Avoiding an Identity Crisis: The Dangers of Inconsistent Branding
Your brand is alive!
Well, sort of.
It has an identity, a personality, and an image that evolves naturally over time, just like a real person. If you think of a brand as a real human being, it’s easy to see just how important consistent branding can be. After all, you’d feel pretty confused if your friend or co-worker suddenly changed their entire character one day.
As trends and customer preferences change, brands naturally transform too. The key to success in today’s fast-paced world is to maintain consistency, while also ensuring that your #BrandIdentity doesn’t become stagnant.
When a business devotes itself to delivering the same experience from one touchpoint to the next, customers begin to feel familiar with that brand. Trust and understanding develop, and you end up with a relationship that promotes loyalty, advocacy, and bigger profits too! In fact, consistent brands are up to 4 times more likely to boost their visibility on any platform.
The question is, how do you create a brand that’s both current and consistent at the same time?
Staying True to You: The Problem with Inconsistent Branding
Without a solid and consistent brand, companies struggle to connect with their customers.
Your branding is how you share your unique vision with the world. It’s how you demonstrate the values that your clients resonate with and generate loyalty regardless of things like product features and price points. Remember, 64% of customers say that shared values are their reason for building relationships with brands.
If your values and identity keep changing, your customers won’t know what to believe, or who to trust. So, how do you know if you’re a victim of #InconsistentBranding? Start by asking yourself whether the following issues sound familiar:
1. You’ve Lost Sight of your Vision
Brands change, just like people. Your company grows, and you embrace new ideas and campaigns. However, there are foundational points of your brand identity that should stay the same no matter what. These are the values and beliefs that underline your brand vision. No matter what you do in your company, make sure that your actions align with the vision you used to engage and delight your customers when you first launched your company.
2. You’re addicted to Trends
There’s nothing wrong with staying on top of the latest web design trends and marketing ideas. Watching the market can make sure that you don’t fall behind your competitors. However, it’s important not to get caught up in a trend just because it looks cool “right now.” Don’t be one of those companies that are constantly changing its image to stay ahead of the curve. A timeless image is always more powerful than one that lacks focus.
3. You Attach Yourself to the Wrong Things
Finally, when you’re trying to build a strong brand, it’s tempting to slap your logo on everything and hope for the best. However, this can be a huge mistake. Instead of forcing brand reach by pushing your image as far as it can go, ensure #BrandConsistency by making sure that everything you do links back to your vision. If you decide to merge with a new company, ask yourself how that partnership connects to your initial values. If you want to launch a new product, how does that item serve your brand promise?
How to Cultivate Better Consistency
A stronger, more consistent brand starts with learning how to coordinate your assets everywhere your company has a footprint. That includes places like your website, your offline stores, your social media accounts and more. Of course, properly aligning your brand identity means doing a lot more than simply slapping your logo on everything.
You’re going to need a strategy. These tips should get you started.
1. Establish your Brand Image
Human beings respond to visuals much faster than words. We also remember images better too — that means that you need a consistent #BrandImage if you want to establish familiarity with your audience. On your website, social pages, and everything else you use, make sure that your customers see the same:
Even colours can have a huge impact! The right colours can improve brand recognition by up to 80%.
2. Master your Messaging
Once you know what your image should look like, you can begin to work on your voice. Your tone of voice will appear in everything from your television adverts, to your online copy, and your social media posts. Make sure that it demonstrates the personality you want to establish for your brand. A good way to keep your tone consistent is to provide your team with a list of three or four adjectives that you would use to describe the voice you’re looking for.
3. Plan for Consistency
Finally, a good plan can be a powerful tool for consistency. If you know where your company is headed, you can get ahead of any significant changes in your industry and make sure that your team doesn’t lose your way. You can also establish a schedule for content creation and publication that gives your customers a constant stream of entertainment and information to tap into. This planned consistency shows your customers how committed you are to delivering value for them.
Overcome Your Identity Crisis
Inconsistent branding is a common problem for many companies. The more your organisation evolves, the harder it is to remain true to your initial identity.
While brand consistency doesn’t necessarily mean that all the media you produce needs to look identical. However, there should be standards in place to guide your marketing team, employee advocates, and branding experts as they continue to grow your company.
Remember, a consistent image and #BrandVoice reinforces your identity, creates positive sentiment for your company, and encourages trust. A great brand simply can’t exist without consistency. If you’ve been struggling with an identity crisis lately, check out the first guide in our “Why brands lose their way” series. Alternatively, reach out to Fabrik for help creating a stronger, more focused reputation.
Don’t lose track of what makes you, you.