A business’s brand plays a crucial role in the overall success of a business. A report from Circle Research found 77 percent of B2B marketing leaders believe branding is critical to growth. While the majority of marketers believe good branding is critical, many businesses struggle to identify how to go about defining and building a brand. The same report found a mere 39 percent of B2B companies have a clearly defined brand strategy.
For many businesses, “branding”, is seen as a secondary nicety rather than an essential component to the business. After all, is the perfect logo really as important than keeping the lights on? Evidence suggests it is. B2B companies with a strong brand generate a higher EBIT margin outperforming weak brands by 20 percent.
Consistency is frequently touted as the key to building a successful brand, but consistent in what? Let’s dive into the three types of brand consistency that can boost customer loyalty.
1. A Consistent Customer Experience
Establishing company values and a market position are important, but customers will only associate your company with those values if they experience it themselves. To do this a business must truly commit to those values and be just as willing to say, this customer is a bad fit as they are willing to say a customer is is a good fit.
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Being willing to say “no” is the only way to stay consistent in the quality of the product you deliver and in the way that you deliver it. One of the reasons Apple is able to deliver such quality customer service is because it chooses to only deliver a premium product. Yes, this excludes a potential market, but it also established the Apple product as a premium product.
2. Consistent Values
Many businesses immediately jump to corporate social responsibility or PR stunts when seeking to demonstrate their values. However, this is far less important than how the public perceives how you run your actual business. Some things that are more important to keep consistent include:
Claiming to be a sustainable company while sourcing material from vendors who don’t follow sustainable practices is inconsistent. Claiming to have a friendly, inclusive culture when upper management makes offhand discriminatory remarks is inconsistent. If you want customers to have a fun experience, employees who enjoy working in a fun atmosphere will be able to deliver that experience more consistently than employees who are asked to pretend that they are enjoying themselves.
3. Consistent Brand Identity Elements
The words “brand” and “brand identity” are often confused. A brand identity includes all of the visual components of a brand that represents the overall values and experience of a brand. While a brand identity cannot make up for a lack of consistency in the two areas mentioned above, it is crucial to helping customers recognize your brand. A simple, recognizable logo allows customers to easily identify you and remember everything that your brand stand for. Overtime, your selected typography, brand colors and icons will become familiar as well, establishing trust and comfort.
Building a brand takes time, but the earlier you start, the easier it is. Complete an audit of where your brand is consistent and where it’s lacking. Then set a goal to take the steps necessary to create a seamless brand experience. Your bottom line will thank you.