One of the many things we love about branding is that it isn’t rocket science, and it’s not some abstract artistic endeavour either (although creativity certainly does come into it) – branding is a defined, repeatable, reliable process, that when followed creates amazing results.
The branding process has two main parts – clarity and consistency. First things first, you need to take the time to really clearly articulate what your brand stands for, its greater purpose, who it serves, and how it benefits them. That is the beginning of the journey. But the magic happens when you communicate that consistently through every, single thing that you do. The way you write, the way you talk, the way your staff answer the phone, every piece of collateral, your product range, your marketing and content.
“Simple daily disciplines—little productive actions, repeated consistently over time—add up to the difference between failure and success.” Jeff Olson
CONSISTENCY IS A TRUST BUILDER
Think about your friends. A relationship is the result of thousands of moments, interactions, conversations. If they start to act in really inconsistent ways with you then it’s going to impact the relationship, how you feel about them. And it’s exactly the same with branding.
The thing is humans are hopeless when it comes to consistency, we get bored easily, looking for the next shiny distraction. One of our favourite quotes of all time is ‘Everything you want is on the other side of consistency’. It is SO true. And it applies to every aspect of both life and business. Want to get fit? Exercise every day. Want to feel healthy? Make good food choices. Want to feel calm? Meditate every day. Want to save money? Put a little bit away regularly. Want to be an amazing speaker? Practice a lot. Want to build a rockstar brand? Deliver your core message again, and again, and again, and again. Think you are being repetitive? At the point where you can’t bear it anymore? Great, people might just be starting to take notice!
THE POWER OF THE SLIGHT EDGE
The Slight Edge by Jeff Olsen is a fantastic book for understanding the impact of consistency, the fact that the power of compound interest doesn’t just relate to finance and that every little decision does matter. Everytime we make an excuse, make the wrong choice, don’t do the hard work it is contributing (or not contributing) to the longer term. It’s one of those books that makes you see the world that little bit differently from that moment on.
Which brings us back to branding. Branding is about the long term. It’s the foundation. The blueprint that remains constant. Marketing is about amplification, you can dial it up, or dial it down, try different mediums, channels, and creative approaches but the fundamental brand, the clarity, is still there, consistently shining through. There should be no doubt – ever – about who you are and what you stand for.
As they say ‘Beyoncé wasn’t built in a day’. Beyoncé is the culmination of the hard work. The consistent work. The countless decisions, endless details, the compound interest of being…. Beyoncé.
HOW TO CREATE CONSISTENCY IN YOUR BRAND
So, what can we do with our brands to embrace consistency and get them to rockstar status? Well assuming you have the clarity side of things completely nailed, then it’s:
- Creating clear guidelines. How does the brand need to sound, look, behave to create a consistent experience? You need guidelines that cover your positioning, visual identity and tone of voice.
- Auditing your business. What touchpoints, collateral, processes, products/services need to be aligned? Prioritise the list, delete the non essentials and sort out the rest one by one.
- Educating everyone. Does everyone involved understand what your brand stands for so they can live and breathe it? It’s not just for PR and marketing people. Customer service, accounts, they all need to be singing from the same song sheet.
Fighting off the boredom. This is a big one. Don’t start getting distracted because you see this cool thing, or think ‘wouldn’t it be great if….?’. Patience is key.
We know consistency isn’t that sexy, but we can guarantee you the results from consistency are pretty damn good. Stay the course. Do the hard work. Bank that interest.
Jodie + Em xx