For some of us, the idea of keeping our branding and messaging consistent comes naturally (or is hammered into us from the start of our career), for others, we need a reminder as to the value of consistent branding and messaging as well as how to do it. It’s really all about integrated marketing and showing your audience who you are and what values you hold as a business.
Five Steps to Success:
1. Get organized: Streamline your offline and online marketing efforts by communicating to your team what all your imagery, messages and positioning should look like.
2. Offer an identity that customers can relate to: You can do this by defining your target audience and finding a way to appeal to them emotionally. One example of this is Kaiser Permanente’s “Thrive” campaign. This campaign (in all its forms; offline and online) aims to put the focus of conversation surrounding the brand on the emotional side. The branding extends to every facet of Kaiser’s service offerings. In this Kaiser Permanente marketing document about their branding, they say that “thrive” is the external expression of people, understanding and health. They go on to say that this is their brand mantra. This is how you should look at it too; a unique mantra that all your organization’s marketing revolves around.
3. Unique selling proposition: Keep this message clear! Why are you the choice for your audience? One example is Tom’s shoes; Tom’s gives a new pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair you purchase. This message appeals to the philanthropist in many and may be a reason to choose this shoe over a similar one. That’s what you need to offer your potential customers, appeal to them in via a message that you know will speak to your target audience.
4. Deliver that branding promise: It will only hurt you if your get your customers to believe your USP, i.e. that you are the “most cost-effective”, durable or the longest lasting” in your line of products, and then you don’t deliver as promised. Remember, it really is all about consistency and credibility.
5. Try to stay away from too much change: In keeping with consistency, be wary of too many changes, they can confuse your audience! For example, customers sometimes look to find the colors they recognize on a brand to buy that product. Therefore, if they recognize your product, and you delivered what they needed in the past, they will have no problem continuing to make that purchase. Keeping away from changes is important for messaging as well; if you change your message, you may lose customers who were loyal to you based on that reliability.
If you want customers to not only connect with your product, but respect and recognize it, you need to keep all of your marketing consistent with your brand imagery.
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