As an entrepreneur, you already know by now that business success relies on branding, and one of the core values of a brand is consistency. In fact, the reason why many businesses fail after a certain amount of time is not because they cannot build a brand, but because they neglect the importance of keeping the brand consistent. Your brand reflects not just you name, but your mission and the value of your products or services.
The Importance of Keeping Brand Consistent
Just imagine wanting to hire a professional, meeting them at a convention, getting a great looking business card, having a pleasant conversation, and setting up a meeting at their office. You saw them wearing a fancy suit, leaving the convention in a luxury car, but their office is located in an obscure neighborhood, in a building that seems ready to fall apart, has insufficient lighting and could use some cleaning, and their clothes seem to really need some ironing. Would you hire them?
Or perhaps you check out the website of a restaurant, you see some mouthwatering photos of the specialties they serve and an attractive presentation of a location with Mediterranean-specific. When you go there, the food is served cold, doesn't look anywhere close to the photos, or the specific of the restaurant is Russian or Asian. Would you return to eat there?
Probably not! You would be appalled by the difference and you want to avoid putting your customers in this position. How do you do that?
4 Ways of Keeping Brand Consistent
1.) Choose Your Marketing Elements Carefully and Think Long Term!
Your business name, its defining colors, its slogan and its core values should remain the same throughout time, so you need something memorable, convincing, easy to market and adaptable, to keep up with future needs, trends and expansion ideas.
The elements you choose should be used for both your traditional and your online marketing campaigns, so take this aspect into account when you choose them. For example, your company name should be short, easy to write and easy to spell, so that it may look good both on your business cards and as a website or Facebook page name. Your defining colors should be joyful but serious, to inspire professionalism and look great both on the background of a website and on the walls or furniture of your office.
2.) Stay Faithful to Who You Really Are and Strive to Improve
Trying to appear more successful than you really are and lying to your target customers is never a good idea. The technology now available to anyone makes it easy to discover the truth and expose such uninspired attempts.
A better strategy is to present yourself as who you really are, learn from your mistakes and listen to your customers more. They will tell you what needs to be improved, give you ideas on how to do it and even appreciate you for treasuring their opinion and caring about their satisfaction.
Keeping brand consistent is all about being yourself, opening up about it and remaining open and faithful to your values and your customers throughout time, no matter if you do business online or offline, if you target children or adults, rich or poor.
3.) Announce Changes, Implement Them Gradually and Give Your Customers Time and Solutions to Adjust
If you decide to give your business a new turn, do not neglect your customers' attachment to your existing line of product or services. Keeping brand consistent also means letting them know what your plans are, asking them what they think, giving them time to adjust and alternatives to enjoy the same values they were after.
You cannot go from cheap to luxury products overnight and expect your customers to keep shopping from you or remove products from your offer completely and expect the new ones to be as successful. Such transitions should be smooth and carefully planned.
4.) Stay Faithful to Your Old Marketing Strategies as You Embrace New Ones
You have probably already started to invest heavily in online marketing, but if your customers are used to getting printed catalogs, flyers and discount vouchers, do not deprive them of this pleasure suddenly. They will be disappointed and vulnerable to the offers of your competitors.
Start implementing your online strategies, see how your customers respond, ask them if they prefer online materials to printed ones and respond adequately. Depending on your line of business and the specifics of your target customers, online marketing may not work as well traditional marketing, or the best results could be obtained by combining both methods.
As a business or professional, no matter your niche, you need to inspire professionalism, reliability and consistency. The key to doing so is keeping brand consistent and maintaining a close connection with your customers.