Businesses across the world enthusiastically adopt branding strategies to lure quality business from customers. In most cases, they achieve the initial phase of branding, the implementation stage, without any issues. But when it comes to the advanced stages and constant updation, they miss out due to a variety of reasons. It becomes an issue of consistency of branding as well as an unprofessional brand identity. How can you avoid such issues for your business? These five crucial steps will help you give a consistent and professional experience to your customers.
1. Initiate a holistic brand audit
A holistic brand audit will help you understand where your business stands and the expectations of your customers from your business. It is important to analyze how customers see your business, your products, and services. This analysis will give you insights on what you are lacking, where you need to improve, and how you should make your brand voice consistent and professional. Similarly, you should initiate a competitor analysis on every aspect of their businesses including their websites, SEO, brand identities, and more. You must prepare a plan on how to market your brand and how you’re going to implement it. Such an analysis will help you discover the areas where you need to focus on presenting yourself as a better brand.
2. Design a brand guide
To make your brand journey consistent and flawless, you should come up with a brand guide and place it as a rule book on branding matters. Your brand guide should have comprehensive information about the procedures and rules for various branding initiatives. It should have your brand mission, differentiators and value propositions, voice and tone, iconography, logo usage, brand colors, media formatting, fonts and typography, graphic styles, signage specs, and more. You should also include the elements and insights you got from the brand audit. It is also recommended that multiple individuals work on the branding process so that everyone is well-versed with the guidelines. This will help deliver a consistent brand identity across all campaigns and communication.
3. Ensure everyone follows the brand guide
Your next job is to ensure everyone in your business follows the brand guide. This is extremely important as it not only explains how the business should be presented but also describes the principles on what it was built. Apart from the design and marketing departments, everyone should learn how to use the taglines of the company, logos and graphics, forum accounts, social media profiles, and more. All of these together contribute to the consistency of the brand identity. Most importantly, you should ensure that your team understands the importance of maintaining consistency in all spheres.
4. Update the Current Branding Materials
After creating a brand guide, you should ensure that your existing branding materials follow the same. You should check and update web pages, social media accounts, posts in social media, signage, business cards, brochures, videos, presentation slides, and any other branding materials. During this process, you will get opportunities to expand your branding efforts to newer areas including store décor, packaging and labels, on-hold messaging, employee uniforms, and more. The most important part of branding is the experience your customer has with your business. Therefore, you should ensure consistent service standards in every customer-facing points in your business.
5. Regular Audits and Continuous Improvement
Over a period of time, your business can tend to move away from implemented branding guidelines. Such a situation will lead to inconsistency in branding identity. It is important to conduct regular audits to ensure that your team is implementing brand guidelines stringently and effectively. You can also create a Branding Police Squad to check various visual channels and customer touch-points at frequent intervals to ensure that there is uniformity across the organization. In the meantime, you should also try to evolve to better brand messages, new branding elements, improved branding parameters, and include them as part of your brand guide. Scheduling an annual update, making necessary changes based on the new requirements, and bringing them to the workforce will help you evolve and improve your brand journey.
Since branding is a never-ending journey, you should be open to continuous improvement. When you work towards branding consistency, it helps to make your business more scalable and result-driven.
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