Brand consistency can often be challenging to ensure across all points of an organization.
The larger the team, the more difficult the task.
And as our communications channels increase, this problem only increases.
We now have to be consistent across:
- All customer touchpoints: sales, marketing, customer service.
- Multiple platforms, through a variety of media types: paid, earned, shared, and owned.
- And a variety of formats: video, infographics, written content, podcasts, to name a few).
Whew! It’s exhausting and overwhelming to even think about.
Long story short, brand consistency is challenging to maintain. Really challenging.
How Do You Maintain Brand Consistency?
- Step One: define your brand voice and created a brand personality document.
- Step Two: date it.
What’s it Like to Date Your Brand?
Last winter I started listening to Presidential from the Washington Post.
Forty-five episodes long, it takes a detailed look at each of our 45 American Presidents, both from a policy and human interest viewpoint.
One question host Lillian Cunningham asked guests for almost every single president was “what would it be like to go on a blind date with this man?”
A silly question, especially when you think of dating George Washington or Grover Cleveland, but incredibly telling.
Plus it is pretty fun to hear some of the historians’ take on dating the presidents they’ve spent their professional lives researching.
It made me think how effective that same question is when we think about our brands. And how useful it can be to ensure brand consistency.
Take Your Brand for a Date
When you are forced to think about dating your brand, you create a persona which brings to life your brand values, brand voice, and brand personality.
You bring all of these elements together in one really clear actualization of what your brand represents and how you present it.
Think about the details of a first or blind date and how your brand might act on one.
- Where would they take you?
- How would the conversation go? Would it be deep and intellectual or fun and silly?
- Would it be casual or formal?
- What would they wear?
- What would they order?
- Would they pay?
- Would they bring you flowers?
- What type of activities would you do?
- How would they make you feel?
- Would they try to kiss you?
All these things help you bring your brand values and brand personality to life, in one (hopefully) dateable package.
Brand Consistency through Dating
Everyone who bought The Communicator’s Playbook with our 30-Day Communications Challenge this year has the chance to win prizes through completing a variety of “missions” with each lesson.
The mission for the lesson on brand voice is to make a video accomplishing this very exercise: describe what it’s like to go on a date with your brand.
These have been sooooo fun to watch.
And show how dating your brand forces you to think about how your brand values, voice, and personality all intersect and create your perfect date.
- One participant said a date with her brand is like dating George Clooney. Her brand has the three Clooney Cs: clever, creative, good company.
- Another says her brand is very romantic. “You are picked up and he is dressed professionally, has everything handled. All you need to do is talk about yourself and your life’s goals. He pays and just handles everything.”
- One says his brand is charming and listens really well.
- And another says the first date “requires a lot of patience while you get to the good stuff.”
All of these are very different dates, but all give you a clear understanding of who they are, how they operate, the personality of the brand, and a glimpse into their brand values.
In turn, this clear understanding provides for brand consistency across all customer touchpoints and platforms.
What If You Go on a Bad First Date?
What if you take your brand out for a date and it’s horrible?
This can happen too and is another great benefit of this exercise.
If you are really honest with yourself, you might find your brand makes for a terrible date.
So then you can deconstruct why.
What can you change in how you operate to improve that experience?
No one needs to go on a bad date.
Not your customers.
In fact, I’d even try to create a bad date with your brand.
Look at some of the negative feedback or push back you received and imagine how that might look translated into a date scenario.
It can be amazingly telling to show you where things need to change.
It’s like Match.com for your business.
Brand Consistency is Necessary for a Good Customer Relationship
A 2016 study from LucidPress found the average revenue increase attributed to brand consistency is 23 percent. And consistently presented brands are three to four times are more likely to experience brand visibility.
Brand consistency is crucial for success in 2018.
Does everyone on your team really understand the personality and voice of your brand?
Does every employee know your brand values and how those affect how you communicate and interact with your customers?
If you asked each team member who serves as a customer touchpoint or controls a communication platform what it would be like to date your brand, would everyone have the same answers?
It’s a great exercise to try with your team to really see how close everyone is to being on the same page.
So, tell us: what would it be like to date your brand?