The strength of a company’s character lies in its brand consistency. According to a study by LucidPress, a provider of brand management software, consistently presented brands are three to four times more likely to experience brand visibility. And generally, better visibility translates to more conversions.
Being consistent with your branding builds recognition and adds to its strength. Conversely, every time your logo is presented in the wrong color or the first letter of your brand name is in lower case, rather than uppercase, your brand suffers. Some big brands closely monitor their mentions online and if inaccurate or outdated branding collateral appears, they will go as far as asking that it’s removed or replaced.
But hang on, so what happens if I accidentally use an old logo? Or if I sometimes use the wrong font in a sales presentation? Does it really matter?
Inconsistent branding can have a range of negative knock-on effects. An email with the wrong logo might cause a customer to distrust it. An off-brand social media account might make consumers reluctant to follow it. A generic short link without any indication of where it leads may make people hesitant to click it. Consistency translates to dependability, which is important even for consumers who are just looking to make a once off purchase.
LucidPress’ report on the impact of brand consistency says: “The average revenue increase attributed to always presenting the brand consistently is 23%.” So the bottom line is that communicating your brand in the right way consistently means making money, and that’s why it’s so important.
So who gets it right?
One of my favorite brands here in the UK is Wagamama, which is a chain of restaurants specializing in Asian cuisine. Their passion for making great tasting food, and making it look good too, is evident on their website, as much as it is when you’re sitting in one of their restaurants. Their restaurants boast big bowls and an open kitchen, so wherever you look, you are surrounded by delicious looking noodle dishes and fresh ingredients.
But how do they maintain this immersive atmosphere online? Imagery plays a huge part in their online UX. Right now, there are more than 10 pictures of Wagamama dishes on the company’s homepage alone. All this means that whether you encounter Wagamama online or on the high street, you are immediately surrounded by their food.
Another brand that is currently exploding across Europe and the US is Scottish craft beer company, BrewDog. They care about two things – great craft beer and dogs. A unique, but endearing combination.
Specifically, the brand’s love for dogs is clear and consistent across everything they do – in their branding, their actions, and their marketing. It is seen in their bars. For example, they recently opened a bar with a dog park, so people can enjoy a beer while also enjoying time with their pups. It is evident in the way they treat their employees, as new dog owners can take ‘Paw-ternity leave’. And, of course, it is even seen in their logo, which features a dog!
In all online and offline communication, BrewDog is clear – if you love beer or dogs, we are going to get along great.
When brand consistency goes wrong
Brand consistency can sometimes be difficult to achieve, particularly in a large, or rapidly growing, organization that creates and shares large amounts of content for its brand every day.
In recent years, there have been a few well-known cases of well-established companies being inconsistent with their brand. The most far-reaching example was when Volkswagen was found to be deceiving consumers, as well as government agencies, about its product’s emissions. The revelation showed the company’s actions were the polar opposite of the environmentally conscious brand image it had built. This is an extreme example, but its inconsistency has irreparably damaged the brand.
Brand consistency becomes even more challenging when you need to consistently present your brand in different languages too.
For example, while trying to stay consistent with its branding, KFC once confused its Chinese customers when their well-known tagline – “finger licking good” was accidentally translated as “eat your fingers off”.
Pepsi is another brand that had an issue in China, where they translated “Pepsi Brings You Back to Life” to the slightly less cheerful “Pepsi Brings You Back from the Grave.”
Tools to help enforce brand consistency
Brand consistency can be a tricky thing to get right, but when done well – like in the case of BrewDog – it presents customers with a positive image that enforces brand trust, awareness and visibility. Once you get your brand’s image right, it’s important to keep it consistent.
One of the greatest challenges is keeping your entire organization educated on how to create on-brand content. The best way to achieve this is to present your whole organization with a clear set of brand guidelines so they can be available for reference at all times.
Below is a list of some useful branding tools that can also help make sure your brand is consistently presented across your entire organization, regardless of where or how it is appearing.
It’s not enough to just share your brand guidelines and hope that everyone reads them. You need to train your team members in how to apply the guidelines in their everyday work. With Lessonly, you can quickly and easily create an online training session that you can distribute to the whole company. This means that every team member can complete brand training in their own time. As the training is online, team members can also refer back to it if they need a refresher and it can be included as part of onboarding for new recruits.
Lessonly also allows you to add a quiz at the end of the training so team members can test out what they have learned. You can even see the test results, so if someone gets too many questions wrong, they can be prompted to take the training again.
The OnBrand Grader is a clever tool that scans your website and gives you a score on how consistently your brand is presented there. It also produces a brief report on what you could do to increase your on-site brand consistency. And it’s all for free!
Social media sharing is an important way to get the word out about your latest piece of content. Rebrandly allows you to create short and neat links based on your brand’s name. This ensures that users who click on the links you share know that the link belongs to you. Branded links also enforce brand visibility and trust, and can increase click-through rates by up to 39% when compared to generic short URLs.
How long does it take you to find the correct company logo? Bynder Orbit is a free creative content management tool that helps you to find the files you need fast. Orbit uses a filter file structure, rather than a folder structure, which means you don’t have to trawl through folders to find what you’re looking for. Instead, Bynder Orbit allows you to filter out results until you’ve found your file.
Additionally, you can add manual tags to your files. So all branded assets could be tagged with the word ‘brand assets’, so with a simple search, all your brand assets would appear.
Moz’s Fresh Web Explorer will alert you whenever your brand is mentioned online. This means that whenever a press release goes live on another site, or a blog article mentions your company, you can make sure that your brand is mentioned in the way you want it to. Google Alerts does much the same thing as this tool, but for free. Though, in my experience Fresh Web Explorer finds more mentions.
Coverage Book is a great tool to help moderate your media coverage so you can check that all mentions are on-brand. The tool allows you to compile all your PR coverage in one place and view it in a user-friendly format. You can then look through your PR coverage and quickly make sure that each quote, comment and statement comes across in a way that’s consistent with your brand.
BrandsEye is like the Fresh Web Explorer, but for social media. Using this tool, you can keep track of your brand’s social media mentions, where brand consistency is vital. So if an employee is talking about your business in an off-brand way, or uses an old logo, you can pick up on this and send them your brand training resources on Lessonly.
Consistency is a key factor in making sure that your brand fulfills its potential. Enforcing it will take your marketing to the next level and build trust and recognition with consumers. By making proper use of these branding tools, you can increase consistency and ensure that your brand will be presented correctly by everyone.
Guest author: Jack Saville, Bynder
Jack is an Online Marketer at Bynder. You can follow him on Twitter here.
- Building your brand identity: 11+ big questions to ask yourself
- What is a brand?
- How to build brand trust on social media
- Online branding best practices
- The best tools to build and monitor your online presence
This Article is About:
- Building brand consistency
- Enforcing brand consistency
- Online branding
- Branding tools