Say you started your business a few years ago and since then, it has made remarkable strides and expanded in more ways than one. How do you ensure your brand image still makes sense to your customers and keep them from getting confused about your now highly evolved brand identity?
Your brand image is essential in communicating properly with your clients, both old and new. As your business changes, taking steps to refresh and re-brand your business is therefore necessary to keep it relevant to them.
Importance of Maintaining a Consistent Brand Image
A consistent brand image helps your customers know what to expect from your products and services, and you can charge prices that benefit business profit. Clearly and consistently applying your messaging and visual branding across a range of communication channels reinforces your company image and boosts trust in your business.
To clarify, maintaining a consistent brand image holds some benefits for your business including:
- Providing a picture of authority and reliability for your business.
- Helping your business stand out in the minds of existing and potential customers.
- Delivering and reinforcing your key messaging.
- Increasing loyalty in your brand.
- Providing customers with a personality and identity they can relate to.
How You Can Maintain Consistent Brand Image as a Start-up Business
1. Provide your customer with a consistent brand experience
Discover what your customer wants and expects from your company and research new ways to make these expectations reflect within your branding. Having the right information about your customers will shape your campaigns to be relevant and increase how much they resonate with your target audience. It will give them value, which is really what your business should be all about.
In addition, you will be able to match your brand to suit your existing and potential customers. For example, if you are a restaurant business known for making customers feel special on special occasions, then a suitable theme must be present from the moment the customer walks into the restaurant and throughout the period they spend there.
Another good example is the imagery associated with your business. Customers expect bright and bold colours for children target services such as party organisers and kid’s birthday party caterers, so you should create your brand image around the experiences your customers expect of you.
2. Keep a consistent language
Your company messaging both online and on print should maintain the same language. Different channels of communications should be saying the same thing in the same way to keep customers engaged. If for instance, your language known as casual and conversational, the same tone of speech should be used in all company channels from blogs to website and social media, to avoid confusing customers.
3. Create consistent content
Research the channels your customers spend more time on, then provide current and relevant content. Content should be consistent in value and relevance to keep customers interested. In addition, your content should be easily accessible, so ensure your website is responsive, fast and easy to navigate. In addition, your social media channels should be regularly updated.
4. Have complementing brand identity
If you can have a firm grip on controlling your brand identity, there is a better chance of creating a positive brand image for your business. Brand identity is made up of your brand logo, colours, fonts, tagline, images and everything you use as a focal point to express your message. It can therefore be managed simply by ensuring consistency every time you put a piece of your brand identity in the face of consumers.
Therefore, the signage, logo, text and print should all complement each other in order to build a strong brand image, at the same time building powerful brand equity. These elements will become your brand’s identity and should be seen on everything you produce. Big brands are recognisable and unforgettable today because of this strategy – using the same typeface or colour palette on their products.
5. Get everyone on-board
Maintaining a consistent brand takes teamwork and this is true for all businesses, no matter the size. The easiest way to ensure team members are on the same page is to hold regular team meetings where you ask them about the companies they admire the most and why. Their answers will show how much consistency has shaped their overall perceptions of the brand they love.
Therefore, create a brand guidelines document where all the information relating to your company’s brand experience, content, and language, in addition to brand colour, logos, taglines, typeface and so on will be stored. This document should be easily accessed especially by your entire marketing team in order to ensure there is uniformity in the way your company image is presented going forward.
6. Plan for the future
Even after you have done all the above, you’ll still need to make workable plans for the future so that as your business grows, you will not shift away from your core brand identity to the point where you become unrecognisable to your customers.
Constantly checking in to ensure you are still in line with your brand guide will provide clarity for your customers, employees, executive teams, potential partners and more.
Planning for the future where your brand image is involved includes taking the following steps:
- Fix an annual update for your brand plan. Even though it is important to keep a consistent brand, you can still expect your company to evolve with time. Your brand strategy can therefore be reviewed and updated to take those changes into account.
- Plan to update your design elements each year. Your branded elements need to evolve over time to meet up with styles and trends as they change.
- Schedule a bi-annual content audit. You need to ensure that the people you put in charge of creative content and design are following the guidelines you laid down.
Brand image is never stable. It is subject to people’s perceptions of your business and the levels of change you pass through as your business grows and expands. It is therefore important to continuously study the direction and progress your business is making, and take the necessary branding steps to achieve consistency.