Brand Consistency: Why It Matters & How to Get Started

It’s 2020, and the story your brand is telling has never been more important. And in our new normal, your online website experience plays an integral part of that story. It’s time to take inventory of just how consistent your brand is online. 

But what is brand consistency? Why is it important? And how do you make your brand a consistent one?

In this article, we’ll tackle all of the above and provide some of our favorite examples of brands we think are doing it really well.

What is Brand Consistency?

Brand consistency is exactly how it sounds: It’s a cohesive, consistent visibility and presentation of your brand both inside your walls and out. It includes everything from CTA button style, how you talk about yourselves, your brand colors, logo, and more. All of these small pieces create a web of experiences that communicate who you are to customers. Are you reliable or flighty? Are you consistent or less than predictable?

Can you guess the brands above based on their primary brand colors alone?

Twenty years ago, we had a sliver of the options than we now do at our fingertips. With so many brand competitors, you need to stand apart from the crowd, and you can’t do that with inconsistency.

When you visit your local Target, do you expect to find yellow checkouts? Purple carts? Of course not, because Target has been consistent over time with how they express their brand over all mediums. When you see red, Target wants you to think “Target.” And they’re absolutely on to something. Research has shown that using a signature color can cause an 80% increase in a consumer’s recognition of your brand. 

Why is your brand voice so important?

This year, in the 2nd quarter alone, the U.S. saw an “unprecedented” 73% year-over-year increase in online revenue.

Seventy-three percent. Do we have your attention now? With such an increase in online revenue, what your brand is communicating online especially is essential to its growth and success. Visitors need to know who you are before deciding on whether or not to become customers.

Earning Customer Trust

A consistent brand experience inherently helps your brand earn customer trust. It’s the reason they’ll choose you over another competitor. Earning customer loyalty can be a nuanced endeavor, but a cohesive brand will help them along the way. And what we’re seeing in increasing amounts is the importance of an authentic experience for users. In fact, 86% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support, and 65% of customers say that they are emotionally connected to a brand in a way that makes them feel like the company cares about them.(SEMRush 2019). While a consistent brand experience does require diligence in upkeep, it can generate great results. According to Lucidpress, the average revenue increase attributed to always presenting a brand consistently is 33%. Furthermore, it could increase your ROI by 23%

Your brand reputation is not just important to the growth of your business; it’s vital.

How do you make your brand voice consistent?

If you’ve been putting off getting your arms around your branding, or don’t know where to start, we’ve put together four starting points to help you move your brand into a better position to grow this year.

1. Audit Your Brand

This includes your website, social media pages, internal and external deliverables, internal communications, packaging, etc. Making a list of everything your brand touches will help you track where you need to make changes to better reflect your brand.

An example of consistent branding across mediums from Asana

2. Create a brand style guide that includes the following:

  • Mission/Vision Statement
    • If you don’t know who you are, how do you expect your customers to? Check out this article from Hubspot for some inspiration on the topic.

  • Who We Are
    • Describe your brand in five words: Who are you? How do you serve your customers? What’s unique about your brand?

  • Who is Your Audience?
    • Knowing your audience or typical client will help you choose how you speak to them. Is your typical client a middle class male in their 20’s, or an upper class 50-something female? Your audience will shape your message.

  • What Do We Want to Convey?
    • Pick five things you want to get across to your audience. For example:
      • “We get it done right the first time.”
      • “The highest inventory of auto parts in the U.S.”
      • “Our customer satisfaction is priority #1. We’re not happy unless you are.”
      • “Our innovative approach to HR helps your business operate smoother.”

Photography guidelines from Teamwork.com reflect what they want to convey to customers.

  • How Do We Talk About Ourselves?
    • This question is easy to overlook. Often businesses try to tell customers who they are in their own terms, but in doing so risk losing various groups of visitors based on their knowledge and/or interest of a topic. For example, talking in jargon about medical supplies will be off putting to an audience new to or at a low level of understanding of your product. Meeting customers where they are at should always affect how you talk about yourself.

Part of Percolate.com’s branding guidelines

Include style tips in this section. Create everyday examples of how to speak about your brand in various areas with “Do’s” and “Don’ts”. For example:

  • DO — Show Our Fun Personality
  • DON’T — Sound Cold or Sterile

3. Get your team to rally around your new or updated guidelines

Having a guide book of some kind with reference-able materials will help your team incorporate your new or updated guidelines. It’s important to help them – as your biggest brand ambassadors – feel comfortable and excited about your branding. With documented materials to reference, they’ll be much more likely to comply with a new or updated branding initiative.

A section of Love to Ride’s online brand guide book

4. Incorporate

Here’s the golden moment where you get to watch all your planning and dreaming pay off. Incorporating new styling is a large undertaking, but it’s one that will pay in dividends over time.

Examples to get you started

As you begin to think about how consistent your brand is and reflect on changes you might consider for your brand in the next year, we’ve compiled a list with some brands doing an incredible job of creating and maintaining a strong, consistent brand voice and experience.

Free Website Assessment

Trinity would love to help you incorporate your new, consistent brand voice and guidelines into your online presence. We’ve helped hundreds of brands do just that since 2006. If you’d like a free assessment or would like learn more about Trinity, you can set up a free 30 minute meeting with Trinity founder & CEO, Craig Smith, here.