We’ve all heard the terms brands and branding, and most people would probably associate it with a company’s logo but branding is much more than just a logo. It encompasses all communication used to interact with clients, customers and suppliers. Branding is important because it communicates a company’s unique personality and what it is trying to achieve. But what about brand continuity? Why is that so important, and how can an organisation achieve it? Read on to find out more.
By Gozde Kar
The importance of brand continuity
Brand continuity is essentially communicating the branding of a company in a consistent and unified manner. Ensuring branding is delivered in this way allows an organisation to build and preserve the desired perception it wishes to give about the company. It helps to clearly convey what the company is all about. It can help build loyalty, trust and respect, as well as increase market share and ward off competition.
How to create brand continuity
A huge amount of effort needs to be put into brand continuity within an organisation, and a carefully considered plan and strategy needs to be in place in order for brand continuity to flourish.
Firstly, an organisation needs to understand who they are and what their goals are, what their brand stands for, who their target audience is, how the organisation is unique compared to others, what its values are and its tone of voice.
In essence, the management of an organisation need to build a ‘brand foundation’. A brand foundation consists of a number of filters that ensures those involved in the company’s communication process communicate in a way that keeps and re-enforces the brand continuity – without any subjective input that might weaken the brand’s image.
Maintaining brand continuity is much more than just ensuring all workers use the same color or font for a logo. It is about making sure all elements of the communication process are the same – whether this is done by billboards in a shop, on a letterhead or business card, on a TV advert or an email footer.
With the increasing use of social media and shopping online, brand continuity across these platforms is as important online as it is offline. Many organisations fail to recognize this, and lose brand credibility because their online marketing messages or customers’ online experiences, where not the same as those offline. Not paying enough attention to online brand continuity can be just as damaging as neglecting it in the offline world, especially since consumers are heavily reliant on the internet these days.
A company should also treat the use of social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter as equally as important for ensuring continuity of their brand. Just because these sites are quite ‘informal’ and ‘chatty’, doesn’t mean an organisation should let their professional image or reputation slip up. Inconsistent messages or images, out-of-date information, inability to buy the same goods online as offline all lead to confusion and mistrust, so it’s vital for an organisation to stay on the ball at all levels.
Successful companies that have mastered the art of brand continuity are those that have a strong, easily recognizable image or logo, such as Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Nike and HSBC bank, for example. Brand continuity is working well when a customer receives the same messages and experience from either going into the same stores in different locations, from the letters or emails received or whether buying the products online or offline.
Written by Gozde Kar for UK Print Price: UKs leading printing website.
How has your brand changed over time? Tell us in the comments section.
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