New digital channels keep popping up, offering new opportunities to promote your products and brand.
However, with new channels being added up to your existing network every once in a while, it can be hard to maintain brand consistency.
This vitally important trait reinforces consumer trust and the reputation of your brand.
Whenever users take note of your brand, one of the first things they notice is whether you’re consistent in your branding and core message across multiple channels.
That’s why, in this post, we’ll be handing you some tips on maintaining brand consistency 24/7 on all your digital channels.
Create a Branding Guideline
A branding outline guideline is a key tool for maintaining brand consistency, and you should make it available for your entire team.
You should write a branding guideline to secure brand identity. A branding guideline is the overall outlook of your brand.
When you outline what is essential to your brand and what needs to be highlighted on each platform, your brand can foster a sense of identity.
This sense of identity is especially important because it keeps your employees on the same page, regardless of their department.
A guideline will provide a clear direction over the visuals of your brand.
Writing one for your team enables them to stay consistent in their use of visual elements, on every digital channel you’re on.
Elements like fonts, colors, logos, and layouts have to match on every platform, so you don’t confuse your users.
Another benefit of having a branding guideline is that it helps your team create on-brand content.
The content you’re posting has a critical role in attracting new customers, which means it needs to stay consistent with your brand’s identity on every channel.
A great way to achieve that is to include an on-site content guide in your branding guideline.
For example, a report by Demand Metric has found that brands that are consistently presented are 3-4 times more likely to enjoy excellent visibility than inconsistent brands. However, only 25% of the brands studied in the report have formal guidelines that are consistently enforced.
To secure consistency for your brand across multiple digital channels, you need to write a branding guideline and actively enforce it.
Ensure Your Digital Channel Managers Understand Your Brand Values
You should make sure that whoever is managing your digital channels has a crystal clear understanding of your brand’s values so they can be consistent in reinforcing them across the board.
This understanding is vital for developing a competitive edge over other brands.
Since many brands out there offer a similar service or product, your own set of brand values will distinguish you from the competition.
If your customers are stuck choosing between your brand and another, you’ll win them over with your unique values. That’s why it’s imperative that you communicate those to your customers.
Brand values help you develop a customer-centric attitude.
Being customer-centric simply means that you are focused on the customers, and that you’re eager to provide the best experience.
Such an attitude helps foster brand loyalty and excellent reputation, both of which are necessary for your business to thrive.
A great understanding of brand values keeps your channel managers from confusing your customers.
When different managers manage multiple channels without a thorough understanding of your values, they can send out dissonant messages that confuse your customers and harm your brand.
A report by SDL has found that 60% of millennial customers, aged 18-36, expect brands to be consistent across all platforms.
In fact, 5 out of 6 users will discover a brand on various social media channels, which highlights the need for consistency in using brand values.
Your values are incredibly important for the success of your brand and should be communicated consistently across all of your chosen digital platforms.
Encourage Feedback Exchange Between Departments
An exchange of feedback between all of your departments should be a part of your company culture.
Open and honest communication allows all departments to improve what they do.
When feedback between departments is encouraged, employees can exchange ideas and cover angles they might have missed in their individual efforts.
In short, they can use the feedback to improve and try out alternative solutions to deliver better results.
Feedback sessions also keep all your departments on the same page.
When different departments lack the habit of communicating with each other frequently, it’s not uncommon that they have conflicting ideas of the company’s goals and the means of achieving them.
During your feedback sessions, discuss those priorities and each department’s role in the big picture.
Once every department is clear on those things, they’ll be able to offer constructive feedback to each other.
You want your business to be a place where employees can openly exchange ideas and voice their objections. That will help your workspace thrive, improve where necessary, and implement new ideas.
Getting there is difficult and requires active encouragement for all employees, but it’s worthwhile.
For example, a poll by OfficeVibe has found that 62% of employees wish they received feedback from their colleagues.
Feedback between departments is extremely useful for your business. It can have a major impact on your workspace and should be actively encouraged.
Always Meet Expectations
Inconsistency has a terrible impact on your brand, and you should avoid it at all costs.
When customers’ expectations are not met, they see it as a sign of crooked sales practices which they go on to associate with your brand as a whole.
If your brand feels shady, customers are less likely to engage with you and buy your product, so make sure you remain transparent and always deliver on your promises.
Having one tone for attracting customers and failing to be equally accommodating when it comes to solving problems is harmful to your brand.
For instance, when customer complaints are met with a frustrated and impatient tone in customer support, your customers feel unappreciated and duped into buying your products.
They won’t buy your products again and will shower your brand with negative reviews.
Therefore, the tone of your customer support must be consistent with the rest of your outbound communication.
When you’re promoting your products on one channel but appear different on the other, your brand consistency breaks down.
This damages your overall reputation on all platforms and signals an unwillingness to adhere to your own brand values.
Imagine attracting users with flashy content and friendly welcoming messages, but then failing to offer any real customer support.
If you ignore requests for assistance or delete comments with negative feedback, you’ll appear completely unreliable to users watching your posts. This will damage your brand.
Therefore, avoid such harmful practices and be consistent in delivering on your promises and in your communication style.
Every New Channel Must Be Aligned With the Core Brand Message
New channels must be adapted to match the core brand message, regardless of their type or platform.
Establishing new ways to communicate with your audience is great for supporting the brand message, as long as they are aligned to the central message of your brand.
This means that you may have to adapt your style and branding to new channels, such as eCommerce sites, podcasts, and platforms, to support that core message. When users visit new platforms, they will instantly recognize your brand and engage with the content you post.
For instance, if you’re considering building a custom app, it shouldn’t simply mimic your website’s design and functionality. Nevertheless, the core message and identity can and should be clearly discernible.
To achieve that, the plan for your mobile app should disclose who your audience is, what they expect from your brand, and how you plan to deliver the message to them.
Pinpointing your target audience is important because it keeps your team from any inconsistencies in branding and communication with customers.
This way, consistency becomes one of your business principles and is mirrored in every new channel you build.
If you want to build a new channel, you can start by asking yourself:
- How will the new channel support my brand message?
- What are the indispensable features of my branding that the channel must include?
- What can I do differently with this channel than with the others?
Whenever you decide to extend your brand to a new channel, it must be adapted to align with the core brand message.
Maintaining brand consistency is no easy task, especially as the number of your digital channels grows.
Regardless of how difficult it may be, for serious, successful brands, consistency is not optional.
You need to dazzle your audience on every channel they choose to engage with.
Follow these tips to make sure brand consistency becomes an operational principle of your unique brand.
Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor, and a thriving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in business and tech. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels.