Company Branding: The Importance of Consistency
When I say the word “branding,” what do you think of? If you’re the owner of a company, branding should hold a special place in your heart. Branding is how a customer sees your company, products, and services, the collective experience and impact your business has had on your audience. While reputation, design, advertising, clients, and more all play a role in branding, it’s only through comprehensively tying this all together you can achieve the most important part of company branding: consistency.
An Overview of Your Brand
Okay, so step back from the day-to-day operations of your company to view it from a whole – and more importantly to view it as a potential customer would. Try and answer the following questions:
- Where would they find out about your company?
- Where would they go to research your business?
- If they wanted to reach out to you, how would they do it?
- Where would they see advertising or marketing about you?
- Where would they find your products and services?
This will tell you a lot about your presence, online and off. It might also show you gaps in your marketing and awareness, places that people may look for you that never or no longer reflects your company. In an online world, there are many places to find your brand. The question is, does it all match up?
Brand Discontinuity: Expectations vs. Realities
Think about your favorite franchise restaurant or café. Let’s say you stepped into a location one day and came to a halt: it’s nothing like the other locations. Bad service, atmosphere, and more are throwing off your expectations. Think of your brand like that: a hundred of franchise locations that try to sing from the same hymn sheet. These fall into three major categories: company, presence, and reference.
Company: Internal and External
This covers branding that you control directly, from your physical location and products to your staff, website, and other central hubs. A few examples and how to help keep the branding consistent.
- Your Office or Store: Any and all of your physical locations should have consistent logos, and when possible have a similar atmosphere and interior design.
- Employees: It’s important that your employees reflect your company values, both in the office and online. You need to decide how to handle potential issues.
- Website: Your website is a vital part of your brand, and for many will act as their primary way of both learning about you and contacting Make sure it has both good design and functionality, especially when it comes to being mobile friendly.
Presence: Gateways to Your Company
Secondly are the various ways people can learn about your company, of which you have varying degrees of control. Many of these are third-party listings that can be claimed or social media platforms.
- Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn… more and more these are the platforms where people interact, learn about events, and experience the online world. It’s important to both have a presence, but not simply posting the same content to avoid being tone-deaf.
- Search Engines: When people look for you, chances are they are going to Google you. Having good SEO makes sure that you control what comes up, and that it’s consistent with your brand’s message. Also, making your information is accurate is important on Google and listing services.
- Listing and Review Services: After handling Google Business, make sure your information is accurate and that you’re monitoring your presence on listing and review services like Yelp, the BBB, and more. It’s important to know anyone can generate a page for you, but only you can claim it.
Reference: Unbiased Truths
For many companies, branding needs to extend to sources outside your direct control. PR isn’t just about damage control: it’s about making sure that there are reliable third-party sources that you can share your company’s perspective on things: from interviews about your staff, culture, and success, to pieces that help you show yourselves as leaders and experts in the field. This can include everything from guest articles to interviews with the media, online and off.
If you need help getting your company’s branding consistent or need to update your branding to meet modern times, you’re not alone. The road to rebranding can be a long one, and you may need help both building and maintaining your brand. Here at Vision Advertising, we provide Global Brand Management as part of a comprehensive marketing campaign. We’re a full-service marketing agency, specializing in comprehensive internet marketing – from websites to social media and everything in-between. Contact us today to start the discussion and find out how consistent your brand really is.