“Wow, they look exactly like I pictured.” Most of us have had a similar thought at some point, whether in reference to a celebrity, blind date, or even distant cousin. But have you ever thought about image synchronization when it comes to your brand?
The truth is, maintaining synchronicity in your brand image is a critical – but often overlooked – conversion driver. Consider the following when building your brand:
Start at square one.
Think about your visitors’ experience from every point of entry. Imagine they start by learning about your brand and work their way down to the retail locations that sell your products. What is the user experience like for them? Does it represent your brand correctly? Does it feel like a natural progression throughout the varied online properties? We call this “maintaining the scent” in the conversion path, and it’s a proven factor in increasing conversion rates.
Consistency drives conversion.
The consistent look and feel of a product, a brand, or even a campaign is critical to earning the trust of a buyer. That’s why it’s so important to make sure a product appears the same, even on different websites. If its appearance varies, a buyer starts to doubt the product and lose trust in the brand – maybe without even realizing it.
For example, cloud accounting company FreshBooks saw its conversion rate plateau until it hired a brand consistency professional and created a brand book. Now, when hiring new team members, the company gives everyone who makes it through the first round of interviews a copy of the brand book and asks them to execute a communications project while maintaining brand consistency. If they fail, they don’t get hired. It sounds harsh, but that’s how crucial a consistent brand image truly is.
Touch Points Are Key.
As a brand owner, you must care about every possible way a prospect or customer can experience your brand. Throughout the buying process, make sure all the customer touch points are in sync and on message — no matter the medium, device, or location. If a customer sees your logo on a billboard in the morning, goes to your retail location in the afternoon, and visits your website at night, he or she should see the same brand identity at each touch point. That way, by the end of the day, you’ve instilled a clear, consistent brand image that guides customer perception. Ultimately, it will make them more likely to buy your product. For example, Red Bull does a great job of representing its brand consistently, both on and offline. The brand makes the integration work because its online presence faithfully conveys the same message as its events.
No matter what your marketing efforts are, they need to be in sync. Once a campaign goes live, your brand image has to be everywhere. When customers see your ad, website, social update, email, or any other marketing material, they should see the same effort. You don’t want multiple messages, out-of-date offers, or dead links in the consumer’s path. Instead, you want them to recognize your brand the moment they see it and think, “Wow, it looks exactly how I pictured it.”
Mark Regan currently serves as the chief marketing officer for PowerChord, Inc., a digital marketing agency that connects large brands, independent retail networks, and consumers in a seamless, branded environment. Regan has more than 20 years of experience developing and executing marketing strategies for a diverse range of B2B and B2C organizations. Throughout his career, he has been instrumental in leading initiatives for multi-million dollar marketing campaigns, new product launches, and the integration of social media and interactive tools for companies like STIHL, Club Car, Ariens, Gravely and Sylvan Learning.