Consistency is king!

“It’s incredibly important because consistency in itself is also a brand promise you are always delivering on – it’s also part of the identity, so it has to be clear what the brand is all about.”
Björn Von Matérn, vice-president of corporate communications at The Absolut Company.*
http://aton-mebel.ru

Let’s be honest here. How many of us, when considering a new piece of marketing communication, consider in detail what we’ve already said to that market, and how we’ve said it. Going further, do we examine the consistency of those messages and the way that they are delivered across different media?

All established businesses and organisations will have worked out and applied their USP (Unique Selling Point) over some time. For startups, it’s vital that this is arrived at quickly, so that they can start to carve out a distinctive and differentiating market position in their chosen sector.

Whatever the situation, experience tells us that brands are all about behaviour, and that audiences will only buy from brands that they trust. How can they develop that trust? By behaving consistently – by doing and saying things that are useful and helpful to customers and that they are the same things they said last year, or five years ago.

So how can you achieve this all-important consistency?
The first step is to look at the message hierarchy in your marketing materials. Are you communicating the most important things – the things that will influence a buying decision – in the right order?

Messages should be ordered like this:

Has your business created a unique innovation or insight? Communicate the most important customer benefit/point of difference that should be remembered.

These must support your USP and may include information on elements such as service and quality standards.

…but less important, such as interesting product or service features, testimonials (from real, contactable sources) and useful technical details.

It’s important to check the quality and hierarchy your selling messages on a regular basis – every three months as a rule of thumb. This is good practice, whether you run an established business (or are responsible for its marketing) or are contemplating starting one from scratch.

Have you seen our Reverse Design Tips? Reverse Design Tips is an occasional series of short blog posts on improving design and marketing communications. It is aimed at SMEs, graphic design students and marketing professionals – anyone interested in making communications work better and look good.

Find all our Reverse Design Tips at #ReverseDesignTip on Twitter – an occasional series of short blog posts on improving design and marketing communications. It is aimed at SMEs, graphic design students and marketing professionals – anyone interested in making communications work better and look good.

See also:
*Marketing Week article: Consistent branding: Don’t mess with it

 

Consistency is king!Sinclair Ashman
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