In the digital age, it is easy to muddy the branding of your company, even with the best intentions. Blog postings, ebooks and other content are quick and easy to create and post. Sometimes a little too easy.
Almost any employee can create content that is their version of your brand look or message. But, in the long run, this can do more harm than good. Your carefully crafted brand should not be open to interpretations and customizations. If your brand is constantly shifting, it defeats the purpose of having a brand in the first place. The key is consistency.
That’s why it is vital to develop standards for brand consistency, both online and off. Every time your customers are touched by your brand, it should embody the promises and values in a clear and dependable way.
Develop brand guidelines
Most successful large corporations, as well as small-to-midsize businesses, create brand style and usage guidelines to ensure all messaging and brand usage is on-point and consistent. These not only help the marketing department, they also serve as guides to other employees and departments. And above all else, the guidelines should align with a company’s vision and mission.
Approach content with brand consistency in mind
Once you’ve created your brand style and usage guidelines, refer to them when planning all your content marketing efforts. Because most shoppers use more than one channel to make purchases, consistency across all channels and touch points are more important than ever.
SuperMegaPixel encourages you to consider these five main areas for branding consistency:
Use your logo and design elements consistently and provide access to employees.
The only thing worse than seeing a logo stretched out of proportion, pixelated or with the wrong colors, is seeing it shared that way with staff and customers. You can combat this by creating a shared folder on your company network or intranet that provides employees with access to approved visual content and instructions on how to use them both on and offline. SuperMegaPixel also suggests managing orders for print and promotional materials through a single department or person to ensure your logo is always used correctly on print and promotional materials.
Select the right topics for your content calendar.
The topics you write about or the webinars and videos your produce should be consistent with the mission and goals of your brand. Create content that makes sense for your brand. If your business serves a particular industry vertical or niche, for example, create blog content about key industry developments that affect your customers, especially when your company has expertise or special insight.
Bring offline marketing events into your online branding efforts.
If your company is exhibiting at a trade show, has received an award or is participating in a community event, let your online audience know. It is a critical part of your brand-building efforts to promote when your product is recognized as a brand leader or when your company is taking a leadership role in your industry or community. You can promote these efforts through blog posts, social media posts, visual social media (Instagram, Snapchat, etc.) and video. Make sure you add your brand name or logo to photos or videos that you share.
Keep the tone and personality of your brand consistent across channels.
When communicating as the brand offline or via your website, social media profiles, or other online channels, it’s essential to keep a consistent tone and company persona. If your brand is fun and friendly on Twitter, it should have a similar flavor on Facebook and LinkedIn. Your messaging on LinkedIn may be less casual or more professional, but it shouldn’t sound like it’s coming from a different brand altogether.
Participate on platforms and channels that align with your brand identity and your prospects and customers’ preferences. Don’t get distracted by each new online marketing trend and platform. Before investing time in an existing network or becoming an early adopter of a new platform or trend, determine whether it makes sense for your business.
- Would you expect to find a brand like yours on this new platform or executing this type of strategy?
- Would you trust a brand like yours if it were on this particular network or conducted a new kind of campaign effort?
- Do your current or target customers congregate on these social platforms? Are they likely to be the same demographic that a new social media channel targets?
Are you creating a consistent brand experience?
With so many ways to create and send marketing communications, it is easier than ever to make mistakes when crafting brand identity. The procedures you put in place to ensure a consistent brand presence in all your on and offline brand communications can mitigate or completely eliminate this kinds of missteps.
SuperMegaPixel has spent more thank 20 years helping clients establish clear, effective and consistent brand awareness and imaging.