No matter how big or small your business, whether you are consumer-focused or a B2B service provider, you will benefit from developing and maintaining a consistently recognisable brand.
A brand refers to a collection of interlinked attributes, including things like your core business values, your unique selling points and your goods and services.
Effectively conveying this varied set of attributes depends on you actively demonstrating and reflecting your brand values in everything that you do, from your advertising through to the experience a customer has when they pick up the phone to talk to you or walk into your office. This gives your business an identity.
A successful brand helps to communicate what you’re all about, including what sets you aside from your competition and should be applied consistently across everything you do.
Over the years I’ve lost count of the number of businesses getting this wrong. From old logos that don’t match on social media pages to tag lines and mission statements that read differently depending on where you look.
Inconsistency like this might seem pretty inconsequential, but for customers, this inconsistency can raise a red flag, making them question not only the legitimacy and trustworthiness of a business but their professionalism too.
Recent research cited in Brand Management in the Digital Age published in 2020, states that a coherent brand presentation across all platforms will increase revenue by up to 23%.
The Benefits of Branding
- Helps you to differentiate your business, making you stand out in your customer’s mind
- Gives your business a personality and identity that people can relate to
- A strong brand can command instant engagement
- Effectively delivers and reinforces your brand values and other key messaging
- Drives authority and trust in your business
- Drives customer loyalty and brand evangelism
- Helps you to position your brand in a way that supports your value proposition and pricing strategy
Defining Your Brand
When you think about all of the individual aspects that combine to make your business, pulling them all together and highlighting key differentiators will help you to define your brand.
Remember too that your brand is continually reinforced through all of your customer-facing messaging, from your business cards, email marketing, social media posts and website content through to your logo, signage and print collateral – Every single potential touchpoint needs to carry consistent branding in order to effectively build trust.
Brand Consistency at Every Touchpoint
Ensuring that both your messaging and visual branding is clearly and consistently applied across all communication channels is critical, as strong consistent branding reinforces your identity and drives positive sentiment and trust.
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
Consistent use of your logo, brand colours and key messaging across all channels is important. Don’t forget things like old Yell or Google My Business listings too, especially if you have re-branded since launching or your brand has evolved and changed in any way.
Strive for visual cohesion
Consistency doesn’t mean that all of your communications have to look exactly the same, far from it, but it does mean that you should strive for visual cohesion. Make sure you stick to a number of standards, such as your colour palette, visual style, font and size and spacing of your logo and produce a brand guidelines document that can be provided to anyone that might need it, for example, web design, advertising or print companies you might want to work with.
Developing a set of brand guidelines is a natural progression as a brand begins to establish itself and it gives any service providers you work with, a blueprint to adhere to.
Your branding guidelines need not be complex (I’ve come across branding guidelines for some big international names over 70 pages long), a simple document detailing colours, fonts and some basic styling information will generally be sufficient.
Keep your visual identity and key messaging consistent and you’ll effectively develop and strengthen your brand, helping your business make a far stronger, longer-lasting impression.