You’ll often hear me talking about being on-brand and doing so consistently. A question that’s come up a few times recently when I’ve been a panellist at events is whether being on-brand consistently is enough to make your business noticeable and successful.
Branding Consistency isn’t Enough!
There has been a bit of debate around this, so I wanted to step back and have a good think about what the right answer is. I discussed my thoughts with other marketers, and we decided that you need to be on-brand visually and consistently, but you also need to be consistent with your marketing.
It’s great that you’ve invested time and effort to define your brand and making sure that everything you’re creating is visually on-brand, and you’re consistent with following brand guidelines and sticking to the same fonts and colours. However, you’re not actually putting content out there!
Or, as a lot of people do, they start something that they think will be helpful for their business, such as a blog, and then after a while they stop creating new content. If you’re consistent with your branding but not with content or marketing, or you’re not sticking to a plan, it can backfire, because nobody will see your branding.
The Other Mistakes People Make
The other way that business owners get it wrong is when they’re heavily focused on their marketing, they’re being consistent with producing and publishing new content on a regular basis and sending things out at the same time every week or month. Where they go wrong, though, is by overlooking the branding side.
If you suddenly started creating content regularly and you’re on-brand within that content, you’ve upgraded your content from base level to the best it can be. This means that you’ll have more chance of building brand awareness, customer loyalty and repeat visitors. You’re building a community, because people will instantly recognise your content.
Everyone consumes content in different ways, so you need to make sure that everything is on-brand and you’re delivering the right message to your target audience.
If someone reads your newsletter and then goes to check out your YouTube channel, they need to see the same overall look and to read and hear the same tone of voice. If there are differences, your audience will be confused and won’t engage.
You need to make sure that all your branding – not just the visuals, but your messaging too – are expressing the same values, whether it’s a logo or the approach you take (friendly, professional, humorous). You need to be consistent across all the formats you use and the types of content you create to share with the world.
We’ve said that people often stop things not long after they start, and that’s true with marketing too. It’s a challenge I see a lot – they get excited with it, whether that’s being on-brand or blogging weekly, and whatever it is fails, or it’s not as successful as it could be.
If you want to really leverage the content you’re putting out, it’s important that you’re putting the same things out at the same time and in the same place. All of the branding should match everything else you put out.
We’ve looked before at whether or not you need a logo for your business, and while it’s not essential, it does help, especially when you start marketing yourself. If you’ve got a visual style to use throughout your content, it’s easier to get started with the creative process. You’ll feel proud of your branding and confident about putting it out.
- Be consistent with your touchpoints, the format of content, tone of voice, the visuals, the quality and quantity
- If you can do that, you’ll get the best out of your marketing efforts and the content you’re creating
- Don’t stop yourself producing content because you don’t think it’s on-brand
- The more you produce, the more focus you should have on being on-brand in order to build that brand awareness, credibility and audience
- If you’re on-brand but not consistent with your communication, you may stand out for when you do share content, but it won’t help to build an engaged audience
- Whatever kind of content you decide to create, you can’t just do it in isolation – you need lots of on-brand touchpoints