Brand Consistency Matters

Dear Christian Radio,

What’s in a name? Everything.

Everyday, we are surrounded by various products, media, and businesses that have logos, images, words, and sounds that define them. That is called branding.

I recently ran a poll on social media, and I asked users to identify what was in this image:

What is this? Is it a:

A. Soda
B. Carbonated Beverage
C. Pop
D. Coke

The results were unsurprising – out of approximately 200 votes:

A. Soda 25%
B. Carbonated Beverage 8%
C. Pop 3%
D. Coke 64%

What does this mean? It means that Coca-Cola® is not only brilliant at marketing and branding, but that they have achieved branding in its ultimate form by symbolically owning an entire industry with their name. They have taken a dark brown carbonated beverage and made it their own.

One could speculate if I’d run a similar poll on Pepsi, the results would be very similar. Even on a product like Kleenex® – most people ask for a “Kleenex”, not a tissue. What would a survey likely say about a box of Puffs® Plus Lotion? Even though the catchiness factor is there, most would probably say they would still ask for a Kleenex.

In the short time you’re reading this, I’d like for you to consider three points about branding consistency:

Look & Feel: The look and feel of your brand matters. You want people who experience your brand to engage with it and get to know it quickly. Most importantly, you want folks to trust you (the brand). Everything from your logo to your product needs to create these authentic experiences.

Messaging: Your brand has to authentically communicate the tone, ideology, vision, and mission behind your product. If you look at older product branding and advertising on television or in older publications, you’ll see that products and brands were supported by lengthy, descriptive paragraphs about each product. It could take the average consumer a couple minutes just to read the ad. When you look at ads and branding today, you see that action and brevity speak louder than words. The message of your brand should be short, sweet, and effective.

Consistency: The most important of the three points on branding is being consistent. This is how Coca-Cola® was able to quickly rebound after that recipe experiment. You want your brand to evoke the same look and feel every time someone sees your logo or product, and you not only want your message to be received consistently, but to be reinforced every time it’s seen by the consumer. Consistency can be reinforced by establishing brand guidelines, which solidify the look, feel, and messaging of your brand.

Brand consistency matters.

What does your brand look like? What kind of emotions does the style of your brand evoke?

What message does your brand send?

Are you being consistent with your brand?

Remember – trial and error, embracing failures, and allowing failure to lead into greater innovations and successes will help grow and increase awareness of your brand.

Matt Billingsley
Art Director
Positive Alternative Radio

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