Why Brand Continuity Is So Important
Brand development is the sure way to get return on your investment. Staying the course in your strategy, however, is one of its toughest challenges. In fact, many business owners don’t really understand what brand continuity is, or why it’s so important. Let’s review.
Brand continuity – a tough challenge
It’s one of the most common marketing errors, because its discipline isn’t easy. Managers often use inconsistent logos and type styles haphazardly – one font on business cards, a different font on outside signage, print ads in a different style, and in house signs with completely different style combinations.
The result is the same. Mixed messages waste resources and confuse your audience. Consumers who don’t understand who you are don’t develop the trust that produces brand loyalty.
Why is brand continuity so important?
In advertising, ‘The Theory of Sevens’ is hotly debated and thoroughly researched. It refers to the number of times consumers see a message before it sticks. However, despite the details, we accept the notion that repetition is king, and consistency, its queen. No wonder marketing departments of Fortune 500 companies spend millions obsessively controlling the use of brand assets. (Association of Consumer Research, Stansky, 1988)
Whatever you establish as the primary representation of your practice, either stick to it or make plans to change it consistently throughout your organization. A tall order, yes, but that’s where Carestruck can be a valuable partner. Our growing client base trusts us to manage brand assets efficiently.
How to Achieve Brand Continuity
1.) Know Your Message – most stakeholders define success by their own perceptions, but fewer can define what makes them successful from their consumers viewpoint. What do patients depend on most from you? Believe it or not, it’s not your medical expertise. There’s always another expert. Something unique about you is driving your trust factor, and it varies from organization to organization.
2.) Communicate it – Staff should be clear about what your brand is from top management to the front desk. Not only should they should be able to repeat it to you, but they should have scripts that help them communicate it consistently to your customers. Companies that offer customers a consistent experience nurture client trust. It’s why big brands fiercely adhere to a singular customer experience.
3.) Own and control your brand assets – you’ll need them at your fingertips – consistently designed in various sizes, formats, and frames for any number of applications online, social media, and print media. Make sure they are fully licensed and can be reproduced at the exact specifications required for any application. Protect these assets, and be sure they’re used consistently in any market exposure.
Alternatively, count on Carestruck to do this for you. We’re trusted by a growing client base to manage brand assets for strategic results.
4.) Evaluate your customer experience – what are the messages and images experienced during a typical visit? Are they on message? If not, begin with the most primary element in that experience and tie all color pallets to that scheme. If you don’t like it, consider an investment to change it. You certainly won’t fix a bad brand asset by ignoring it.
Anchor the message visually and stay on course
5.) Determine an anchor element – identify the image or feature that defines your brand. After consistent exposure, refresh one or several elements of your media and maintain instant recognition. Have you ever gone to the supermarket and missed the product you want because the packaging changed? Even in brands where products change frequently, i.e. Ben & Jerry’s or Bath & Body Works, a visual anchor makes packaging recognizable among a sea of choices. You can shift gears without sliding off message with an anchor element.
6.) Be vigilant – temptations will abound to slide off message visually or linguistically, second guess the strategy, fall in love with a new trend, or be influenced by a competitor. Resist these temptations and reap the rewards of brand continuity. You’ll witness an audience that begins to recognize you at a glance.
No matter how you look at it, brand continuity is important for all businesses.