Is your branding consistent across all digital channels — your checklist?

The millennial consumer operates in super digital mode. Zendesk reports that 95% of people use three or more online channels to communicate with businesses for feedback, inquiry, requesting services, sharing their experience, and in other ways. Of these people, more than 60% use multiple platforms and devices.

It’s akin to a game of virtual peek-a-boo with brands never knowing where their consumer is or will be. This means that you must cover all bases and ensure that you meet your consumer no matter which channel, platform, or device he uses — and still make him feel that he is dealing with a single entity — a single identity — that of your brand. Sounds overwhelming? Not to worry, Litmus Branding, your branding agency in India, has your back. Here’s a checklist to help you remain consistent across digital channels.

Why is Brand Consistency important?

There’s no denying that if you want to build trust among your consumers today, you need a strong digital presence. This includes a presence across social media, networking platforms, landing pages, websites, and so on. You’re probably thinking that this is the biggest challenge because every business — big or small — is trying to stand out in the crowd — or differentiating as it’s called in marketing jargon. That’s true, but the more significant challenge is consistency. You have to stand out yet stay the same.

Your digital branding strategy is not a magic wand that you wave, and hey presto — your consumers walk into your sales funnel. It’s a slow process, and it takes time and persistence — if you want organic results, that is. Yes, you can invest in paid searches, social media advertising, and SEO, but ranking high in organic search results is a core pillar for branding.

How to get found organically in cyberspace?

Organic searches and mentions truly enhance the value of your brand. And if you want that, you must be patient — and consistent. Don’t fret though, we’ve got you covered. Here’s how you can ensure consistency throughout your digital channels.

How to ensure consistency across digital channels

To put it in one sentence — you must meet your consumer at all the internet touchpoints. The trouble is, you never know where he is likely to be. Besides, the millennial consumer will not accept your suggestions to visit your e-store, website, or join your Telegram or Whatsapp group. He expects to be serviced where he is — so you must meet him wherever he chooses to be.

Recommended: How to optimize your consumer experience (cx)

Now consider this — let’s say a brand A is on Facebook as well as YouTube. The two platforms are radically different — yet you must use them in such a way that your consumers recognize your brand and get the same message from both channels — and we’re just talking message here — conversion — or even CX — is still a few steps away. They get decent followership because they have posted awesome videos, images, and content. But then they suddenly find their consumers moving to channels like Telegram, where interaction is faster and easier. They scramble to get onto these channels, and in their hurry, they hastily repurpose some of the content and images they have already used on Facebook.

This strategy can backfire if you are not careful because the way people communicate on Facebook and Telegram is very different. And if you simply share your FB links on Telegram, you’re likely to come across as lazy and uncaring. So you must carefully craft your strategy to get onto Telegram. And this goes for every digital channel. So how would you do that?

The first step is to list all the digital channels where your consumers are likely to look for you. Remember, it’s about them and their convenience, so you should also understand your consumer’s journey across the internet. With these in hand, work down this checklist to ensure that your brand is consistent across cyberspace.

Be a Strong Personality

Does your brand have a strong personality? Do you have a clear goal, mission, and vision? Meeting your consumers more than halfway is essential, but you will want more about yourself and your brand once attracted. If they meet the same strong brand personality wherever they go, they will derive comfort and begin trusting your brand. So creating a strong brand persona that your consumer sees no matter what device he uses or which platform he looks at is the first step towards consistency.

Recommended: how to create brand identity

Align

Another important consideration is that you should understand your consumer’s pain points and how you can resolve them. The primary purpose of your brand is not to make profits. It is to help your consumer. Your mission, vision, and goals should be aligned with your consumer’s pain points, and from that will emerge a single brand message that you must send out to all your prospects.

Dove, for instance, does not have a brand statement or slogan. Yet every creative and collateral sends out the message that your skin is safe with Dove — that it is a source of confidence. It answers the allergic rash that some develop with even slightly harsh soaps and other beauty products.

Once you have your brand message down pat, the next step is obvious — take a deep dive into that list of digital channels and see how you can best leverage them to get your message across.

Watch Your Tone — and other aspects

Saying it right matters — no doubt. But are you saying it right all the time at every place? Whether emails, social media posts, blogs, or ad copy, every message should sound like it comes from the same source. That way, you’ll not only keep your consumer engaged, you’ll also build visibility and dependability. For instance, you could post the cutest visuals on Instagram and get millions of followers. Still, if you get preachy on Facebook — all your efforts will be in vain because your consumers will always be uncertain about your brand.

Remember that every digital channel is different. Instagram is more business-oriented than Snapchat, for example. Therefore, the purpose for which people post on Instagram is other than that for Snapchat — and so is the tone. Similarly, the visuals that you create so carefully for Instagram may not necessarily work on Facebook. You should watch out for such nuances if you want to be consistent across digital channels.

Get a Styling Guide

A styling guide is a document that lists the rules for consumer engagement and other aspects of the brand. For instance, one of the rules may be never to use negative language — either express or implied — in your content and creativity. Or maybe you want all your messages to be fun — like Kinder Joy, for instance. Their tagline is mum’s trust, child’s joy — and all their creatives show a doting mother watching the joy on her children’s faces when she gives them the little red and white egg.

List down all the dos and don’ts for your brand and circulate it among your team. Make sure everyone understands it and knows where to find it. In your style guide, make sure to cover all formats — such as visuals, video, written, and verbal communication. Mention the tone you want — and what you don’t want. Similarly, lay down the guidelines clearly as to what you can or cannot show in terms of visuals.

And once you’re list is ready — go back and update it regularly so that your whole team is on the same page. Sounds like too much work? Give Litmus Branding, your digital branding agency in Ahmedabad, a shout.

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Hiren Panchal

Founder and Promoter of Litmus Branding. Designer at the core. 20+ years in Advertising. Branding insights on fingertips. A man with wise marketing words.