Just how valuable is brand consistency? That is, the practice of consistently conveying your company’s value, promises and offerings in all of your deliverables — and in ways that resonate with your customers?
Brand consistency is the key to boosting brand trust, brand awareness and brand loyalty. And, according to 200 organizations in a recent survey by LucidPress and DemandMetric, it also can lead to an increase in profits — by as much as 23 percent.
But a significant number of the organizations surveyed also said that brand consistency can be elusive, with 60 percent reporting that their teams are regularly creating materials that don’t conform to their company’s brand guidelines.
In some cases, respondents said that branding deviations are happening “always" or “often".
Maintaining brand consistency in today’s marketing environment is understandably challenging. Marketing teams are tasked with generating a significant amount of quality content to ensure their brands stay competitive. And content is being distributed on more channels than ever before.
Without clear direction, brand consistency can suffer as team members bring their own perspectives on the company’s promises and values. As a result, a series of blog posts created by one writer may have a different company brand proposition than the white paper or ebook created by another.
The same is true for sales decks. A sales team, picking up on cues from prospects they’re interacting with, may decide to move in a different direction in communicating the value of the company’s offerings. Meanwhile, the marketing team may stay on course with their own interpretation.
The end result is disjointed messaging that may confuse your customers.
You need a data-driven content marketing strategy that outlines how to clearly convey your company’s values, particularly the values that matter to your ideal customers. It must provide a path to strong messaging that comes across whether a customer is engaging with your company’s sales presentations, website content and social media posts or as part of a one-on-one conversation with a sales rep.
Content intelligence — which takes an analytical view of your organization’s content activity and provides actionable insights on how to improve your content — can help you achieve the goal of brand consistency while showing you how to become more relevant to your customers.
With the insights gained from content intelligence, you’ll be able to consistently articulate the key brand differentiators that makes your company relevant to your customers. Here are several tips on how to gain brand consistency that wins over customers’ trust and loyalty.
Assess current content performance. Your company may already have the elements of a strong brand. With internal training, every team member may truly understand why your company is the best choice for your target audience. But if you’re not able to consistently get that message across in your content, customers may fail to recognize how your company is any different than your competitors.
Pull insights from customer data to get a better understanding of what customers really think of you. Then compare their perception of your brand with those of your main competitors. This type of analysis can help you identify areas in which a competitor has a high level of trust, indicated by higher engagement around a topic. As a result, it ca help you understand where your content is underperforming when communicating the value of your brand. It also can help you identify your strengths and how you can continue to leverage them to gain an edge.
Look for insights involving messaging themes, competitive framing and customers’ pains and challenges at each stage of the buyer journey. They can help you determine the aspects of your solution customers care about most, as well as how to consistently send the most relevant messages about your brand value in those areas.
Check your company’s performance. It’s also important to make sure your company is authentically living up to its brand promise. Content intelligence gives you the opportunity to understand how well your company is performing with your clients — particularly in answering their challenges and pains.
If your company’s promises aren’t living up to customers’ actual experiences, you may need to expand or improve your product offerings and enhance customer service. Use customers’ engagement and feedback to gain the insight you need about your company’s performance.
Form guidelines around the delivery of content. Many companies are diligent about enforcing the proper use of their logos and other aspects of their visual brand identity. Use that same careful approach to enforce brand consistency with the creation and publication of your content and other brand materials. These assets are equally important in helping customers shape their perspective of your brand.
After making any relevant revisions to your branding guidelines or content strategy, take the next steps to implementation. Keep in mind that you want to make it easy for your marketing and sales teams to incorporate them into all content and sales deliverables. This can include:
- Outlining guidelines on how to regularly enforce brand consistency
- Preferred language around your brand values and promises
- Developing personas that clearly define customer challenges and needs
- Building out a content strategy around prioritized content themes
- Identifying opportunities to share stories that clearly demonstrate brand value
Establish brand consistency through customer testimonials. Develop case studies by focusing on the customers that are among your biggest advocates; those who have experienced the results that your company has promised. Case studies and other forms of customer testimonials rank among the most effective ways to gain brand trust, according to a recent Vennli survey of 100 marketing leaders.
By using customer testimonials as part of your brand consistency strategy, you can leverage the impact of third-party validation in reinforcing your brand value.
Allow for flexibility. Developing a strategy around brand consistency doesn’t necessarily mean that it can’t evolve. Continually use insights from content intelligence to identify ways that you can more strongly connect with your customers. It’s realistic to be somewhat flexible as the needs of your customers will evolve with time.
Brand consistency, when developed through insights provided by content intelligence, gives you the ability to establish brand trust, brand awareness and brand loyalty — the key to gaining more conversions and boosting sales..
Let us show you how a content intelligence platform that provides actionable insights can guide your content strategy in ways that build brand consistency and drive growth. Contact us for a demo to learn more.