Why Consistency Is Vital to Your Branding Efforts

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All aspects of marketing thrive under a consistent, long-term approach, but none other than the brand. Without consistent techniques and constant effort, it is impossible to build a successful brand or business.

In some of my previous articles, I’ve talked about consistency and its importance to the brand. Here’s a closer look at how important it is.

Consistency creates trust

Credibility and trust are two of the pillars of successful brands. Most of the world’s leading brands have built their reputation on these cornerstones. Building trust between a brand and a consumer doesn’t just take time. It also requires constant effort on the part of the branding team.

Just as music producers create “one-time wonders,” most brands can produce a unique and positive customer experience. Of course, this good initial impression means that the relationship with the customer has started well. But it says little about the long-term relationship between the consumer and the brand.

In fact, the example is perhaps a little too simplistic. With very few exceptions, brands currently operate in a crowded market. Consumers are surrounded by marketing, advertising and branding messages. They are unlikely to make this initial purchase without having already established some kind of relationship with your brand. As a result, the consistent brand message is important even before any purchase is made.

Related: If you don’t approach your brand this way, you’re losing customers

Uncertainty leads to hesitation

Researchers have found that predictability is critical to brand consistency. In short, consumers like to be sure of what to expect from your brand. Consistent messages, backed by a compatible branding experience, allow your audience to form an expectation about your brand.

The opposite of predictability is uncertainty. Psychologists define uncertainty as “not knowing what will happen.” This lack of predictability makes it difficult to plan for the future. In the case of a high value purchase, uncertainty means that potential customers cannot be sure whether buying is the right choice.

Most of us base our predictions for the future on past experiences. In the absence of previous purchases, your brand is the most similar to what potential consumers have to weigh the risk associated with the purchase in question. If they perceive your brand as reliable and trustworthy, the likelihood of a purchase increases. Consistency is the way to this brand image.

Consider the opposite: Since early 2020, the coronavirus pandemic has caused uncertainty around the world. Sometimes it is impossible for consumers to decide if they can book a table in a restaurant, let alone book a vacation.

Over time, uncertainty makes humans stressful. Combined with fear, such as fear of infection for the past two years, uncertainty can cause anxiety.

What does this have to do with your brand? When it comes to planning a purchase, uncertainty may not cause anxiety, but it does make potential customers hesitate. Without sufficient evidence that the purchase of your brand makes sense, they may simply be delayed or choose another brand.

Related: The brand is more than an accessory: it is the basis of any business

Making consistency work for you

Consistency is important in all aspects of marketing. Take content marketing, for example. Here, consistency begins with regularity. Making blogs once a month is a good start. If you blog weekly, it’s worth selecting a specific day when you share your content. This kind of consistency creates predictability, which in turn creates confidence.

In the context of branding, consistency begins with defining the values ​​of your brand and your mission. Both need to be aligned with business goals. Your branded messages are derived from your values. The main purpose of your brand messages is to communicate your values ​​to your customers.

Branding messages must be consistent across all marketing channels. You may reach different audiences on social media instead of your email marketing, but your brand promise and purpose remain the same. The goal is to establish a connection between the audience and the brand and make sure they know what to expect from the brand.

In addition to branded messages, your brand identity must also align with your messages. Any design element must be used consistently and predictably. The easiest way to do this is to set clear brand guidelines.

Related: The brand is indispensable. Are you using it to your advantage?

Consistency triggers positive emotions

An effective branding provokes an emotional reaction in your audience. To help consumers connect with your brand emotionally, they must first trust the brand. Consistency builds this bridge by increasing consumer awareness of the brand.

Regular branding messages that create a consistent image help the audience understand what a business is all about. Once consumers know your brand, they can begin to predict your actions. If their expectations are the same or even exceeded, consumers trust and connect with the brand. They feel confident enough to make a purchase based on what they know about the brand.

Customer service is a great example. A brand that has built a reputation for excellent customer service will find it easier to convince early customers to commit to a high value purchase. Despite not having direct experience, consistent messages across different channels have created a sufficient level of trust on the part of the customer to make the purchase.

So how is it possible that brands still offer less than perfect customer service? The answer has to do with the value of the purchase and the associated risk. The lower the risk, the easier the purchase decision will be.

Related: Consistency is the king, queen and all the aces of the brand game

Consistency and change

If consistency is so important to building trust, how can brands change? Naturally, brands need to change and adapt as market forces change. Otherwise, they would soon become irrelevant.

Humans do not necessarily resist change, especially if change improves their lives. Communication is often the key to implementing change in a positive way and maintaining a brand’s credibility.

In some cases, changes in a brand may affect its identity but not the underlying values. In other cases, it is obvious that a change in brand values ​​is both positive and necessary. Climate change is one example. Decades ago, few companies would have considered it important for them to take a stand on climate change. However, as awareness of the dangers of global warming increases, more consumers base their choices on criteria such as sustainability.

As a result, brands must change to continue to be perceived as a force for good. Change may be necessary to maintain consistency.

All brands of success are evolving. Brand evolution and consistent branding are not mutually exclusive if a brand is based on strong values. Consistency reinforces positive values ​​and builds a solid foundation of trust and credibility from which a brand can continue to grow.

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