You may think your business isn’t big enough to be a “brand,” but you’re wrong. Any business, from the smallest mom-and-pop operation to a corporation like Coca Cola, is its own brand.
A brand is defined as what people think about your business—the impression they get when they see or hear its name. It’s more than a logo or a face, it also includes your web presence—your business web site and your social media channels. It’s important to be consistent in all of them.
Here are a few reasons why:
- It’s more professional.
- It builds confidence in the consumer.
- It separates you from the competition.
- It protects your business identity.
- It builds trust.
Brand consistency takes you to the next level in marketing. It’s not just about getting your name out there. It's about helping consumers get to know your brand on a personal level. Brand consistency is part of building trust. Purchasing a product or visiting an auto repair shop is often more an emotional decision than a practical one. Part of engaging the right emotions with your customers is letting them get to know and trust your brand.
It sounds complicated, but it’s not. It doesn’t take a multi-million dollar budget. Here are a couple things that will help you maintain brand consistency:
- Communicate to your staff the importance of your brand.
- Keep colors, fonts and content style the same across all your channels—although it’s okay to be a bit less formal on your social media sites
- Create a “Brand Standards Guide” to inform and remind your staff how your logo should be used, or the full title of your business, etc.
- Go through the Brand Standards Guide with your entire team and provide print and PDF copies for them to reference as needed.
- Make sure everyone has access to standard graphics or flyer templates. Your staff shouldn’t have to recreate your logo, redesign a newsletter or wait for someone else to provide it to them
- “Consistency” doesn’t have to mean “boring.” Having a consistent brand will allow you to be more creative in its use and your customers will appreciate that, too.
Designing, developing and managing a consistent brand across several social media channels and web sites can be a daunting task. If you need help getting your brand in place or just need some direction, let us know.
How do you maintain your brand consistency? Let us know in the comments!