If you want your branding to be effective, it must be consistent across multiple platforms online. In fact, whether you are online or offline, your branding needs to be very consistent in order to help your audience want to get to know you, learn to like you, and ultimately to trust you enough to buy from you. Maintaining brand consistency means you must pay attention to every platform and have a plan for each.
Document Your Branding
Once you have decided on what your branding will look and feel like, it’s time to create a document regarding your brand. The only way to ensure consistency is to have a system in place for maintaining it.
Once you create a brand style guide or brand template, you’ll want to review it regularly in order to ensure you are staying consistent. Even if it’s just you right now, creating the template is going to help you maintain brand consistency in a way that you won’t be able to without it.
Keep Studying Your Audience
Over time, your branding will have to evolve as your target audience evolves. For example - over the years - while Dove has maintained a very consistent image and brand, the way they get their message out has changed as have the words they use. Their demographic is the same, but the values of the demographics have changed. To stay consistent, Dove had to change while maintaining their message.
Monitor Your Brand’s Consistency
When you keep documentation for your branding, it’s a lot easier to maintain consistency because you only need to look at the guide to ensure that you are using the right words, getting the tone right, and maintaining the image that you want. But if you have people helping you, such as virtual assistants or employees, keep a keen eye on the content rolling out to ensure it maintains your brand’s consistency.
Poll Your Audience
A good way to double-check whether you are being consistent or not is to conduct a survey of your audience to find out if they recognize you and your content across platforms. If your audience saw a flyer that was yours, would they know? If they came to your website via a link to a blog post, will they automatically know it’s yours? Ask them before, during, and after changes for their opinion.
Brand consistency is the key to building brand awareness and developing a successful marketing strategy, both online and offline. The content, tone, voice, and visual branding on all platforms - whether online or offline - play together to boost awareness and to work the all-important know-like-trust principle so that you can get the right message to the right audience at the right time. Consistency of message builds trust in a way that almost nothing else can. Staying consistent across platforms will boost trust due to that.
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