Yes, this has happened to you. The TV’s on, you’re sort of not paying attention, and a Target ad comes on. Or, rather, a commercial comes on with happy people looking you right in the eye while wearing bold colors against a white background with touches of red, and last summer’s big beach song playing. But nobody said the word “Target,” it wasn’t on a super, and Target’s bull’s-eye logo hadn’t yet appeared. So how did you know this was a Target commercial in one glance?
Answer: Consistency. Target hit upon a visual voice that could speak consistently for their brand regardless of media platform, and they’ve been speaking in that same voice since 2006. Target’s brand voice is consistent across all platforms; a Target flyer in the Sunday paper, a Target TV spot, a Target billboard and the Target smartphone app all speak consistently in the same voice.
Your brand is your company, personified. How does your business look, sound, and behave? Once your brand identity has been locked down, presentation becomes everything. And a great brand identity never gets old. Witness the many updates of consistent brand ambassadors like Colonel Sanders and Aunt Jemima over the decades. Although changes are made, the voice stays consistent at every customer touchpoint. This is essential when building your brand.
Content inconsistency waves a red flag, warning that there could be a potential problem, and suddenly the brand doesn’t feel quite right. Even seemingly small missteps can throw a brand’s voice off-key and send their customers searching out the competition. Because, in a universe full of choices, why accept a bad customer experience when a better one could be a few clicks away?
According to Forrester, a consistent experience is a key driver of brand trust: “Consumers tell us that both Microsoft and Amazon.com deliver a consistent experience every time they interact with those brands. This helps both brands secure high levels of brand trust, which in turn drives strong brand resonance.”
A study by McKinsey & Company of 27,000 American consumers was even titled “The Three Cs of Customer Satisfaction: Consistency, Consistency, Consistency.” In a related article, the authors noted: “It may not seem sexy, but consistency is the secret ingredient to making customers happy.”
The bottom line: Consumers buy the brands they trust. A consistent brand voice first puts a face on your business, then proceeds to build interest, and finally, if all goes well and the messaging stays consistent, begins to earn the consumers’ trust. And that could easily make the difference between success and failure for your brand.