Imagine you go to a party. The invitation wasn’t specific as to what kind of party you were invited to, but you show up with a bottle of wine in hand. Various people are wearing costumes, formal wear, and everyday clothes. The decorations range from a sign that says “Congratulations,” random flower arrangements, New Year’s streamers, and clashing colors and prints. The food consists of various ethnic casseroles, birthday cake, cereal, and soda – no alcohol. The guests are singing Irish pub tunes or Spanish love songs and others are dancing to country music.
What is going on?
Think of this party as your business brand. If your customer can’t figure out what the theme of the party is, nobody’s going to want to stick around. It’s too confusing to have fun.
Your brand is the entire experience your customers have with your business. It’s derived from who you are, want to be, and how people perceive you.
If your brand is inconsistent, people will lose faith in your ability to deliver a product or service that meets their needs and in the way they want to experience it. The key to branding is to know who you’re selling to and tailor everything around them.
To keep your brand consistent, look at these areas:
- Physical Qualities – Things seen by the target audience like color, shape, logo, or images. It’s the visual representation of your company.
- Personality – How your audience recognizes your image. It can be described as stylish, philanthropic, calming, or bold.
- Culture – This represents your values and principles.
- Perception – What the customer thinks about when encountering your business and how they see themselves experiencing your product or services.
Brand inconsistencies could be any of the following:
- Using different styles of language or tone.
- Promoting your brand in multiple and conflicting locations.
- Using different visual styles.
- Not having stable values.
Branding is a real investment in your business. Make sure you know the theme of your party and invite the appropriate guests.