There’s no two ways about it: branding is important. It defines what your business looks like, what it says and how it behaves. A brand’s consistency across all of these areas can demonstrate integrity, quality, honesty, and help to develop an important and lasting bond with customers.
Whether you’re attempting to establish your brand’s position or make some changes to how it’s viewed, there are no ‘quick fixes’ that can guarantee success overnight. Reputation is earned, but consistency of your brand and tone of voice is a good place to start.
Good branding starts from the inside: if your employees are all on the same page about your values, proposition and core messages, every single one of them will outwardly display those to your consumers and audience. As your company’s points of contact with the customer, all employees should fully and properly represent what you stand for, whether they’re providing customer service or talking to the press. You may have the best product on the market, a state-of-the-art website and very attractive prices – but if consumers score you poorly for customer care, it can often be enough to do serious damage to your reputation. Bringing every aspect of your image together is the aim of consistent branding, yet it will always be what you actually do and say that counts the most.
True brand consistency requires a high level of discipline, especially for companies that create a lot of content. It’s rare for a brand with an online presence to use only one social network, so maintaining the look and feel of every page gives users no doubt who they’re talking to.
For companies with an intranet, an internal content marketing strategy can be an effective way to inspire the workforce. Thinking about the user experience for your employees starts the conversation about your brand activity internally, preparing you to join the external discussion with consumers. Providing reference materials and tools that make their work easier, created in your brand’s style and tone of voice, can instil values at an early stage and increase job satisfaction through a sense of identity and belonging.
Engagement with a brand’s values is always important, and much more so when there’s more at stake for the consumer (e.g. within the NHS, where a lack of employee engagement could have a detrimental impact on patient care). No matter which sector or industry you work in, creating internal brand consistency is one of the smartest moves a company can make.