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Is Your Brand Inconsistent? Here’s What to Check.

business marketing website Jun 05, 2020

7 min read

You’ve put blood, sweat, tears, and gallons of coffee into building up your brand. You’ve perfected the intangibles and polished the tangibles. Or have you?

Small inconsistencies are hard to spot, but they can put a significant tarnish on all of the hard work you put into building your brand. 

Everything from logos, language, websites, social media, and Google search results contribute to your brand image. 

In customers’ eyes, branding inconsistencies cast a negative light on your company, making it seem disorganized, unprofessional, confusing, and low-quality. 

 

The Fix: Check for Branding Inconsistencies

Branding goes beyond the visual and also encompasses all the nooks and crannies that are often overlooked with so much content available online. 

Cue brand management. 

Brand management is the process of managing a brand’s reputation and improving perception in order to build awareness, equity, and loyalty (all keys to brand success!). It is the phase that follows initial brand building and centers around monitoring and maintaining.

When all brand elements align, companies can:

  • Boost brand awareness
  • Charge more for their products or services
  • Better influence customers’ purchase decisions
  • Build customer loyalty
  • Increase sales

But to reap these benefits, it’s paramount to have a consistent brand across all aspects. To help cover all of your bases, start by analyzing these areas where inconsistencies are likely to occur:

  • Voice and tone
  • Product descriptions
  • Email communications
  • Social media profiles
  • Reviews and ratings

 

Case Study

Cali’s fitness coaching business has grown significantly in the past year so she’s hired an assistant to help with the increasing responsibilities of running a growing brand. She put in a ton of work into building a recognizable personal brand, but must now switch over to brand management as she’s started noticing some inconsistencies now that she has another person on board.

After an initial brand audit, Cali found the following issues:

  • Voice and tone
    • Both Cali and her assistant have been writing blog posts, and while some variety in writing style is good to keep the audience interested, there are definitely major differences in tone and style that could possibly leave readers confused about “who” the brand is. 

  • Product descriptions
    • Cali offers several training programs for purchase on her website and knows that many customers look closely at what is included with each when making their purchase decision. Ideally, each description should be offering similar information so customers are comparing “apples to apples.” However, that’s currently not the case since she has recently added several new programs in haste. 

  • Email communications
    • On a couple of occasions, Cali and her assistant communicated with the same customers but gave them conflicting information that left the individuals confused and not sure what the correct information was. 

  • Social media profiles
    • Currently, Cali has profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and Twitter. She finds it difficult to keep up with all accounts and mostly just posts on Instagram and Youtube, leaving her other profiles relatively outdated. 

  • Reviews and ratings
    • After a Google search, Cali found no third-party reviews of her services that would cause any branding issues. 

 

How to Fix Inconsistencies

Voice and Tone

Create a content style guide to share with your team contributing to writing marketing content or even just to keep yourself consistent. Include guidelines for what kinds of stock photos to use, what language to avoid, stance on oxford commas, and any other stylistic rules you want to follow. Identify the overall feeling you want to leave readers with, as this will largely influence the tone of your written content.

Product Descriptions

Product descriptions or feature pages can often significantly differ from each other in style, length, and amount of information included. Whether you offer a couple services or 50 different kinds of products, conducting a bi-annual website audit helps keep everything on your website consistent. Small updates here and there can add up with time, leaving your product/service descriptions with contrasting messaging. 

Email Communications

Similar to the content style guide, an email style guide will help standardize on-brand communication with those outside of your company, especially important as you add members to your team. Include guidelines on what language to use and avoid and how to respond to questions, requests, and comments.

Social Media Profiles

Social media consistency is one of the first things customers will notice. If you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and a slew of other platforms, how consistent with posting can you truly be? Choose two or three platforms to focus on that align with where your audience flocks to, and dedicate yourself to those. Delete accounts from any platforms you don’t use. No Twitter account is better than a Twitter profile with just a couple tweets from two years ago.

Reviews and Ratings

If company info, such as location, phone numbers, and descriptions, isn’t correct, reach out to the review sites with a request to update the mistakes. As far as negative reviews go, we all know that people tend to blast their negative experiences more than positive ones. Reach out to your best customers and ask them to leave reviews in order to portray a more accurate and balanced portrait of your brand. 

Remember, a well-managed brand is a successful one. Consistent brand monitoring helps keep all of your brand assets in check and alleviates any possible issues down the road.

 

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