The value of brand consistency
In a disruptive world, brands are faced with never-ending challenges. There is a critical need for brands to adapt whilst remaining consistent.
While this opens up new exciting possibilities for marketers, it also creates a potential haven for ‘brand chaos’. With so many new communication channels for brands to execute across, we often see a dilution of what they stand for.
Yes, it’s important for brands to stay agile and fluid, but it’s just as important to have a fundamental level of consistency under-pinning who you are.
And the research shows that brand consistency pays. The experts at Demand Metric estimated in their 2016 study that brand consistency can potentially increase an organisation’s revenue by up to 23%. Furthermore, the 200 companies involved in the study found they received four times the brand visibility compared to those with inconsistent brand representation.
So exactly what is brand consistency?
Brand consistency is all about how you present yourself. If a brand is always talking and representing themselves in a similar way, that reinforces a certain brand proposition and core message.
Matthew Laubscher, Founder of Dragoman, described the fundamental impact of brand consistency as “driving brand preference through the development of trust”.
“Ultimately, brand is the way that companies connect with consumers. If you develop trust with customers and consistently deliver that trust, that is when you can shift customers from a buyer to a valued long-term relationship”
And what happens to brands that miss the brand consistency memo?
A lack of brand consistency is a schizophrenic message to the market. It promotes a lack of trust and creates mixed messages. But more importantly, it doesn’t give you anything to build on long term as you are always reinventing and recreating.
Matt continued by saying “It’s exhausting and inefficient for marketing teams. However, if you build a platform of brand consistency, you can continue to build on this in the future and grow something truly valuable”.
How do audiences react to brand consistency?
Customers rely on memory. Human brains are hardwired to be resistant to change, as part of our survival mechanisms. Change always entails an element of the unknown, which means risk and uncertainty. Our brains actively seek repetition and consistency.
Brand consistency taps into this primal mentality. A consistent brand generates a sense of trust and comfort with your audience, allowing you to build a valuable two-way relationship.
What business value does brand consistency offer?
The research shows that brand consistency helps increase the overall value of your company and can quantifiably impact multiple performance metrics. This is especially important when you have stakeholders or a board, as it is necessary to show financial performance of a brand year on year.
Yes, financial measures are important. However, Matt feels there is a secondary value that most brand guardians miss. “What isn’t usually measured is the length of the relationship with the customer, which is equally important. Creating a community of believers is your strongest avenue to future success”.
The benefit of having a loyal audience base is that they are less likely to flip between brands. They will occasionally forgive a brand if they have a mishap or try something that didn’t quite work. Apple is a great example of this. Loyalists don’t switch brands based on one bad product release. Their brand consistency has been developed so their customers know what to expect, time and time again.
It seems that brands focused on consistency are winning the race. With the numbers adding up and consumer mindsets wired for the familiar, taking a moment to assess your brand’s consistency might be your smartest marketing tactic this year