Few marketers underestimate the power of branding, but establishing a consistent brand for your business is essential for audience recognition. For instance, if you are a chocolate lover you probably do not notice the words or images surrounding the “Snickers, Reese’s and Hershey’s” brand—you simply recognize the brand on instinct.
The point is, almost everyone recognizes the brands mentioned above because the companies have mastered their branding. They have leveraged the same name and imagery on their candy bars for years, so people automatically identify their favorite chocolate bars based on the way they look.
To learn more about how to design your corporate brand, read our blog post highlighting the key design elements of corporate branding.
As B2B marketers, we know that branding goes far beyond just looks. Your organization’s brand ultimately represents the “because” of your company, so being consistent across marketing channels is key to maintain a strong brand presence.
How is “brand” defined?
The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines a brand as “a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller’s goods or service as distinct from those of other sellers.” Your company’s brand is not just a logo or a slogan, it is about the perceived corporate image in its entirety. It is important that you have a strategy around branding your company and products/services so that your business is perceived to be the best and only choice for your prospects and customers.
What makes brand consistency so important?
Consistent branding allows marketers to differentiate their product, deliver key messaging and encourage loyalty by driving authority and trust in their offering and business. By keeping a tight rein on brand consistency, marketers can drive customer perception from the onset of the engagement all the way through the buyer decision making process. Marty Neumeier, author of The Brand Gap said, “A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service or company.”
You want your buyer to feel good about your product, so if branding encourages a sense of trust from your customer, then it is important to build it into your marketing framework and deliver on it regularly. Brand consistency can even increase revenue; in fact, presenting a brand consistently across all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23%.
Establish a strong brand identity with verbal, visual and experiential aspects. Download our Brand Identity eBook for a complete guide.
Tips to Implement a Consistent Brand Identity
1. Conduct Research
Everything a company does affects buyer perception, so if you haven’t already established the branding for your product or service, make sure that you start by conducting customer perception research. This allows you to determine what types of messages and imagery resonates most with your audience. Even your company values affect brand perception. For more information on how to align your company values with your brand, read our blog post.
2. Develop Brand Identity Guidelines
Map out a strategy to ensure that you build some guidelines around keeping the brand consistent across all marketing mediums. If your organization has recently undergone a merger or acquisition, you might be reconsidering revamping your branding strategy. Read our post on how to unify your brand on our blog. Develop brand identity guidelines and an easy to access document that clearly outlines all of the requirements from a messaging and visual imagery perspective. This document should cover topics such as positioning statements for the company and each product, key differentiators and benefits, color palettes, fonts, layouts, graphical treatments, etc.
Remember, your brand is a representation of your business. It is the corporate image and identity, so it is imperative to maintain cohesion with messaging and imagery for the sake of building a sense of product recognition. Solid branding reinforces your identity, drives positive sentiment and is essential to ensuring proper representation of your business. Those companies who do it well (imagine Coca-Cola, Starbucks and Apple) have cornered the market via brand recognition.