How to Maintain Brand Consistency With Software

Branding consistency is crucial in today’s landscape. With increased competition for consumer attention—and advertising coming at them from television, podcasts, social media etc.— you have to stand out more than ever to capture your target audience.

What’s more, you must present a similar message across all those channels. Brand management software has a variety of uses, but one of its main functions is to help your company stay consistent when it comes to presenting branded content (e.g., images, slogans, marketing copy).

We polled two hundred consumers to get their thoughts on brand consistency.  In this article, we examine the results of the poll and highlight the most important aspects of brand consistency.

We’ll also show you how brand management software can help you with that process.

(Click on a link below to jump to that section.)

Why Consistency Matters
When It’s Okay To Make a Change
Quality Matters—For Both Message and Product
Consistency Creates Positive Buzz

Why Consistency Matters

We asked respondents, “Which of the following is most important to you when it comes to being loyal to a brand?”

According to our poll, 41 percent of consumers rate the brand’s consistency as the most important factor when it comes to being loyal to a brand.

A brand’s authenticity, relevancy and transparency are all far less important, indicating that consumers may be less concerned with how a favorite brand is perceived than they are with that brand being consistently reliable.

Most Important Aspects of Brand Loyalty
brand loyalty

Why is consistency the most important factor in brand loyalty? Because consumers want to reliably recreate what they like about a product or service every time they purchase it. The assurance that they will consistently receive that experience is what builds up their loyalty to the brand.

As Jody Vandergriff, the founder and CEO of brand management software provider WebDAM, explains:

“Brands are ultimately about relationships and building trust. When your customers expect one thing, and you give them something else, you break that trust. So consistency is key. When a brand you love acts in an unexpected way, it’s as if one of your friends has suddenly changed.”

Jody Vandergriff, founder and CEO of WebDAM

For example, if you want a Coca-Cola, you know to look for the red label with the signature font, and you don’t want to be surprised by what you taste when you take your first sip.

How Can Brand Management Software Help?

Brand management software can help you maintain that consistency. As Vandergriff notes, the software is “a platform for customized environments for guidelines, approved materials and everything a brand and its partners require to keep a brand on track.”

A dynamic brand management system is easier to keep up-to-date than a static PDF. It also provides a centralized hub for brand materials and assets that can be easily accessed company-wide.

WebDAM’s asset management page
 

When It’s Okay To Make a Change

Sometimes, of course, you need to make changes to your branding, to keep pace with contemporary styles and standards. The key is to do this without alienating your already loyal customers. After all, you don’t want to be the next New Coke.

We asked our survey respondents, “Which of the following changes to your favorite brand would you react most negatively to?”

The majority of respondents—63 percent—say that none of the changes we listed would bother them.

Brand Changes Consumers Would React Negatively To
negative brand changes

Vandergriff points out, though, that consumers may not even be aware of just how much these kinds of changes can affect them:

Brand choices are made primarily by emotion—we choose the brands we like and feel good about. But we justify our choices with rational reasons.

Jody Vandergriff, founder and CEO of WebDAM

What this data point indicates is that brands do have a certain leeway to enact change.

Anna Cotton, head of marketing for brand management software Brandworkz notes, “Naturally in the course of business and brand management, things change. But what stays the same is what the brand stands for.”

So, you can make changes to your products, as long as the basic reliability and underlying values of your brand remain strong.

Apple, for example, updates their product line regularly, and sends older versions into obsolescence. However, because the traits of their brand carry over from product to product (sleek, innovative, intuitively designed etc.), they keep their customers’ loyalty.

How Can Brand Management Software Help?

How can you use brand management software to ensure that any changes you do make stay within the bounds of trust you’ve built?

As Cotton points out, software allows companies to share their brand philosophy across various internal teams. Features such as digital asset management, brand guidelines, web-to-publish and approval workflow allow teams to centrally access the materials they need.

By keeping everyone in the loop, the system can help to ensure that no individual or team will implement a strategy that might conflict with the core values of the brand without direct approval.

Quality Matters—For Both Message and Product

When asked, “Which of the following statements reflect how you feel about your favorite brand?” over half (54 percent) of all respondents say, “I enjoy the brand because I like the product.”

How Consumers Feel About Their Favorite Brand
consumers feel about favorite brand

However, both Cotton and Vandergriff once again warn that consumers may be underestimating the role that branding plays in their decisions. Vandergriff explains:

Customers care about the product or service primarily. But brands are the substance that represents every experience and interaction people have with a product or service.

Jody Vandergriff, founder and CEO of WebDAM

As Cotton notes, the brand and the product work in cooperation with one another to create a consistently high-quality experience for customers. The quality of your brand message must match the quality of your product.

How Can Brand Management Software Help?

The quality of your product may be outside the purview of brand management software, but maintaining customer engagement with the product through branding is not.

For example, Cotton says the primary goal of Brandworkz is to allow marketers to “influence their whole company to understand the brand promise and provide customers with extraordinary brand experiences.”

Brand management software facilitates communication between the marketing department and other teams across the company.

This ensures that the customer service team, as well as others, is aware of the brand message and delivers it consistently. Thus, the same message reaches consumers every time they interact with your brand.

Consistency Creates Positive Buzz

The final question in our survey asked respondents, “From which of the following sources are you likely to receive information about your favorite brand?”

Almost a third—30 percent—say that they receive information from friends or through word of mouth.

The other channels of information listed—social media, television advertising, company website or email list and internet advertising—are all sources of information for at least a sixth of respondents.

How Consumers Receive Information About Their Favorite Brand
how consumers get brand info

This shows that there is a large variety of sources from which your customers will be gathering information about your brand, but that word-of-mouth looms large among them.

How Can Brand Management Software Help?

The lesson that Cotton takes from this response is that you need to fully empower all of your teams by giving them the necessary tools to allow them to instantly share and access branded materials and content.

This, she asserts, is when customers share positive experiences on both social media and via word-of-mouth.

By facilitating the use and approval of branded materials, brand management software can help you maintain a consistent message across these different channels of information and create positive word of mouth that consumers will then spread to their friends.

Next Steps

Here are some next steps as you figure out how brand management software can help you remain more consistent in your branding efforts:

  • Email me at andrewfriedenthal@softwareadvice.com for more information. I’m happy to assist you as you figure out what your own brand management software needs might be, and connect you to one of our expert software advisors for a free, no-obligation consultation!

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