Keeping your brand consistent across all channels and different media will mean that your audience gets a consistent picture of what you are about.
When I talk consistency I mean across the board - it can include simple things like always using your logo in the same way, the same range of typefaces and colours, but also covers your tone of voice, the style you write in and how your staff deal with people.
But don’t worry if you are not doing all of the above at once, any of the above you put in place will help and it’s better to be doing something rather than doing nothing.
Most successful companies update their brands regularly. As a rule of thumb they will rebrand every 7-10 years, however this is not always the case. If your company has gone through quite a lot of change or changed what it fundamentally offers, then you should also consider a rebrand.
A rebrand can update your look, bringing it inline with current trends. It can allow you to address how you speak to people, your tone and importantly can also be used to announce a whole new direction.
In all cases, when you do rebrand, it is a good idea to revisit the overall essence of what your company is about, its goals, vision, mission, it’s ‘why’.
With the amount of communication options available today, it’s very easy to put out content about your company. You can easily make bold claims about what you can offer customers. But if you cannot back up your rhetoric, you will be found out very quickly, as the same social channels you make the claims on can be used by customers to tell their real experiences of dealing with you.
Be authentic, only promise what yo can deliver and always deal with any issues as soon as they surface. Customers know that companies make mistakes, it’s how they deal with them that sets them apart from the competition. Basically if your key messaging matches what you can deliver, you are off to a great start.
Nowadays there are so many ways companies try to grab your attention. A strong, consistent brand helps you to cut through the noise and will also mean you don’t have to shout as loud to be heard. Done in the right way, even small brands can compete with the big boys (and girls!). Through clever use of colour, tone and social channels you can rise above the noise.
We’ve already mentioned tone of voice, but what does it mean? It’s how you interact with your customers in your marketing and face-to-face. Do you want a relaxed fun way to talk to your customers? Does it need to be more authoritative? Or does it need to wistful and floaty?
Whatever you decide, as mentioned above, it needs to be authentic. One of the things I always say to clients is that your website, social media and literature should reflect how a company acts with customers face-to-face.
Now more than ever customers are demanding that brands they deal with ‘do the right thing’. So you really need to ask yourself ‘What is my company doing to make a difference?’ It can be community based or how your company is helping deal with wider environmental issues.
For instance The Message Collective is partnering with ‘Just One Tree’ and is planting trees when clients spend money with the company. This not only helps the planet but also helps the communities where the trees are planted stay out of poverty.
You may have a very clear vision for your company, but if your brand does not convey this, then how can you expect your customers to understand what you are about. To do this effectively you need to consider your company values and your mission. Then you will have a clear(ed) vision that you can convey in your brand.
As mentioned previously, it’s worth revisiting this at key points, especially if your company has pivoted or gone through major change.
We operate on an emotional level a lot of the time and we make decisions based on an emotional, subliminal response. Whether you like it or not it’s central to how people interact with your brand. I say this because we probably don’t like the fact as it’s hard to pin down as a brand.
But the more brands try to understand what customers like and don’t like, the more they can tailor their offering. You will have done it yourself. Someone will ask you whether you like A or B. You will like A but you won’t be able to put your finger on why. Your mind has information as to why you chose A, but it’s based on a number of underlying, not obvious factors. That’s the subliminal bit!
This is what communicates what your company is about in one simple message. Sounds simple? It’s not! Distilling your offering down to one simple message takes time, effort and some soul-searching. But once you have it, your brand will have a clearer direction and your customers will better understand what you are about.
To do this you need to understand the essence of your business, it(s )values and as I’ve mentioned before, it’s vision.
People like stories. Stories have sustained mankind for centuries. They are how generations pass on wisdom and learning. And your company, your brand has its own story. This will be part of your ‘Why’. So use it, write it down and convey it to your customers. That way they will better understand what you are about and if it is a compelling enough story, you will bring them along with you.