Ask anyone who has used an online dating service and they will most assuredly have a story about a date whose profile didn’t reflect reality.
Maybe the person talks about being an avid reader, but the last book they read was Harry Potter in 2008. Maybe they claim to love the outdoors, but their definition of outdoors is laying by the pool with a pina colada.
It’s not “catfishing” in its most extreme form, but it’s enough of a disparity to give them a healthy dose of mistrust.
You may not realize it, but you’ve likely had a similar experience (though hopefully to a lesser degree) with a brand or company. You may have been puzzled, or worse, turned off, by a company whose identity wasn’t congruent in all contexts.
When we start working with a client, we take time to diagnose marketing gaps and areas for growth, so that we can provide a strategic plan. Do you want to know one of the main things we look for?
Why do we care so much about consistency? Because consistency builds trust. Most of our clients sell their expertise (or it’s their differentiating factor), and that means that trust is the bedrock of their business.
What does consistency look like?
This is often the most obvious to non-marketing people. It includes your logo, color palette, and typography.
Think about the words you use and the story you tell. Are you speaking to the same audience? Solving the same problem? Offering the same solution?
Consistency Across Channels
Do you have consistency across your marketing materials? Think about online and offline, website and social channels.
Consistency Across Storytellers
This helps your company or organization go beyond just the marketing team. How deep does the consistency run? We want the same story communicated by:
- social media posts crafted by your communications team
- sales collateral distributed by a member of the sales team
- onboarding documents shared by the HR team
- the annual report your VP shares with investors
It should all sound and look like the same company with the same story even if it’s adapted a bit to fit the context.
Consistency will help build trust, but consistency will also make you more memorable.
As Donald Miller likes to say, “Marketing is just an exercise in repetition.” If you want effective marketing, you need to consistently show up the same way with the same message.
If your company has gone through a rebranding process, you especially need to make sure your updated branding is the only one showing up online. When a client has to spend energy investigating whether the company they found on Google is the same one they found on Instagram, the business risks losing out.
DIY Consistency Check
Set aside time to survey how your brand shows up on your main marketing channels:
- Social Media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, etc)
- Google Business Profile
- Online directories and professional associations
- Company promotional materials
If you put yourselves in your customer’s shoes, would you easily recognize one brand with a clear identity and service? If not, it’s time to do some spring cleaning.
When a potential customer knows exactly who you are and what they will experience from you, you’ve eliminated one of the biggest hurdles to making the sale.