We now have less attention span than a goldfish
Today’s online world DEMANDS brand consistency. Users will have a very small window of attention-span to get to know who you are and what your business is all about. A survey by Microsoft concluded that the average attention span had fallen from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to eight seconds last year in 2016. We now have a shorter attention span than goldfish, the study has found.
Eight seconds is not a lot of time to get your message across this should be a cue for you to want to act.
What does brand consistency actually mean?
Your Brand imagery, your logo and social post images are on point. They convey the same colour branding, the same theme of images and there are threads of your story, purpose and message that are woven through each of them. They are consistently used across channels.
Your Messaging is clear and consistent across all of the channels that you use, there should be a structure to your messaging and this should mirror the journey that your potential clients make from first discovering you to signing up for your products or services. If you are not fully utilising a channel then I’d recommend that you consider removing that from your marketing toolbox. If you have a platform with tumbleweed blowing across it every day it is, without doubt, doing you a dis-service to keep it live.
Having a ghost town social media channel is a sure-fire way to put your customers off your brand. Ensure you are utilising all of the options possible for your business and filled out your social media profiles in full so that they reflect the best of your business.
If your brand is not consistent across all of your marketing your audience will switch off very quickly and could have the following negative effect:
- The customer may not recognise your brand on one channel and even confuse your brand on other channels as a result.
- Customers could make an assumption about your services. Confusion will reign, you’ll end up with the wrong client and won’t be able to serve them in the best way possible.
- You will spend much more money if you have an inconsistent brand across your channels – Worst case scenario this could result in a complaint! For example, if your website implies that your hairdressing service is young, friendly and welcoming, but your online message responses from your assistant are cold and unresponsive most of the time think about how that will that ultimately impact the return for your marketing efforts. In this case, your messaging has not matched your implied service and so you’ve put money down the drain.
Brand Story – know your story and stick to it!
Your brand story should be everywhere. How else do you expect people to understand you? I could go on forever about this subject but we’ll save that for another time and date. A few tips though for consistency here:
- Stick to your story across channels. If you are changing and evolving, then this is fine as we are all evolving so track your journey somewhere and create content as you go. But make sure you are telling this consistently across all of your channels.
- Adapt your story to the format that you are using – I will cover this in depth in further content.
- Make it personal but not TMI (too much information) you can skip over the detail when you are sharing – people will get the gist as long as you focus on the emotional elements at the right times.
Your target audience – Do you know them down to a tee?
It is a critical piece of work to really focus and understand who you are targeting all this effort toward. Questions to help you get there:
- Where do your target audience hang out both on and offline?
- Who could you contact that could give you insight into what their online and offline behaviour might be?
- Get to know them deeply like you would a best buddy – for example, could you run a voluntary project with a partner that might give you further insight into where they hang out and what kind of problems they are facing and that need solving? How could you chat with them perhaps via market research?
- Have you looked at your marketing from your customer’s point of view?
What you say and how you say it…
Your messaging is WHAT you are saying and when you are saying it. Your tone of voice is HOW you say it. Both of these final elements will derive from your business strategy and will shine through your mission, to your tagline, to your social media headings and content. Is it formal? Informal? Is it playful or comical? You get to play into their hands and decide this crucial piece of the jigsaw.
Your tone of voice should transfer throughout everything that you create and should never clash with your brand story.
E.g. If you were running a fun pet blanket business you would not have an academic formal tone with images of someone walking an unhappy dog! Of course, you would use playful happy imagery with cute as hell dogs that will not only make your audience want to buy a cute dog with all of your amazing products, but also show your amazing dog blankets in action. In turn, selling the lifestyle of fun and owning a cute dog, not just the product you sell. Lifestyle branding is huge and a topic I will cover on another day.
For now keep reminding yourself that first impressions are everything. Professional looking brands backed by a compelling story will always be a winner and will get you well on the way to your clients knowing, liking and trusting YOU and YOUR business.