The Battle For Brand Consistency: Getting Departments On-Board And Building Internal Brand Advocates
Get buy-in from all your company’s departments and safeguard the future of your products and services by promoting brand consistency.
Brand Consistency Is King.
Because of the digital era, we now operate in an increasingly global marketplace – it’s important that you master your brand to ensure your company’s ‘voice’ remains steadfast in a world crowded with mixed messaging.
After all, companies who have mastered brand consistency have achieved great things.
Think Apple, Google, Microsoft, Vodafone…
But the digital era has seen the challenges facing marketers evolve rapidly.
That as your brand is deployed through multiple channels – from traditional outbound marketing through to social networks – brand consistency can suffer, creating the potential for diluting or even harming your brand and its representation.
Whether your company is local or global, all departments need to be on the same branding page – or risk looking out of step and unconnected in the eyes of savvy buyers who demand and expect a consistent experience wherever and whenever they engage with you.
And if you can’t present a unified brand to customers, what does that say about you, your products and your services?
But how do you deal with such a disparate threat?
Personnel Non Grata
● Don’t work in a silo or make other departments feel sidelined.
● Give them a seat at the marketing table.
● Let them know that their opinion counts.
Reach out to departments and staff
You can do this through collaboration software, regular meetings, email campaigns, instant messaging and in-house social media channels to allow fresh ideas, new products/services and campaign themes to be discussed and include external providers where applicable.
The aim? To create buy-in from the top down to the bottom, giving everyone the opportunity to offer their feedback and insights.
Make Every Stakeholder Feel Like They Are Critical To Brand Consistency.
And in turn, you’ll increase their loyalty and awareness; something that money can’t buy – and critically, something that customers will pick up on in every interaction with your company.
After all, together, your brand will be stronger. Divided, it will be weaker.
Ask yourself – when was the last time you walked into an Apple store and didn’t feel that every single employee was an advocate for the brand.
Follow these three steps to ensure brand consistency:
1. Set out your core branding vision in a ‘brand charter’ that can be viewed by everyone in the company. Ensure that each department has their own area so they feel included and understand exactly what their role is in promoting and ensuring brand consistency.
2. Whether it’s an email boilerplate or an internal memo, create a marketing content library that clearly states how all and any communications should be branded correctly to encourage and retain consistency.
3. Archive old branding and offers, ensuring that they don’t interfere with the consistency of your current branding; marketplaces evolve quickly and continually, and so should your branding. For these reasons you need to be able to communicate your message quickly, efficiently, streamline the decision making process and always ensure that your brand is fresh and relevant.
The aim? To create a single, uncluttered and up-to-date source that all departments can use.
Promote Internally, Not Just Externally
Not only do consumers need to be won over, but so do employees.
So promote your brand and its products/services to all departments quickly as well as creating the potential for enthusiasm and advocacy for your brand’s vision. After all, your company’s brand vision is integral for both customers and employees.
It represents why either would want to engage and be affiliated with your company, its ethos, its association, what you stand for. Whether it be design excellence, value for money or being a renowned specialist in a niche sector.
Whatever your company stands for, that vision must be broadcast consistently across all marketing platforms – and advocated by your employees to ensure your vision is fit to meet the rigours of the modern marketplace.
The Right Comms To Promote Consistency
Consider deploying a unified communications strategy that both office based and remote workers can use to enable brand consistency. Some of the practical comms channels available include:
● Hold online webinars to inform, educate and enthuse employees; promoting best marketing practices, encouraging feedback and announcing new products or services.
● Hold meetings without the inconvenience of travelling or bloated budgets, video gives you the ability to bring departments together at zero cost wherever they are in the world whether they’re 100 miles away or 10,000.
The End Result
A consistent brand that everyone in the company will buy-in to. After all, it’s a strategy for brand consistency that they will all have helped to nurture and maintain, meaning they’ll become advocates for the brand, not because they have been told to by management, but because they’ve invested in it themselves.
● Don’t work in silos; everyone should be involved in dealing with brand consistency.
● Do promote clear brand guidelines that teams can engage and be creative with.
● Don’t just promote externally; engaged employees will drive external success too.
● Do deploy a unified communications strategy to allow your employees to get involved.
Ensuring branding consistency in a digital, multi-channel age is just one of the many challenges facing the modern marketer, find out how to show your worth as you overcome these challenges by downloading: 'The connected business: Proving the worth of marketing to the wider business now.'
This post first appeared on the Arkadin blog.