McDonald’s, Virgin, Coca-Cola: what do these brands have in common?
No matter where we are in the world, we recognise them. We feel comfortable in their presence and know what to expect.
Every piece of communication is consistent.
But it’s about more than colour, logo and catchphrase. Every message, every word, has been carefully crafted and written to fit consistently within the constraints of the brand.
Think: packaging, proposals, sponsorship, advertising, website, timing – even architecture. Consistency is their key to brand awareness and customer loyalty – it can be yours, too.
Do your stakeholders, clients and supporters get that same level of consistency and feeling of confidence from each mode of communication they receive from you?
More than visual
Consistent language, messages and presentation are as critical as having the same look-and-feel for every piece of marketing material.
Maintain consistency wherever your brand goes, whether it’s in an email, your email signature, your website or a letter.
Your key messages need not be repeated word for word each time you make contact with your audience, but they should build the same confidence across every item of communication.
Develop a directory of messages to prevent your communication becoming disjointed or even confusing. This is particularly useful when several people are working on your external communications: letters, website updates, blog entries.
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Make your communication easy to recognise – and to understand. By developing templates, you can ensure your clients are presented with a consistent layout each time you communicate. They will know exactly where to go for critical information such as an event location or your contact details.
If you have a larger document such as an annual report, make sure the layout and formatting are consistent throughout.
Language and style
Establish a writing style that reflects you and your brand, and suits your target audience. Whether it is formal, conversational, punchy, or wordy, keep the same style throughout your document and subsequent communications. Creating a style guide can help with this.
Add credibility to your messages by ensuring spelling, grammar and punctuation are correct – and consistent.
Consistency in timing – how often you make contact with your audience – is also important. A subtle balance that keeps you ‘top of mind’ without being annoying should rule your communications plan.
How do you maintain consistency across your client communications to help build brand awareness?