A brand is more than just one thing. It is a collection of impressions, experiences, and relationships a company creates with its customers. Brand identity encompasses everything from the name and logo to the voice and tone of business communications to experiential details, like the tip jar by the cash register. It is the foundation upon which companies earn business, while brand consistency—the consistent expression and application of brand identity—is the foundation of maintaining customer loyalty.
From social media marketing to email subject lines to customer service interactions, brand consistency ensures that your company fosters trust and long-lasting relationships. Research confirms that quality, consistent communication retains customers and impacts the brand experience.
Establishing and maintaining brand consistency is essential but presents a challenge in the digital age’s ever-growing customer touchpoints and marketing channels. Here, we define brand consistency, explore its importance to your organization, and share practical tips to ensure your brand maintains consistent communications.
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What is brand consistency?
Brand consistency is the practice of acting in alignment with your brand’s values and mission, while expressing a steady, recognizable brand identity across all communication channels and brand touchpoints. Consistency is crucial to building recognition and trust with your audience, which ultimately leads to customer loyalty and increased revenue.
5 reasons why brand consistency is important
Brand consistency is vital for every business because it impacts the perception of your brand. Consistent, high-quality business communications and brand experiences build confidence in your company and lead to more engaged employees and customers. Here are five more reasons why brand consistency should be a top priority.
It improves brand awareness and recognition.
Research shows that brand consistency correlates with increased brand awareness, the first step in the buyer’s journey. The rule of seven, one of the oldest concepts in marketing, estimates the average buyer must be exposed to a brand seven times before making a purchase. Simply put, brands must be consistent and persistent to win business.
Consistency ensures quality customer experiences and increases loyalty.
Consistent branding isn’t just about being recognizable. Ultimately, it fosters familiarity and trust with your customers. Customers who feel high levels of trust are more likely to become loyal customers and discuss their positive experiences with others.
It drives brand reputation and increases perceived value.
A company that produces error-free, consistent communications projects authority, confidence, and expertise, while inconsistent experiences and even typos can diminish a business’s perceived value and make it appear less trustworthy.
A consistent brand attracts talent, inspires new hires, and improves employee retention.
When employees align with the brand values and mission, they are more likely to stick with the company over the years. As a result, productivity, job satisfaction, and company revenue rise while hiring and training costs decrease.
Brand consistency creates guidelines for best practices and provides a flexible framework for growth.
A strong brand isn’t just about having a recognizable logo and a catchy slogan. Consistent alignment between company values and business practices provides a unifying framework employees and customers can rally behind. Consistency doesn’t mean your brand won’t change. Rather, your brand identity guides your strategy and serves as a galvanizing roadmap toward evolution and growth.
Obstacles to brand consistency
Brand consistency may be essential, but it certainly isn’t easy. Here are common pitfalls companies encounter that can lead to inconsistent messaging and customer experiences.
Undefined or unclear brand values and identity
You can be consistent only if you know what your brand stands for and how it does business. Without a clear path, employees may have competing priorities and tactics, leading to an inconsistent brand experience. Explore and define your company’s core values first and then build your brand identity and communication strategy informed by what you’ve uncovered.
Not knowing your customers or trying to reach everyone
Understanding and empathizing with your customer is the best way to learn how to reach them and consistently create messaging that lands. But that quickly breaks down if you don’t know who you’re talking to or are trying to appeal to too many. Not only is it impossible to please everyone, but going too broad will confuse your messaging and prevent deep, consistent relationships with the customers who are naturally aligned with what you offer.
Mixed messages, varied tone, and imagery that lacks cohesion
If you strike a formal but helpful tone on your website, the customer service chatbot shouldn’t be overly familiar or casual. While you must vary the content type to fit the channel, the message and overall look and feel should have common threads that unite them.
Overcommitting to too many marketing channels
Digital marketing and our hyper-connected world have created more ways than ever to reach target customers. But trying to be everywhere is a recipe for inconsistency if you don’t have the bandwidth to keep the channels updated.
If you’re sending emails only when you need something or are slow to respond to inquiries, you’ll have difficulty creating lasting relationships.
Poor internal communication and lack of shared understanding among team members
It’s official: Miscommunication in the workplace can hinder customer experience and brand reputation. According to the Grammarly Business State of Business Communication report with The Harris Poll, one in five business leaders say a company’s brand perception deteriorated due to poor internal communication.
7 ways to keep your brand consistent
Define the company culture, values, and mission—and share them
Brand consistency begins internally. When a company defines its core values and mission, it creates a clear roadmap for employees to work toward the same goals. Ensure that the core values and mission are disseminated widely, and make onboarding and training a priority so your employees can become impactful brand ambassadors.
