M&MMonday: Simple ways to improve your branding

As a business owner you have a myriad of things to worry about: generating sales, producing your product or service, payroll, customer care, invoicing, etc.  The last thing you have time for is a comprehensive brand review to make sure that your messaging and customer experience is consistent across all of your channels.

But by performing two simple brand audits and applying the “quick fixes” below you can improve the consistency of your customer’s experience with your brand.

Two Simple Brand Consistency Audits

1) Consistency Check: Take about 10 minutes and perform a quick visual inspection of your key customer touchpoints including any primary signage, business cards, website homepage, stationary, primary sales collateral, presentation decks, invoicing, and the homepages of any social media sites that you use as primary customer-contact venues (such as twitter, etc.).

You’re looking to make sure that all of your touchpoints

  • contain a similar logo and related trade or service marks
  • have a consistent tagline
  • have secondary messages that reinforce your tagline
  • utilize a common color scheme, and
  • incorporate a consistent font.

The key to this inspection is to perform it quickly – a glance at all the materials in succession or side-by-side should be enough to determine if you’re telling a consistent story.  If you’ve got to spend time studying the material to find commonality or find yourself trying to justify why a piece is different, you are likely lacking brand consistency.

2) Inbound Experience Audit:  Listen to a random sample of recorded inbound calls or pose as a customer and contact your company’s main inbound communication conduits (do this several times as you’ll want to get a sample of experiences to common inquiries).  The purpose of this isn’t to “bust” your staff, the purpose is to evaluate the consistency of inbound experiences.  If you have a different experience each time then your branding efforts need to be reinforced internally.


Take one or all of these steps to reestablish your brand’s consistency:

Don’t worry if you have preprinted stock or supplies, update electronic materials immediately and update preprinted materials as you resupply and  update legacy marketing items (banners, etc) as budget allows.

  • standardize fonts/font scheme across materials
  • pick a color scheme and stick to it
    • Keep the scheme simple, at most three base colors and one accent color
    • If you deviate from the scheme have a specific articulable reason why your deviating
  • standardize your logo across materials
    • define when a variation of the logo is to be used and how
  • select and stick to a single “tagline” that is consistent across platforms
    • place the tagline in each employee’s automated electronic signature
    • incorporate supporting messages into individual materials that are focused to that item’s purpose, but remain consistent in how you present your tagline
  • create a standardize presentation template and make sure that everyone on your staff has access to and uses it
  • retrain your staff on the importance of a consistent message and provide updated scripts with the exact tagline and messaging they should be using
  • customize your social media sites wherever you can (change your background on Twitter, add your tagline to your business’s Facebook page, etc.)

Taking simple steps will improve the consistency and, by extension, the stickiness of your branding efforts.

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