How to create consistency in your brand
A few years ago a new coffee shop opened that I was really excited about. I started following them on instagram and followed along as they renovated their space and celebrated their grand opening. They prized themselves on building relationships with their customers and having great customer service. Two checks in my book!
So I went to check them out several weeks after they had opened. I went in and ordered my drink, and my first red flag was that the barista took forever to notice that I was standing at the counter waiting and was not friendly when I tried to interact with him. I brushed it off, but when they called out my order, they got it completely wrong and butchered my name on my to-go cup. A few red flags up, but I gave them some grace having just opened and had them fix my drink and left.
The next week I went back in to give them a second chance and the same thing happened. The barista was in a bad mood and they couldn’t manage to get my order right again. And all this happened while they were posting on instagram about how important it was to create relationships with their customers and have good customer experience. I’ll let you guess how long it took me to switch coffee shops because of the inconsistency!
Now let’s think about our businesses. We talked last week about how important consistency is to create loyalty and trust in your customers and community. But what are some ways we can be sure to create consistency in our brands?
We learned a few weeks ago that our brand is all of the elements that evokes a feeling or that a client experiences. This includes your logo, color palette, font, photography, packaging, business cards, menus, brochures, etc.
The first question to ask yourself is do you know what the overall style or feeling you want to be associated with is? Then, do you have a specific color palette, fonts, and aesthetics that go with your brand? If you don’t, you need to find a partner to help figure out these things in your business because without these your look can’t be consistent. You need to create that foundation of overall style to build on top of.
Next is to look at all of your marketing pieces and make sure you are using the same elements that are associated with your business and brand - i.e. colors, fonts, photography style, overall style, etc.
When a designer uses the phrase “on brand” it means they are looking at the colors, fonts, and style and making sure it’s consistent with the rest of the marketing pieces and overall style that you are wanting to create.
Your messaging and how you write and talk all needs to be similar and consistent. When you work with a copywriter, they will normally create a sort of personality for your brand so that it’s easier for you to know how you should talk or write. This is called your brand voice.
If your brand is more professional then you don’t want to be using trendy or casual phrases. You want your messaging to reflect professionalism. The flip side, if your brand is more bubbly and fun, you might be the perfect candidate for trendy phrases, exclamation marks and emoji’s.
Make sure first that you know how you want your brand to come off. What emotion or feeling do you want customers to feel when they come into contact with your business? Then take a look at your content and make sure what you are writing and how you are saying it reflects and is consistent with that feeling or emotion.
This goes for your website, marketing materials, social media captions, and videos. You want to make sure that when people read or hear you, they recognize it as your business.
This is exactly what happened with the coffee shop I told you about earlier. Their words were not consistent with their actions. So ask yourself: What am I saying over and over on social media accounts that I may not be doing with my actual customers? Or the flip side, is there something that my customers praise me on that I’m not sharing through my website or on social media that may connect with more people and give them an inside look into your brand?
We have all heard the phrase “actions speak louder than words”, so make sure that you do an audit of your process, your customer service, your employees and make sure everything is consistent with what you are saying and with how you want your business to come across!
If you need help or don’t know where to start with creating consistency or even coming up with an overall style for your brand, I offer Brand Mentorship Sessions that audit the pieces of your business that you have the most questions or frustrations about.
These can include: customer experience, branding, website, and social media. For an hour and a half, we walk through these aspects of your business and talk through improvements, tweaks, or things you need to implement.
“Your brand audit was exactly what we needed! We had no idea how much this was going to help us get a grip on the things to do to improve our website. We are so grateful we hired you!”
This is an email that I got back after a brand audit session just a few weeks ago! And an audit could help you in the same way! Get signed up today!