Identify your target audience and create customer profiles
Investing the time to get to know your customers or desired customers will save you time and money down the line and will help ensure your business communications and offerings have impact. Customer profiles can help you make many branding decisions, from what tone to strike to which marketing channels to invest in. A good customer profile includes demographic information as well as research around preferences, purchasing trends, struggles, desires, and other information that help you empathize with and understand your audience.
Create a company-wide style guide
If your brand values and target audience is your North Star, a style guide is your map to ensuring brand consistency. It’s one of the most important internal documents—especially as teams grow—in creating on-brand content, websites, marketing materials, and new campaigns. Equip your marketing teams with a content style guide to drive marketing tactics for each channel and to ensure all employees implement your brand voice guidelines.
A well-structured style guide opens with a discussion of the company’s mission, vision, and values. It then provides detailed instructions for logo presentation, color schemes, fonts, acceptable language, prohibitions, voice and tone, and any other details your team may need to maintain consistent branding across all platforms and interactions.
Define your marketing channels and write guidelines for each touchpoint
Refer to your customer profiles and company goals to determine which channels to prioritize in your marketing. For example, if your target audience is Gen Z, you may invest in TikTok content instead of banner ads. Once you define your main communication channels, create guidelines and content style guides for how your brand will interact that are informed by your brand’s voice, tone, and visual identity.
Set a communication or marketing cadence you can consistently meet
You can better foster brand loyalty when your customers know they can expect a weekly deals email every Friday or a monthly newsletter on the first Monday of the month. Whatever your cadence is, make sure it is something you can reliably deliver.
Use templates for visual content and remix marketing that works
Don’t reinvent the content wheel everytime you post on Instagram or email your mailing list. Instead, create content that’s repeatable and remixable. For instance, create a template for a customer story on Instagram, retaining the visual elements and format while changing up the details every week or every month. Not only have you saved brainstorming time, but you’ve quickly filled out your content calendar with repeatable, on-brand campaigns.
Monitor and improve brand consistency continuously
Once you’ve established your culture, value, and mission and shared them widely via a style guide, it’s critical that you monitor and analyze your brand consistency. Consider conducting quarterly content audits or monthly business reviews to course-correct issues across teams.
Implementing innovative tools like Grammarly Business can help with daily course corrections by providing team members real-time feedback wherever they write. Grammarly’s AI writing partner goes beyond style guide adherence with a handy brand tones feature to coach teams on messaging that may sound off-brand. With Grammarly Business, you can onboard and upskill new hires, improve confidence among multilingual employees, and present a clear and consistent brand experience in your written communication.
Examples of successful brand consistency
Patagonia crafts its brand story around value-aligned action.
Love for the planet and environmental activism are the driving forces of gear purveyor Patagonia’s brand story. This narrative shows up in the stories Patagonia produces, its brand campaigns rooted in environmental activism, and especially in terms of company resources. For decades, Patagonia implemented a self-imposed “Earth tax” by donating a portion of its revenue to grassroots action to fight the climate crisis. And in 2022, Patagonia’s founder made major waves by making Earth the company’s only shareholder.
Warby Parker maintains a witty, sophisticated, and slightly irreverent tone.
The boutique eyewear company posts on Instagram as if it’s your most stylish yet approachable best friend, sharing relatable memes with warm, witty captions. Warby Parker’s website is more direct and helpful, but manages to sneak in its signature humor with wordplay and double entendre, such as in this tagline: “We’ve got your eyes covered.”
Mailchimp employs consistent visual elements.
Mailchimp maintains a consistent visual identity with its now iconic logo of a chimpanzee, which is used across its website, social media, and marketing materials. The brand incorporates bright colors and bold design elements across its platforms, driving home an assertive yet playful brand voice.
Brand consistency FAQs
What is brand consistency?
Brand consistency is maintaining a steady brand image, communication, and experience across customer touchpoints.
Why is brand consistency important?
Brand consistency is important because it ultimately fosters customer trust and loyalty, directly impacting revenue over time.
What are brand consistency blockers?
Blockers to a consistent brand presence include a lack of clarity around brand identity and mission, poor internal communication, and missing or incomplete style guides that outline best practices for each channel.
What are essential ways to maintain consistency?
Companies can maintain brand consistency by clearly defining their brand’s identity, arming employees with comprehensive style guides, and using AI-powered writing assistance to monitor and correct inconsistencies in real time.