Brand consistency is essential for every successful marketing strategy and product placement, especially in a dynamic and highly competitive online business environment. Creating a unified brand or company image on the web will directly boost your marketing efforts and, if properly planned and executed, it will eventually increase your sales through better placement and more exposure of the given product or service.
Why Bother-The Benefits of Maintaining Brand Consistency
Investing your time and efforts into communicating the best brand message and image is very important, especially for smaller businesses, or starter uppers, which are just about to "stage" their company before the targeted customers. With the latest technology boom the online media channels have gained a key position in the marketing strategies of the world's leading companies and should in no case be underestimated.
The idea of focusing on consistent business brand identity is to consolidate a unified image of your product, service or the company in general, and to make your potential customers more aware of your competitive advantages, business values and ideology. Those are by far the most essential factors towards retaining your clients and gaining new ones through positive referral and satisfied customer reviews.
Having a consistent online image would make you stronger than your competitors, especially if your business is associated with high quality service, trustworthiness, excellent performance and reliable customers support. Working on this marketing aspect will bring you customer loyalty, trust and will gain you a drastic increase in your site traffic, it will generate countless leads and will influence convergence as a final step towards having a successful marketing campaign.
The Online Channel - A Challenge or A Huge Opportunity
Learning to balance your online marketing input could be a great challenge. You might get tempted to overflood your audience with promo offers and general trivia in terms of commentaries, reminders for expiring deals or seasonal discounts on the social networks, blogs or video submission sites. However, you should keep in mind that you readers will not tolerate spam and if you abuse their patience you risk losing them for good.
Here are the main online channels that your marketing strategy should attempt to unify when you distribute your message to your targeted audience. Building brand consistency is only possible if you synchronize all of the factors mentioned below:
- Your official website: this is the channel that is 100% under your control and you should strive to excel at optimizing your overall image, i.e. elaborate a character that you wish to be associated with. This is only possible if you carefully select your website design in terms of colour scheme, content, call to action, blog posts or newsfeed articles, visuals, typography, styling, etc. The voice of your brand should be well defined on your site. You should be able to state clearly your position and your company ideology. Your website will serve as the original source that will nourish the rest of your online channel representations.
- Social networks: now here comes the tricky part. Having a unified brand image on all your social network accounts could be a huge challenge. If you have only a Facebook company page, you would face significantly less troubles, but if you have adopted a much broader approach you will have to adapt and synch your content for Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube audiences, which can be a struggle. Being consistent online does not mean distributing one and the same message, having selected absolutely identical profile attributes and visual/design traits. The mood should be consistent as well as your voice, but your approach towards your audience should vary according to the channel used. For instance LinkedIn will require a more professional tone (one that you use in B2B communication), while on Facebook you could indulge in having more casual conversations. What you have to remember is:
- You should be careful with the messages and photos that you share on your own profile/page, but you should be also vigilant of your online mentions if your brand on the respective networks. Get involved in conversations where your brand/business is a subject of negative PR, or is simply attacked by dissatisfied customers. Avoid getting into open conflict, admit that the client is always right and offer rectification in terms of compensation, service improvement, timely customers support. Actively protecting your image is a must and paying attention to your customers will make all the difference.
- Do not get too creative and make fundamental changes in your online presence image. You might change a font style or add a complementary colour to your general colour scheme, but don't risk alienating your audience by making your image unrecognizable to your readers/fans/followers.
- Learn from the best. Always look at the successful business for an idea. You can borrow some pretty insightful strategies if you look into the online marketing strategies of companies like Coca Cola and Disney. Here is a nice case study on the topic that you might find interesting.
- Tell the truth. Being honest is something that your audience will appreciate. Try to always talk straight to the point when replying to a client's question and never show attitude in your replies.
- Be well aware of your audience. Knowing your targeted customers is the first step towards their successful acquisition and retention. Know their preferences, wishes, common predispositions and needs. Try to associate your brand with those and position your product and services as something that they cannot go without. Create a message that will resonate in their hearts and that will help you popularize your products/services.
Your brand identity is an asset that you should look after on a daily basis. Monitor its online consistency in every web based campaign you plan: e-mail, social media marketing, and of course try to unify it with the offline efforts that you make. Create a complete image of your business and let your customers identify you as a trustworthy company that they cherish and that they could rely ono.
David Drasnin is an experienced San Antonio, South Texas internet marketing consultant. If you need assistance managing your online brand identity, contact the Full Spectrum Branding today.