⌚ 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.
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:
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:
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
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 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.
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.