The Art of a Consistent Brand Image (and How to Achieve It)
Marketing departments worldwide are locked in a battle to get their companies as high as possible on the Google results list.
However, the entire SEO effort is not worth that much once we include branding in the equation.
It is a known fact that some bands have become household names and the letters of its name and the logo are far more efficient than any Google search results could ever yield.
For instance, the sports manufacturer Adidas is so well-known in Poland that the lingo of the new generation there uses the word “Adidas” as a synonym for “shoe.”
This is the Holy Grail of marketing that is only possible to attain by creating a consistent brand image.
For your brand to become famous, you need to improve its consistency and disseminate it in as many ways as possible.
This process takes time, and the results are never 100% guaranteed but having a clear strategy will help a lot.
Once your consumers or clients learn to instantly recognise your logo and trust it more than the competitors, you will know that you have created a lasting brand.
As a result, your profits will skyrocket, and you will find yourself in the position where your logo design alone could be worth more than the entire franchise.
Designing the logo
If you ever thought that designers were unfair to change a crazy amount of money for a simple drawing, then you are mistaken.
They go through years of education and practice to be able to come up with an innovative design that is not a simple sketch, but the visual identity of your company.
Humans are visual learners, so it is easier for us to attach to symbols and logos than to brand names.
Of course, you can put the name of your company on the logo, but people will nevertheless learn to associate a particular colour scheme or visual with your company.
Once you get a logo that you are satisfied with, it is time to advertise it.
This is done by interconnecting your brand with the logo and never allowing them to appear separately.
From the shop window to a notepad, your logo should be printed and placed on everything that is related to your enterprise.
This way, your brand will establish a visual presence in the market and customers will learn to recognise your brand name just by looking at the logo.
Of course, if your business becomes a major success, be on the lookout for copycats.
At the same time, this serves as proof that you have created a strong and consistent enough visual identity since wan to ape it.
Financial stability and security
Once a bank or a broker's house gets on the front pages because of an embezzlement affair, their reputation is ruined because the trust of other businesses and people in them is shattered.
The global economy is based on the principle of mutual trust, so if buyers don't trust your brand, they will not pick it off the shelf or hire your services.
The importance of a clean balance sheet cannot be stressed enough, as your potential clients mustn't associate your brand with any financial instability.
People will remember the slightest smudge you ever had, and they will label your brand as inconsistent.
The brand image we speak here of is nothing more than a public image, and you need to do your best to maintain it.
The more time passes without any affairs involving your brand, the higher the trust of consumers will be.
Trust as a means of advertising
We have seen from the previous paragraph that gaining your clients' trust is essential.
This is achieved by maintaining a consistent brand image, but there is an additional perk of such a marketing strategy.
SEO and paid ads are all nice and have a specific effect, but the best way of marketing is word of mouth.
If you manage to build a solid base of people who trust in your brand, then they will disseminate this trust to the people they know.
Once they buy your product and become another satisfied customer, then they will be the ones recommending your brand and trust will start spreading exponentially.
This sounds good, but keep in mind that this chain of trust is ultra-fragile, so if you betray their trust once, the whole system that took years, if not decades to for, will crash in a matter of months.
Imagery and words
We spoke about the importance of creating a consistent visual identity, but there is more to it than a cool-looking logo.
Your marketing strategy should include images as well but not just any images.
Originality is highly valued, so instead of using stock photos, better opt to take your own pictures.
This includes editing the images as well, as there are resources for Photoshop and Lightroom like Sleeklens who can help you create moving imagery on your own.
Using features such as presets and brushes will help turn ordinary photos into mesmerising ones without altering their core message but merely accentuating it.
Furthermore, you can use slogans to enhance the message the logo and photos convey.
You can always read the best advertising slogans of all time again to get inspired, but the key to coming up with a good motto is to connect a universal truth to your company.
For instance, if you sell footwear, then you can alter phrases such a “walk in someone else's shoes” to create a pun that will make potential clients laugh, memorising the name of your brand in the process.
When it comes to marketing and brand consistency, the main goal is to get people talking about your company, as more times the name gets repeated; the higher the chances are that the name will stick on.
All the pictures you take can serve another purpose, promoting your brand on social media.
Brands might be generic in nature but their end users are people, so you need to have an online presence at most social media platform.
The exact number of platforms you open an account on depends on their regional popularity and the preferences of your target population.
In most cases, you will be required to open a Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and an Instagram account.
The latter is perhaps the most important because it's the most visual of all social media platforms.
Furthermore, it offers the opportunity to create Instagram stories that are ephemeral but serve the purpose of sharing announcements, and perhaps a sneak peek of a new line within the brand.
As time goes by, you will learn how to create amazing Instagram stories so they will generate many likes, this increasing your media presence on social media.
To top it all off, you can encourage your employees to share their adventures or funny mishaps in the office, to give your brand a more human face, since generic brands don't fare well on social media in general.
Developing a rapport with your clients
Speaking about the face of your company, you are bound to come into direct contact with your customers, at which point you are going to develop a good rapport with them.
The way you communicate with the people is at the core of your brand because inconsistency is something that will expose you as fraudulent and the trust we earlier wrote about will be broken.
Work hard to establish the image of a brand that is 24/7 open to its customers, and that is willing to hear out their problems.
People will learn over time to address you and expect a positive answer, and you will do your best to give to them.
Responsiveness to e-mails, phone calls, letters, and even Facebook Chat is something that people know to appreciate, and they will spread the word that you are a brand that cares for its consumers.
An additional benefit: motivating the workforce
So far we have only discussed the outside impact a consistent brand image has.
Yes, potential shoppers are your primary target group, but this doesn't mean that you should neglect your employees and more importantly, prospective employees. Just ask yourself would you apply for a job in a company whose name is virtually non-existent in the industry.
Workers are attracted to big brands as they can associate their brands with quality and better working conditions.
That is why a strong brand image will be your best chance of attracting big players, especially when it comes to management.
Candidates like to know what to expect in the future, and if your brand was consistent during the years before their application, then they are more likely to choose your company, even you offer a tad lower starting salary.
You see, consistency is not related to the past but to the future as well as brands have to continually develop and potential employees see an opportunity to grow together with your enterprise.
As you have seen from the example, there are multiple advantages of maintaining a consistent brand image.
Once you establish a well-recognised brand, incomes will start increasing without you doing anything.
That is why achieving a trustworthy brand image should be among the top priorities of your business plan.