Authenticity was a big buzzword in branding for awhile, okay we’re not fooling anyone, it’s still a buzzword, but there’s another one making the rounds lately that we think could use some clarification.
That word is consistency.
We hear “be consistent with your branding” and your “consistent brand image,” and although it seems like a lot of people have the gist of the meaning, we think the application of being consistent is a little tougher to nail down.
So here’s our breakdown of how consistency in branding breeds your legitimacy:
What is consistency?
Consistency in your brand isn’t much different than the consistency you stick to in everyday life.
For example, do you get up every morning and have your routine of brewing a cup of coffee and then settling in to read a few blog posts? This action is consistent and provides you with a sense of comfort and direction for your day, which is essentially the same sort of feelings you give your audience when they experience consistency in your brand.
By being consistent with your branding, you’re sending the message to your current and potential customers that they’re in the right place and you want them to engage, or “settle in”.
Inconsistency will do the complete opposite and drive potential customers away by making them feel unsure of what message you’re sending and how you want them to interact with it.
Brand consistency also means being present and accessible (not just online, but also in person), and it takes being organized and knowing your strategy, which brings us to our next question…
How can I keep my branding consistent?
You might be thinking that posting on your blog, social media platforms, and sending email updates regularly is what we mean by brand consistency, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
We’re talking consistency as it relates to the voice and tone you use with your audience, the mood that’s conveyed when people interact with any visual part of your brand, and the type of people you’re talking to.
Take LUSH cosmetics as an example, their brand let’s their colorful products do the talking and their minimal packaging and black-and-white color scheme serve as the canvas for their ultra-bright (and sometimes sparkly) products. They also use fun and light-hearted methods of telling their story through the names of their products (Granny Takes a Dip is actually the name of one their top-selling bath bombs) and their visual elements, like their Instagram videos.
Finally, through the message they consistently broadcast in their brick and mortar locations and across their entire online presence, they make it known that they are committed to sourcing sustainable ingredients, buying ethically, and fighting animal testing.
Anyone who has an interaction with LUSH Cosmetics knows what they’re getting because their brand is consistent on all fronts. There’s no confusion on what they do or what they stand for, however if they were to be inconsistent with their messaging or visualization, they would lose their audience’s interest and trust.
Why does consistency breed legitimacy?
See how it all adds up? By being consistent with the image you put forth and the message you send to your audience, it creates a credibility and trustworthy factor that essentially translates to you being legit.
We’ve all met wishy-washy people and I think we can all agree it’s hard to make a connection with them because you’re not sure where they’re coming from or what they’re trying to achieve since it changes all the time.
Don’t let your brand be that wishy-washy person.
Those are the people we don’t count on, fall in love with, or turn to when we need something, which are all the things we hope people will do when they experience our brand.
Of course, there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes in to creating a brand that is consistent on all levels, but it all starts from knowing the core of your brand and who your dream customers are.
Without those things you’ll have no basis of being consistent.
So go out there and do it, be that consistent, dreamboat brand that your customers fall in love with and tell all their friends about. They’ll probably make it Facebook official with a like, too.