They say you never get a second chance at a first impression. Although that’s true, it implies that you’re all golden once you’ve made a good first impression, and that, unfortunately, is also not true.
The hard truth is that maintaining a good impression requires constant effort, which is what brand consistency is all about. So, in this article, we’ll be talking about certain things you can do to keep up that good first impression and solidify your brand image.
What is Brand Consistency?
Let’s put it this way: when someone first becomes aware of your brand, they also get a first impression of it. It might be your company’s message or something about the way you conduct your business.
Regardless, it’s what this person will associate with your brand from now on. Brand consistency is, in short, maintaining and strengthening that good impression that you made in the beginning.
In other words, through repetition and uniformity, you reaffirm your brand message and bolster your company’s credibility. And to do that, you need to build a consistent brand both offline and online.
So how do you do that? Well, let’s discuss this in detail.
#1. Partner Up with Local Talent
This one’s about building brand consistency offline, and for that, our best suggestion is to choose reliable, local companies to help build your presence.
For example, if you’re working to create your business’s website and your business is located in New York, it stands to reason that you’d want to hire a web design company in New York like Digital Silk.
Their proximity to your business will give them an important advantage in understanding mentalities, customs, and figures of speech that will, in turn, resonate with your audience.
What’s more, they will help you craft an online brand image that strengthens your offline credibility. For example, as a New York business, you’ll be proud to present yourself as one, and who better to help you do that than a New York-based company?
#2. Know Your Brand
Some businesses are tempted to experiment with their brand image, especially if they find themselves in the early stages of their journey. While that is useful to a certain extent, you’ll want to do all your experimentation before you launch your official brand image.
After all, constantly changing your brand image as your business starts to gain traction will do nothing but confuse the audience you’re targeting.
Take a look at Google or Amazon, for example. We all know who they are, even if we only see a fragment of their logo. That’s because they use brand consistency to their advantage. They’ve created a solid, consistent brand that spans their logos, message, values, etc.
Keep in mind that design elements like colors, images, and fonts are some of the most easily recognizable things about your brand. With that said, to get people to recognize your business, you will need to get these elements right from the start.
You should apply this in your offline dealings but also in your online presence. Who you are across social media platforms should evoke the same brand image as your main website, according to internet marketing experts by DesignRush.
#3. Maintain the Voice of Your Brand
One of the most important aspects you have to keep in mind when creating a branding strategy is to find the voice of your brand.
At first, it might be tempting to use a formal voice since that would make your business appear more professional in the eyes of your target audience. However, that’s not always the case.
Why? Well, that’s because this way, they get to establish a long-lasting relationship with their audience. Think about it; you’re more likely to feel comfortable around a person that’s friendly and warm in nature rather than around one who has a colder behavior.
Still, some brands out there continue to use a formal voice both in their offline and online dealings with great success. So, the best thing to do is identify the voice that’s most well-suited for your brand and stick to it.
Don’t use a casual tone in your emails while maintaining a formal approach on your website or social media, as that will create inconsistency. In turn, this breeds confusion in your audience and decreases their chances of purchasing from you.
#4. Create a Bridge Between Offline and Online
Even when companies are aware of the importance of offline and online brand consistency, they rarely think to put the two together. Since we treat them as separate endeavors, it’s natural to want to separate them in our marketing approach, as well. But maybe we shouldn’t.
One of the key aspects of having a strong online presence is showing your followers that you are a real business. The best way to do so is to make them empathize and relate with your business.
Don’t be afraid to talk about an important achievement or award that your business has received, as that will usually create a buzz and get more eyes on your business. Make sure you advertise on in-person marketing events through your online channels (e.g., your brand website, your social media pages, etc.).
This invites local followers to get involved with your business, as well as helping your followers associate a place/image with your brand, and that strengthens your brand’s consistency.
#5. Focus on User-Generated Content
As we mentioned earlier, more and more businesses are working to establish a more casual relationship with their followers. One way to do that is to build reputability by posting user-generated content on your website or social media.
Think of user-generated content as being the “word of mouth” of the digital era. In the old days, if you needed a good mechanic, you’d ask around until you found someone with solid recommendations from your friends.
The digital era has changed that. Nowadays, you no longer need to focus solely on friend recommendations. You can get them from strangers on the Internet, who aren’t associated with the brand but enjoyed their service.
As a brand, you can boost your reputation by including such content on your website, usually in the form of reviews, testimonials, or even partner recommendations.
Alternatively, if you offer a tangible product or service, you might give users the option to upload images/videos taken with their own purchase.
As 83% of consumers make their purchases based on recommendations from their peers, UGC will most likely strengthen your brand image in the eyes of potential customers.
#6. Networking is Key
Numerous networking events are being held both online and offline. These help business owners connect with like-minded businesses and entrepreneurs. So set aside some time to network because that allows you to partner up with existing, reputable businesses and thus boost your own business’s reputation.
Not only that, but networking can also act as a promotional boost since it may put you in contact with influencers and other important public figures who can make your brand more well-known.
#7. Create a Marketing Calendar
In order to avoid making your brand appear inconsistent and unreliable, you will need to plan everything ahead of time. Furthermore, creating a marketing calendar will also help you in ensuring that all of your departments are coordinated and prepared and in organizing marketing campaigns easier.
#8. Hire a Professional
Branding is one of the areas most overlooked by businesses, often with disastrous consequences. Some may assume that they don’t need someone else to create the brand image for them since they think they know who they are as a business perfectly. But a lot more than that goes into building a brand and keeping it consistent.
You need to take into account market trends, psychological impact, and emotional triggers, among a hoard of other things. So, if what we’ve talked about in this article is giving you a headache, consider hiring a branding professional.
These are usually experienced entrepreneurs with a good grasp of all the different factors of branding. Often, it might be wise to delegate your brand consistency and imaging to another so that you can focus on what you do best – conducting your business.
Whether you choose to hire a branding professional or are keen on building brand consistency yourself, it’s paramount that you keep the above tips in mind. It’s no use working hard to make a good first impression if you lack the consistency to maintain that.
About the Author!
Carl Fisher, PPC and CRO specialist, but deep down – a passionate writer. Armed with a Bachelor’s degree in English language and literature and extensive writing experience (songwriting, poetry, essays, and online content of all sorts), He continue to explore, soak in, think through, and translate the world as he see it, in his own words.