When you look at highly successful brands like Coca-Cola, Apple, GM, and Disney, one of the defining characteristics of their success is consistency. No matter how many decades they’ve been around, or how many times they’ve pivoted, they’ve maintained a consistent value proposition. Is your company able to say the same?
Why Consistency Matters
In branding, consistency is everything. It’s something you can’t buy or do without. It’s non-negotiable.
Consistency matters for a variety of reasons, but most importantly, it helps connect your target audience with the products and services you sell in a very natural and organic way.
“You’re no longer convincing consumers to stop into your store or buy your product,” marketer Beth Pop-Nikolov writes. “Your brand is so consistent, so synonymous with your product experience that when a consumer sees your signature brand logo they are already thinking about making their next purchase from you without you even having to ask.”
Consistency breeds recognition and trust. When a customer is given a consistent brand experience, they know what to expect and are much more likely to gravitate towards the message you’re selling. It’s the very essence of marketing and branding.
3 Ways to Maintain Consistency in the Midst of Growth
It’s fairly easy to maintain consistency when there’s a lot of predictability. What is exponentially more challenging is ensuring consistency as your brand scales up. Growth, while good, changes everything.
- Understand Your Mission
You can’t be consistent if you don’t know what your mission is. Before doing anything else, make sure you’ve established a strong foundation with core values, marketing messages, and organizational goals.
- Promote Standardization
When a business is small, everything is typically contained. You get the chance to directly oversee all that happens, which lowers the risk of deviation. As the business grows, everything gets spread out, and it’s far easier for something to slip through the cracks. This is perfectly exemplified in project management.
When a company is only taking on one or two projects at a time, it’s easy to ensure consistency in process, approach, and execution. As a company scales up, it becomes much more challenging to promote standardization across dozens or hundreds of projects (which may be handled by multiple teams in multiple locations).
One way to promote standardization in an area like project management is to use certain tools and solutions that are designed for consistency. For example, Viewpath helps organizations automate the creation of new projects via “templates” so they can be quickly executed across distributed teams without compromising integrity. Something like this makes a huge difference.
- Establish an Approval Process
Having a thorough system in place ensures reliability and helps avoid inconsistencies that inevitably slip through the cracks now and then.
“It’s important to set up an approval process that protects your image without creating a ton of additional work for your employees and contractors,” entrepreneur John Hall says. “Establish a small committee and use collaboration tools to avoid delays that come from relying on group emails to get things done.”
The marketing director or creative director should be on this team, but it should include multiple people to allow for checks and balances. If the committee can’t decide on the consistency of a particular marketing or branding initiative, it’s probably not worth the risk of pursuing it.
Putting it All Together
Scaling without consistency is a recipe for failure. As your business grows, pivots, and changes, make sure you’re still maintaining a consistent brand image that resonates with your audience, fosters trust, and drives success.