Consumers today are flooded with advertisements for businesses they’ve never heard of before. The first impression someone has of a business is important, but it’s not the most important impression that can be made. Branding is essential for businesses. Branding encourages customers to purchase more from a business, encourages them to trust the business to deliver the quality they’re looking for, and helps customers become repeat customers. It’s what gets people to not only pay attention to the business but to want to be a customer. When creating a brand for your business, remember that consistency is key.
What is Branding?
The branding is how a consumer identifies a company. It’s more than just the logo, the colors used in the logo, or the message the company creates to tell consumers about their business. It’s everything together that creates a cohesive picture of the company and helps the customer remember the company on an emotional level. It’s the visuals, the messages, and more the company will use throughout all of their advertisements, their website, and their storefront. Consumers don’t need to see the company name to remember which company it is since the branding triggers their memory.
Why is Consistency Important?
The first impression helps consumers know what to expect from a business, but it’s not everything. A consumer isn’t likely to purchase something from the business the first time they hear about it. Instead, it’s likely they’ll hear about the business over and over again before they decide the business is the best option for what they want.
When the branding for a company is consistent, it makes it more likely the consumer will remember the business. Consistent visuals and messages help consumers recognize the company faster. They help consumers start to trust the company since they learn what to expect from the company. It’s no longer about a first impression to encourage a consumer to buy something. Instead, as soon as a consumer sees the branding, they’ll start thinking about what they’re going to purchase from the company.
If the branding is inconsistent, consumers don’t learn what to expect from the company. Each time they see something the company has published, it may seem like it’s the first time they’ve heard of the company. Their memory isn’t jogged by the consistency, so they may not recognize the company and won’t start to feel they can trust the company to deliver the quality they desire. They simply won’t create an emotional connection to the business that makes it more likely they’ll purchase something.
Creating Trust Through Consistent Branding
A company name isn’t created just by running an advertisement online or offline. It’s created through consistent branding. Branding done right encourages consumers to trust the business. It gets their attention, but it also helps to show them that the business is going to be exactly what they expect and what they’re looking for. A consumer isn’t going to purchase anything from a company they don’t trust.
When branding is consistent, it shows the consumers they will know what to expect from the business. It reaches out to them on a personal level, creating an emotional response. As they see the branding for a company more and more often, they see that the company is always consistent with the visuals in their advertisements and the message they’re sending. The customer will start to feel like they can trust the business because they recognize the company and realize they’ve seen information about the company many times before. Consumers develop an emotional connection to the business which helps to build trust.
Consistency Helps Create Confidence in the Company
Brand confusion occurs with inconsistent branding. Customers are confused by what they see if they see something different every time they see information about a company. Even if they do start to recognize the company, they may not develop an emotional connection to the company. This can cause them to lose confidence that the business is professional, is a company they can trust and is a company they should purchase from.
When the branding is consistent, it gives consumers more confidence to purchase something. They won’t be confused by the message put out by the company or about what the company stands for. They’ll have a better idea of what to expect from the company, ensuring they can build the emotional response to the branding and begin to trust the company.
Branding Consistency Helps Build on Previous Success
Branding is instrumental in encouraging consumers to give the business a try. However, branding goes far beyond the initial purchase. Through targeted advertisement and consistent branding, consumers can become encouraged to continue to purchase from the business. The branding builds upon the successful purchase, showing consumers they can expect the same thing every time they purchase something from the business.
Consumers today tend to be repetitive with the products they purchase. Many consumers always purchase the same type of soda, the same brand of toilet paper, the same type of laundry detergent. They like knowing what to expect from the product so they can be sure they’ll get the quality they expect every time they make a purchase. This is where consistent branding can be incredibly beneficial.
Once the consumer has purchased something from the business, they know what to expect from them. As they continue to see the company’s branding through the advertisements, they’ll start to think about purchasing something from the business again. Since they were happy with their previous purchase, they’re more likely to go ahead and purchase something else. The consistent branding helps encourage this because they know the brand is consistent and feel that the quality of the products will be consistent as well.
How to Create Consistency in a Brand
Planning ahead is the best way to create consistency within a brand. With larger businesses, it’s important to make sure everyone is on the same page when something’s being created for the business, whether it’s a new website, a new advertisement, or a social media post. Creating guidelines can help ensure everything is consistent, no matter if it’s used online or off. Small business owners can create guidelines just to help them remember everything, then provide the guidelines when they receive assistance for anything they’re creating for the business.
The guideline should include all details about the branding for the business. Visuals such as the logo itself, the color palette used, fonts used, patterns, textures, icons, and more are crucial. It should also include guidelines for photographs or creating new images for the business. The guideline should include how the logo might be used, phrases often used by the business, and guidelines for how to use everything together in advertisements, on the website, and on social media websites. Basically, everything essential to the brand should be included in the guidelines to ensure everything remains consistent no matter who is working on something for the company.
Changing the Branding for a Company
Although consistency is key, rebranding a company might be an option in some situations. If you’re just starting to become more consistent with the branding, stick with it for as long as possible to see what works and what might not be working very well. It does take time for the branding to start to have an impact on consumers.
If the current branding is consistent but still isn’t working, it’s possible to make some changes so everything works better. This can be done all at once to ensure it’s done as quickly as possible so the branding can start to work again or achieved with slow changes over time to minimize the amount the branding changes at any given time. Both methods have pros and cons to them, so it’s important for the company to consider which method is the right one for them.
When changing the branding, it is crucial to try to minimize the number of changes. Consumers who have already become very familiar with the branding might take to the changes easily. Those who have only seen the branding for the company a few times, however, may become confused with the change and it might be a setback that discourages them from trusting the business. While many consumers will start to trust the business again once the branding is more consistent, it’s typically easier to find new customers and retain current customers when the branding changes are minimized.
Paying attention to branding, trusting a business, and continuing to purchase from a business are not usually conscious decisions. They’re emotional and can be created with the branding for a business. Consistent branding helps create this emotional response in consumers, helping your business not only find more potential customers but create repeat customers as well. Whether you have already been working on the branding for your business or you’re just getting started today, be as consistent as possible with your branding to help encourage consumers to purchase something from your business instead of the competition.