The Ultimate Value of Brand Consistency Online and Offline 

brand consistency
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At a local business level, it does not take much to create brand consistency. Especially if you operate a unique business with very little competition; like a mobile barista doing street vending. The only consistency you would really need is a route with regular stopping points, then show up consistently on a schedule for local customers to become familiar with.  

Soon, with good service, value, and quality, the vendor would be pulling up with a queue of customers waiting.  

The advantage of unique and local is that even just a Facebook page can be a central point for the local community to get vital information about your regular schedule. Like, where you would be and when.  

The same happens in brick-and-mortar businesses. There are set hours. People expect to be able to go into a store between 9 am and 5 pm, possibly 6 pm. Service businesses are expected to be available between 9 am and 5 pm.  

Online businesses or even extensions of offline businesses are in a different ballpark. The online experience is expected to be available 24/7.  

How do you create brand consistency online in a 24/7 operation?  

 Use multi-platform sales channels 

Online stores are operating in an extremely competitive environment, regardless of the industry, thanks to the globalism aspect of online shopping. Differentiation is required. Branding sets merchants apart.  

The more memorable your branding, imagery, and customer experience, the better a chance loyalty programs can be successful.   

In today’s marketplace, it would be dangerous for any business to accept defeat to major consumer marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.  

Those stores can be set up by any business, and the pricing does not have to be the same as you have on your store, because the costs to be on different platforms will increase your pricing.  

The benefit that is often not considered is that big stores, even Etsy, sell gift cards. In a world where many of the people we know have everything they need; gift cards are a popular choice for birthdays and special occasions. Having a presence in major marketplaces, and being consistent in your marketing and branding, helps people to remember your brand, then (hopefully), look you up in other marketplaces and spend those gift cards in your online store.  

In terms of marketing, always market your business assets. Not those on marketplaces. You only need a presence on marketplaces. Sales are better when they are direct because everything is in your control; not a third party. 

  • Building the trust metrics 

Trust has a major impact on buyer decisions. If nobody knows your business, there is an unknown aspect of what the experience will be like. The popularity of reviews is proof of that – if you need it.  

When an offer looks good, the next step is to research the company putting the offer out there. Are they local, what are their delivery fees, did the goods arrive, and if so, when (was it late), how was it packaged, and if goods are damaged in transit, how are returns handled?  

The more information people have access to about your business, the easier it is to establish trust, and that paves the way to winning sales.  

The more consistent you are at building brand consistency, the more information is published, easier to find, and trust becomes integrated within your sales process. In particular, when you make it easy for customers to share their experiences with the world.   

  • Ensuring you get your marketing messages across!  

The most effective way to reach your customers is omnichannel, meaning, businesses use multiple channels for marketing. Search engine marketing (SEM), and social media advertising are the biggest ponds, and likely the most expensive.  

Given the internet is crowded, online marketing is best for lead generation. If you struggle to convert leads into sales, consider transitioning to offline marketing using direct mail. Go old-school.  

Use online advertising to gather essential data like name, email, and a physical mailing address. Provided consent has been given for the data to be used for marketing purposes, send promotional offers by snail mail. It will be slower, but provided the branding has been consistent and trust established, conversion rates could be higher and that could give your business a better return on your advertising spend.  

Anytime sales momentum begins to slow, assess your business plan, and marketing strategy, review the financials, and pivot direction to experiment with different marketing methods.  

 

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