Originally published on entrepreneurdeux.com - April 14, 2013
A relevant topic, even today, whether it is personal or business branding. The world is changing at an exponential pace whether in technology or culture and we are bombarded with more information than our brains can process. Consistently branding allows the subconscious brain to capture information that gets processed over time in an easy manner.
Do you know what your Brand is and are you consistent in how you message it?
In today's world, brands are not just corporations but also startups, people and institutions. Each entity is trying to get their message heard over the clutter in the current marketplace. So the question becomes: How does an entity make sure they are recognizable and remembered in the long run so it can build loyalty?
Consistency is a key factor in building a brand. A new friend recently told me that I had a strong personal brand because I had the same picture on all my social profiles—Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook. He took that as a sign that I possess the personality trait of being consistent in how I think about branding across all aspects of my life—and more importantly business. This was important to our connecting because he was able to trust me faster because all the research he did on me came up with the same standardized information. So as a brand he knew he could trust me to be consistent.
As a start-up this is an important piece of the puzzle. Creating a brand image is one of the key aspects of getting your product or service out into the marketplace. People associate a visual image to your brand. This visual image has to be thought out carefully, in detail, so that the more people see it, the more they recognize your brand. If your product or service fills a need for the end user, they will continue to use your brand and have a positive feeling about it. That positive feeling will be associated to your company when they see your logo, brand image or name. If you change your logo, brand image or name it might change the reaction that a user has of your startup or you—even if they previously had a positive image.
Most people don't like change. They associate feelings (positive or negative) about your brand based on the fundamental concept of consistency. You may only change a color, or a font or even an image, and the first reaction from your end user might make them feel that you have changed the product or service. Coca-Cola changed their logo a couple of times in their long history and most consumers were not happy with the change.
With the amount of clutter in the market you must create a very clear image of your product and service in the mind of the end user. Any change in your brand image could turn away your end user even if your product hasn't changed because it confuses them. Confusion creates chaos and tarnishes your brand. Be very conscious and careful if you do make changes.
Consistency in brand image builds trust and loyalty and enables your end user to consistently engage with you and maintain a positive brand perception. It is common sense, which is often overlooked: your consistency breeds consistency in your users habits.
What is your brand message and how are you conveying it consistently across your networks?
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