Lessons from three industries on the importance of brand consistency

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It’s easy to forget the importance of your brand. After all, you’re busy building a product and a business. And isn’t a brand just a logo and a color palette anyway? While some businesses may get away with this perception for a while, the most successful businesses recognize that a strong brand has the power to drive customer loyalty and satisfaction. A strong brand can only be built if the entire organization is consistent in following the brand guidelines. The real estate, franchise and higher ed industries are frequently painfully aware of how difficult yet critical maintaining brand consistency can be.

Real Estate

Real estate brokerages sell their services based on the reputation they’ve developed for decades. Luxury firms build trust from the quality of the paper they print their flyers on to the level of service their agents offer. Unlike a traditional business, a real estate brokerage does not directly employ the agents that work for their brand. Rather agents are individually contracted and often have their own business goals and brand name to promote. Additionally, real estate marketing is fast-paced, so keeping up with content demands can be tough.

Overall, real estate brand managers have to balance keeping marketing materials consistent and on brand while keeping their agents happy. Typically, the brokerages achieve this by having dedicated content creators who help fulfill content requests and check that each piece of content is consistent. Other businesses can learn from this commitment and how some of the most well know real estate brand have benefited from this consistency.

Frachises

Franchises also dedicate an extensive amount of time and resources to building brand consistency. Brand consistency is important for franchises for two reasons. One, it ensures that every end-customer has a consistent experience with every branch they enter. Two, it ensures the brand name stays valuable, so that small business owners will want to purchase the right to use the franchise name and resources.

The central marketing team for a franchise will provide on-brand marketing materials to individual branches to ensure the collateral stays consistent.

Higher Education
Higher ed contains some of the most well-known brands. Think of the power associated with the name “Harvard” or “MIT”. Maintaining a university brand isn’t easy. With multiple colleges and dozens of departments all catering to professors, students, prospective students, donors and alumni, ensuring content stays on brand is a critical but monumental task.

Similar to franchises, colleges and universities frequently employ a central marketing and design team who own the university brand and help create collateral that is well-designed. This requires extensive prioritization and turning down requests that aren’t as critical to the university.

Takeaways

1. Measure the impact of brand consistency

The industries described above depend on a strong brand to stay in business, but every industry can benefit from brand consistency. Evaluate where their are disconnects in your current brand experience and how bridging those gaps can improve your bottom line.

2. Dedicate resources to support brand consistency

Having a team dedicated to education employees and enforcing the brand will go a low way in developing your brand and keeping rogue content at bay.

3. Prioritize

At the end of the day, you can’t control everything, so prioritize the content that will have the most impact, and allow some flexibility with smaller projects.

Overall, your business will be healthier, and your customers happier if you focus on maintaining your brand experience.

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