Brand consistency is the way you present your brand over and over again in order to build trust, memorability and brand recognition. It includes your messaging, the language you use and visual branding, but also the values and beliefs that shape your brand identity.
Think about it. When you see a red truck with bright lights, pull up on a snowy road – what brand comes to mind? Coca Cola -without a doubt.
Big international brands have perfected the art of brand consistency, not only in relation to their product but also in their marketing. When you buy from them, you know exactly what you get. When you see an ad or marketing campaign, you recognise the brand before you see the product. Sometimes you don’t even need to see the product – yet, it is 100% clear who is talking to you.
How are they doing it?
By being 100% consistent in their brand.
In this post, I will discuss the different aspects you have to consider if you want to be known as a consistent brand. I will talk about which areas of your business to pay particular attention to and let you in on some simple tricks to increase the brand consistency of your tourism business.
A note on the term “brand”
Not everyone likes to use the term brand for their business. It can feel alienating to call a small business a “brand”, or maybe it sounds too commercial or corporate for the kind of business you are running.
But instead of thinking of big, multi-national corporations, imagine your “brand” is your business as a person. If your business could walk and talk, what kind of person would they be? What would others say about them? That’s your brand.
One of my previous clients hit the nail on the head. She hated to think of her one-woman business as a brand. But after working with me on her social media strategy, she said, “I think I am in love with the term ‘brand’ for the first time since I became a sole trader.”
Together we worked on a way to express her business’ brand that felt authentic and meaningful – and if she can do it, you can do the same!
If you want to make the step from business to brand but don’t know where to start, book a Strategy Consultation with me!
What is brand consistency?
Being consistent in your brand means to meet the expectations your current, past or future customers have of your business. It also means to set up these expectations and position your business as a brand that is known for this or that.
Brand consistency is one of the hardest things to nail because if you want to change something about your brand, it feels like you have to start over again to re-build trust and recognition. Re-brands are incredibly difficult to pull off, which is why it is important to invest plenty of thought and care at the start.
But don’t worry – you don’t have to stick to the first colour scheme or set of values you choose. Especially at the start, you may want to spend some time experimenting and tweaking. Once you feel settled into a brand identity, you need to express it consistently.
The key ingredient for brand consistency is to know exactly who your brand is and what it stands for. Being consistent to that means to reinforce it with every action and interaction you make as a business.
Why is it important to be a consistent brand?
Many of the tourism businesses I have worked with in the past, take pride in having repeat customers. They have provided such an excellent experience, that their customers are coming back time and time again.
Repeat business has a lot to do with brand consistency. When a customer books with you repeatedly, you want them to have an equally great (if not better) experience than the previous time. You do your utmost to delivery the same standard every time. Otherwise, why would the customer come back? When you do this successfully, you are being consistent.
Being consistent in your brand means you deliver the same experience over and over again, not only in the services you offer, but any other way someone can interact with your business.
Your social media posts. Your emails. Your posters and flyers. The partners you work with. The kind of people you employ. Your choice of words, colours and emojis. Your approach to sustainability, accessibility and diversity. The way you behave at networking events. What you wear when you’re on official business.
The more consistent you can be in all of these aspects of your business, the more likely it is for people to recognise and trust your brand.
Brand consistency is important because:
- It builds trust and confidence in your brand.
- It increases brand recognition and memorability.
- It creates and fulfils customer expectations.
- It makes it easy to choose topics for your social media & other content.
- It sets you apart from your competitors and other brands in your sector.
If you use 5 different logos, create a new layout for every ad campaign or keep spelling your business name differently, no one will recognise your brand the next time they see it. These are of course extreme examples. Often issues with brand consistency are a lot more subtle.
Optimise your business online presence with this 7-step process.
Brand Consistency Checklist
Make an inventory of where your brand shows up.
Which platforms are you active on? What documents do you send out to customers? Which tools are you using that require you to create a profile?
A list of everything will help you to stay on top of brand consistency should you ever change something.
What do you want to be known for?
Make a list of everything you want your business to be known for. This may be the quality of your service, evoking a specific feeling, delivering a certain kind of experience or anything else you can think of. This list will guide your business statement, mission and content.
If you struggle with this, a Power Session with me will bring the clarity that you need to represent your business online with confidence.
Check your social media profiles.
Are you using consistent profile and cover images? Your bio/description can vary slightly (depending on the platform), but you should use the same keywords and phrases to describe your business.
Not sure how to audit your social media accounts? This guide breaks it down step-by-step.
Check email marketing sequences, FAQ downloads etc.
Go through any documents you may have created a while ago, but frequently send to customers. Review the language and make sure it is still up-to-date. Are you consistent with logos, fonts and colours?
Create communication guidelines for your business.
These guidelines should guide your internal and external communication to be consistent with your brand values.
Tips & Tricks for Consistent Brands
Make a list of commonly used words, phrases & emojis on your website and social media copy, when you engage with customers or when you simply talk about your business. Then re-use them naturally.
Create a Brand Kit and put it somewhere where you can easily access it – on your desk, on your home screen etc. In the brand kit list your fonts and colour codes (HEX codes), your key offers or recurring content series, your logo variations, short brand biographies for use on different platforms and other key details about your brand that you may need frequently. Share your Brand Kit with employees and freelancers you work with.
How do you say hello & bye in your emails or videos? Choose phrases and stick to them.
If you use pictures of yourself on social media or the website, stock up on clothing in your brand colours. You could also print your logo on clothing you wear frequently, but this might come across as quite formal.
Create 4-5 templates for social media graphics, for example in Canva. Make sure they are different enough to offer variety, but all follow the same brand guidelines. You could also hire a designer to create custom templates for your business.
Think about topics you want your business to be known for and stick to these when you create online content.
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