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Your Step-by-Step Guide to Consistent Branding

You see an ad for a furniture store on Facebook. You’ve been shopping for furniture so you stop scrolling because the ad’s clever copy, high-quality photos, and special offer catch your eye. You decide to click on the ad and visit the store’s website. 

But the Ecommerce site looks nothing like the ad. The logo is different from the furniture store’s Facebook Page. The font is hard to read. The site needs major navigation updates. And the sale they’re promoting is from the Fourth of July — not the special offer you saw on Facebook

You’re thrown off by the inconsistent messaging and appearance of the website so you pass on this furniture business and look for another one. 

This brand’s inconsistency cost it a customer.

Did you know you could increase your company’s revenue by about 23% with brand consistency alone? Inconsistent branding creates skepticism and frustration for people, but consistent branding unifies your message and provides a positive customer experience from start to finish.

How do you achieve consistent branding? Today we’re walking you step by step through the process to ensure your brand is easy to recognize.

Step 1: Establish your brand’s message.

CEO of StoryBrand Donald Miller says, “If you confuse, you lose.” If your brand’s messaging requires too much effort to understand, people will find another brand with a crystal clear message. Can someone understand your message quickly and easily? What problem does your product or service solve? What immediate, emotional, or philosophical need does it meet? 

Your message shouldn’t be complicated it should be clear and consistent.

Step 2: Define your audience.

Once you’ve established your message, you’ll need to establish your audience. We know it’s tempting to try and “cast a wide net” so you catch as many potential customers or clients as possible. But trying to reach everyone has the opposite effect.  

It’s important to truly know who you’re trying to reach with your product or service. What problems or challenges do they have? What are their dreams and goals? Where do they go for information? What do they read? Who do they consider experts? Where do they spend their time and money? What are some of their demographics like age, gender, location, career, and education level? 

You’ll want to communicate to prospects that you’ve gone great lengths to understand them. If your audience is still fuzzy in your mind, we recommend using this customer avatar worksheet.

Step 3: Determine your brand voice.

Voice is how you communicate your message. Determining your brand voice can be a fun exercise, and the one you choose will depend a lot on the audience you’re trying to reach.You’ll also want to scope out your competitors’ brand voice so you can set yourself apart. 

A company’s brand voice usually falls under one of the following categories:

  • Professional and informative
  • Friendly and caring
  • Bold and cool
  • Quirky and witty  

 

Which brand voice best fits your business and speaks to your audience? What adjectives describe your brand voice? Which words or phrases do you want to use, and which ones do you want to avoid? 

Brainstorm answers to these questions until you find your voice.

Step 4: Set brand guidelines.

Brand consistency is a cinch when one person makes up your marketing team. If you have multiple people working on content for your brand, the consistency can quickly decline. 

You can help prevent inconsistent branding by creating brand guidelines for your business. Mailchimp defines brand guidelines as “clear rules and standards for your visual and print materials.” 

This takes a lot of work up front, but having everyone on the same page about your brand’s visual and print materials will increase brand awareness and revenue in the long term.

Your brand guidelines should include detailed parameters for these marketing components at a minimum:

  • Customer avatar
  • Brand voice and tone 
  • Color palette 
  • Logo
  • Images and photography 
  • Fonts 
  • Marketing calendar 

With some detailed guidelines in place, you’ll maintain consistent, memorable branding across all visual and print materials.

Step 5: Maintain consistency online and in person.

Remember the inconsistency between the furniture store’s Facebook ad and website? To avoid this mistake, you’ll want to implement the guidelines you’ve established wherever people come across your brand online and in person.

Does your Instagram profile have the same feel as your Facebook Page, even though they’re different platforms? Do customers have a consistent experience in your store and on your Ecommerce site? If your business has multiple locations nationally or internationally, does each location maintain brand consistency  — even if you have slight variations because you’re tailoring marketing efforts to locals?   

On average, it takes 5-7 “impressions” or interactions for a customer to remember your brand. Maintaining consistency during each of these impressions makes your brand even easier to recall.

Brand consistency doesn’t happen overnight. It requires a lot of work, but the return on investment is worth the long hours spent refining your brand identity. We’re certain you’ll be off to a great start if you take these 4 steps toward consistency. Don’t forget: our team at Sigl Creative is always excited to help you clarify your message, determine your voice, and fill the holes in your digital marketing strategy. Schedule a call today, and we’ll take your online presence from functional to exceptional.

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