Companies today work on multiple marketing channels in order to promote their services and products. This includes both online and offline, from brochures and TV commercials to social media and websites. Your target audience will often be exposed to your brand on different channels and consistency across all these channels keeps your message clear and memorable. More importantly, it keeps your target audience from being confused and quickly uninterested in what you have to offer.
Now, keep in mind, that the attention span of the average visitor is only a few seconds, so you have to keep them engaged and interested all over again each step of the way throughout the customer lifecycle.
Consistency is the Key to Effective Branding
You hear the word "branding" a lot when you're a marketer or business owner, but consistency is just that - branding. It's not limited to the slogan you have on your banner or email headers, it's the colors you use, the language you write with, the platforms you choose to appear on, and more. It is who you are as a brand.
Think of your brand as a human being with a very specific personality, identifiable character traits, and regular human habits and hobbies. You get to know that person because you see them interact with you and other people on a regular basis. However, if they interact differently with different people, you are not able to understand who this person is and what their personality is like, and more importantly - if you like them and want to engage with them.
A brand is the same thing. It needs to provide its target audience with a consistent message and brand image on all channels, both online and offline so that it’s easier to remember and the marketing message is relayed. In fact, it is said that your customers need to hear your message at least seven times before they choose to buy, commit or sign up. So making sure they hear the same message in the same brand language is crucial to your bottom line.
How to Avoid Inconsistencies that Harm Your Brand
Fact: Inconsistent messages will prevent your business from reaching its goals on all channels - from sales and marketing to support and customer retention.
Avoiding this is not that complicated, it just requires a little bit of work, cooperation between all departments, and an understanding of how important consistency is to all of your business efforts.
Create the Brand Image
First, you'll have to create the brand image. As I said before, think of it as a person in its complexity. You'll need to decide what the brand's visual consistency will be like, and what the brand's voice will sound like. All this should be done based on in-depth research of your industry, competitors, and audience.
Consistency Starts Within the Company
Before you worry about being consistent with your potential and existing customers, you need to make sure that there is consistency between the different departments and employees in your company. Consistent messaging should be implemented on all channels - that includes the marketing, sales, support, and even IT departments. Ideally, there should be someone in your marketing department to to liaison between all departments and ensure proper communication and effective implementation of the decided messaging.
Implementing Consistency on all Channels
Once you have all departments working together, you already have most of the job done. You need to analyze the entire customer lifecycle to understand what a regular buyer goes through from the moment you peak their interest, to their support needs as an existing customer. Each step in this cycle can be optimized to ensure that the brand image and voice is consistent.
Using Personalization to Retain Brand Consistency
A very effective method of brand consistency is implementing personalization throughout the entire lifecycle. Email marketers know full well the difference of simply adding one's name to an email can make. Imagine being able to personalize the entire experience from acquisition to support. This greatly increases the success rates of customer retention, reduces support expenses, and allows for brand consistency when implemented on all possible channels.