand advice or perhaps brand issues? Leave a comment below with your best branding practices or any questions you have about branding.