In our previous blog post about branding, you read all about the aspects of branding and how to effectively get started on each one. Towards the end of the blog post highlighted the need for consistency in branding, which is what today’s piece is hinged on.
Consistency in branding, or brand consistency for short, is a phenomenon that can easily be lost in truism. This makes it imperative for its importance to be often resounded and remembered by businesses that seek recognition and lasting relevance in their industries. As a good start, you need to understand what brand consistency means as a concept, as well as what it means to your business.
What is Brand Consistency?
Brand consistency can be defined as the practice of maintaining uniform a brand identity and communications across multiple platforms. This infers a unified brand appearance on social media pages, campaigns, and other marketing channels. The essence of brand consistency is to be noticed and ultimately recognizable by the target audience.
For your brand to achieve this consistency, certain elements must be maintained such as the tone of voice, visual elements (i.e logo, taglines, and slogans), brand message, values, mission statement, brand personality, and attitude.
Tone of Voice: A brand’s tone of voice refers to the language with which it communicates with the public. This communication includes social media copies, websites, blogs, slogans, taglines, campaigns, and other forms of visual content. A brand can have a funny, formal, inspirational, or irreverent tone of voice, depending on the personality it assumes. No matter the outlook, a brand is consistent only when it uses the same tone of voice throughout its communication and engagement with the public.
Visual Elements: This cuts across the aspects of brand identity that can be seen with the eyes, such as the brand logo, slogan, taglines, and graphics. Visual elements add color and personality to your brand and its products, which makes them a core identifier. Therefore, a consistent appearance of visual elements makes your brand memorable to people who see them.
Brand Message: This is the theme of your brand, or simpler put, the most vital values that your brand seeks to uphold. Frequently communicating a unified brand message to your audience is bound to get conversations started about your product, service, and business as a whole.
Brand Personality and Attitude: The totality of a brand’s tone of voice, visual identifiers, message, vision, and mission is a unique brand personality. Whether helpful or motivational, formal or comical, a brand’s personality should be consistent to create a stable and lasting perception.
Benefits of Brand Consistency
The advantages of brand consistency follow a unique rippling pattern, and it all begins with an immediate benefit that leads to another. The first difference that brand consistency makes is that it sets your business apart from the competition.
This translates to being recognized by consumers, and most people prioritize brands they know when making purchase decisions, according to a research report. Consistency makes your brand stand out for this recognition, and this is where the other benefits come into play:
For a better insight into brand consistency and its benefits, the next section of this piece will illustrate real-life examples of renowned brands that have aced consistency.
Examples of Brands with Consistency
At first sight, the logo of a red-colored capital letter “N” set against a black background sharply brings the streaming service Netflix to mind – and for a very good reason. As of the first quarter of 2022, Netflix had an active subscriber base of 221.64 million people worldwide. It is available in over 190 countries and is one of the most prominent film, documentary, and anime streaming services in the world.
The Netflix brand seeks to “entertain the world” and to this end adopts a friendly and informal brand personality. This is expressed in their light-hearted style of communication on social media channels and in-app dialogues.
As a video-streaming platform, Netflix maintains a consistently engaging social media presence, featuring snippets of latest films and documentaries as posts. Netflix features its logo as display photo on its social media accounts and during the famous brief montage at the beginning of every Netflix film.
This popular language-learning platform is purposed “to develop the best education in the world and make it universally available.” Like Netflix, Duolingo expresses a friendly and fun brand personality for people easily relate with. The brand’s digital interface breaks down learning sessions into game-type sub-sessions that make the learning process fun and interactive.
The Duolingo logo is a bright green-colored owl mascot named Duo, internet-famous for being used in memes. After its launch in 2010, the Duolingo brand has sustained a hefty user base of over 500 million people, and the average Duolingo user spends at least 10 minutes per day on the Duolingo app.
Duolingo cohesively uses a cheerful and informal tone of voice on all its social media platforms, and in-app. This weaves into its commitment to making education universally interesting and accessible for users of all ages.
From its timeless logo to its exclusively-designed deluxe products, Apple has made quite a statement in the branding scene for a considerable length of time. Since its inception, the vision for the best hardware and software innovation has guided the scope of Apple’s product offerings.
The Apple personality is elite, confident, sensational, and popular – all of which are expressed in its status as the most valuable brand in the world and the largest technology company by revenue, worth over 350 billion dollars. Its most popular product is the iPhone, with over 1 billion units sold. The unique design of Apple products and their exclusive features make Apple the most sought-after brand in the world.
These achievements trace to consistent brand building without compromising on exclusivity and elitism, which are core values of the Apple brand. Every Apple product bears the official brand logo, with simple UI/UX interfaces and plain language when communicating with customers.
By maintaining this concise approach to a well-defined target market, Apple stays on top of the list of brands that are acing it in revenue generation and global market recognition.
How to Achieve Brand Consistency
So, you want to replicate the success stories you have just read for your business by practicing brand consistency. That’s an excellent decision, but how do you achieve brand consistency for recognition and sustained relevance? This section curates the surefire ways to position your business for effective consistency.
Conduct Frequent Market Research
Knowing your target audience is the first step to getting it right with brand consistency. Today’s market is dynamic, and consequently, brands must stay up-to-date with consumer behavioral trends and other evolving industry complexities. Constantly changing aspects of your brand’s identity to accommodate the instabilities of an under-researched market will negatively impact consistency.
To fend this off, research your target market thoroughly and define your brand’s place in it. This will make consistency a seamless, uninterrupted commitment.
Have Branding Guidelines
With business operations in full swing, branding can get pretty overwhelming and distractions will rear up. To stay on course and not waste resources, draw up some branding guidelines. This includes measurable approaches to branding and strategies for its success. Branding guidelines may exist on paper or as softcopies – what matters is that they are tangibly documented and easily communicable. Information acquired through market research can help constitute your branding guidelines, as well as your brand vision, purpose, and mission statement.
Commit to the Finer Details
Consistency also finds expression in the little details of branding. Visuals such as your logo and brand color palette can amplify your brand consistency by being the same on your social media pages, website, official documents, products, and software interface. The more people see your visual identifiers around them, the more memorable your brand becomes.
Involve your Employees in the Branding Process
Brand consistency needs a team of dedicated people to be achieved, and that means that your employees need to be a part of it. It begins with a mutual understanding of what consistency means to the business, which can be inculcated during employee orientation, training, meetings, and other activities. Another step in the right direction is having a brand management team to ensure that consistency is upheld as an important employee dedication.
Have a Consistent Schedule for Public Relations
Public Relations encompasses brand campaigns, outreaches, and social media engagements. Scheduling these activities is good for your brand consistency. As a benefit of the digital dispensation, communications from your brand to your audience (especially on social media) can be scheduled for automatic release at a set date and time. Avail your brand of these utilities to be organized for consistency.
With real brand stories as proof of its efficacy, your business has everything to gain by committing to brand consistency. Whether your brand seeks to be friendly like Netflix, fun like Duolingo, or exclusive like Apple, consistency applies to every brand personality across the spectrum. Brand Consistency remains a versatile branding practice, not limited to industry, brand size, or branding scope.
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