As we enter very uncertain times with COVID-19 seriously impacting our economy (and looking like it’s going to stick around for a while), your brand is more important than ever. Your brand is how you stand out, make a name for yourself, and keep your company growing. It’s how you build lasting relationships with your customers and it’s what keeps you ahead of your competition.
So how can you make sure your brand and ready to carry you through the next year?
Let’s start with the biggest representative of your brand: your content. According to Shutterstock, 60% of marketers create a minimum of one piece of content each day. Maintaining brand consistency in all that content would be manageable for one contributor, but brands have a variety of content creators. And each writer has their own unique personality and style.
Brand consistency means making sure your words, design, perspective, and offerings all relate to the way you want to express your brand. It’s the secret to customer satisfaction, according to McKinsey & Co.
When your content story is inconsistent, your brand seems disingenuous. If people connect to your story on one page, then jump to a different page and see a completely different story, they feel the whiplash. It’s a bit of, “Wait, what? I thought you understood me… but now you’re talking about things that have nothing to do with me.”
Make your customers happy and produce consistent content. When you focus on improving the customer’s experience with your brand, you also improve your company’s value (up to 20%, Techipedia reports). Why is brand consistency important?When you focus on improving the customer’s experience with your brand, you also improve your company’s value up to 20%.Click To Tweet
Inconsistent content is unpredictable, and unpredictability dissuades people from trusting your brand. To meet their needs, you need to build an identifiable brand that sets you apart from competitors. Here are three benefits of consistency in business that you may experience.
1. It makes you memorable
Some of the most well-known brands are iconic because of how they talk. Groupon and M&M’s are known for their sense of humor. Disney focuses on making us feel like we can create magic. Dollar Shave Club and Poo-Pourri are intentionally over-the-top. These brands don’t deviate, and we love them for it.
Inconsistent branding confuses people. You force them to do the hard work of keeping track of what you’re talking about. Is it the same as or different from what you were talking about before? If you’re consistent in how you talk about your company, brand, products, and features, your users will get it quicker.
2. It fosters relationships with consumers
According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, 67% of customers say they’ll only continue buying products from a brand if they trust the company behind them. In all relationships, trust is built through consistency. Communicating the same values in the same voice at every customer touchpoint develops a reliable brand personality. When people can count on your brand, they’ll be more loyal.
A PricewaterhouseCoopers study found that one in three customers say they’ll walk away from a brand they love after a single bad experience. People pick up on mistakes immediately; inconsistencies in writing style stick out and grab people’s attention — in a bad way. You want consumers thinking about your message, not irregular commas and numbering systems. Accurate content and clear branding lets people focus on the heart of your messages.1 in 3 customers say they’ll walk away from a brand they love after a single bad experience.Click To Tweet
3. It makes your offerings more desirable
Research by Lucidpress shows that on average, consistency increases revenue by 23%. Which means that as people get to know and trust a brand, they’re more likely to buy that brand’s products or take advantage of its services.On average, brand and content consistency increases revenue by 23%.Click To Tweet
Today’s consumers have a variety of platforms available for sharing reviews and promoting products they like to friends, family, and even strangers. A review on Yelp or a post on social media can boost your SEO, increase traffic on your website and social media platforms, and ultimately generate leads and revenue. Consistent brand delivery makes sure that each new consumer who’s interested in your company meets with the same great messaging their friends raved about.
How to create consistent content
A brand consistency checklist can help reflect on your content’s purpose and message. Here are the elements you should examine for variability:
- Message (your readers should be able to easily follow along)
- Target audience (it should be clear who you’re talking to)
- Voice (the formality, liveliness, and cadence of your content)
- Terminology (decide whether any words are a good/bad fit for your brand)
- Punctuation writing style (including commas, hyphens, dashes, exclamation points, etc.)
If you’re not sure how to create consistent content, start by developing or revisiting your brand’s styleguide. According to Shutterstock, 95% of brands have some form of content guidelines, yet only 25% enforce them.95% of brands have some form of content guidelines, yet only 25% enforce them.Click To Tweet
A styleguide lays out all the rules your content must follow. It should define your unique voice, preferred terminology, punctuation, spelling choices, and imagery. Brand consistency means telling the same story over and over again, at every point of contact with consumers. Your styleguide should make sure everyone in the company gets your messaging and story.
If you’re looking for tools to help you out, try using a web browser plug-in or artificial intelligence content software. These helpful hands can point out small details like punctuation or flag large concerns like off-voice language.
Maintaining brand consistency may be challenging, but the benefits are worth it. Don’t miss out on growth opportunities by underestimating this powerful element in a marketing strategy.