Often times, companies are quick to jump into using each social and digital channels without giving second thought to their persona, but a consistent brand persona is vital to how a consumer views a product. If an organization is inconsistent with branding, aren’t they just as likely to be inconsistent with product quality?
Whether or not it’s apparent, people are constantly judging and taking the image of a brand into account. As humans we value consistency and predictability. For the most part, we don’t like surprises. I’m personally suspect of companies that manage their brands poorly.
If the marketing team seems weak, that’s an indication of likely systemic weakness throughout the organization. While most people might not say that think this way, I believe that inconsistent branding registers in the subconscious.
Inconsistent branding usually has one of two root causes. Either you are simply sloppy in bringing your branding to market or you don’t actually have a well-defined, agreed-upon-by-all brand definition. Fixing execution issues is pretty easy. It’s a set of “start doings” and “stop doings” that can get things consistent across channels.
The brand also has to connect with me emotionally. I have to love you not for what you do but for how you make me feel. Think Starbucks. It’s just coffee but we pay a premium for it because it makes us feel hip, cool, elite, sophisticated and ahead of the curve. It’s a tall order but your brand has to make me feel like my life will be better for my buying your offerings. That might sound extreme to some marketers who dabble in low-interest commodity products, but, trust me, anybody can do it.
Outside perspective is another critical component when you’re working on a brand. Too often, execs sit in a room and define a brand based on their own impressions. The reality is that your customers may have a completely different perspective on what’s important to them. The customer is the one who buys, so, at the end of the day, their perspective is way more important than that of any executive.
If you don’t know who you are, that’s another problem altogether. Bring in a marketing consultant to do an objective assessment of your brand and what it stands for. Shore up any weaknesses — not by changing your brand persona but by changing the core attributes of what you do and how you go about it. That’s hard work but it’s a prerequisite before you can redefine the brand persona.
Overall, your job as the mind behind the brand is to get rid of preconceived notions and communicate your product’s message across channels. It will likely increase business and decrease confusion among customers and prospective consumers. Most of all, keep in mind that your brand is one package, not a myriad of separate parts. It should look, sound and act as one.