Brands can no longer communicate one singular message to a mass audience; instead marketing strategies must be personalised and communication must span across a range of platforms and consumer touchpoints.
Despite this, brands should maintain consistency — both online and offline – whether it’s keeping a consistent tone-of-voice, persona or imagery, according to Shutterstock enterprise content strategist, Alex DiRenzo.
“Consistent visual content builds consumer trust and loyalty. It communicates a brand’s ethos, core values and beliefs. When brands sway away from using consistent content, that’s often when they lose consumers and credibility,” he told Retailbiz.
There are three ways to ensure consistency is delivered:
- Tone-of-voice – Brands must ensure they have a consistent tone-of-voice for all on-brand and on-message communications, across all consumer touchpoints. “This means that all copy across platforms needs to sound as though it’s coming from the same person. Having a clear tone-of-voice helps clearly articulate what a brand stands for as well as helps to build trust and long-term consumer relationships.”
- Visual images – The saying ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ still rings true and images are a great way for brands to communicate their core values, missions and beliefs. “It can be as simple ensuring a consistent colour scheme or choosing similar types of images to reflect the brand. I.e. smiling groups of people eating food for a fast food brand.”
- Brand persona – Creating a brand personality that has human characteristics will help develop and authentic relationships with consumers. “It’s key to keep this persona top of mind, to avoid confusing consumers and maintain credibility in the long run.”
However, building visual consistency often comes at a cost with photos and videos being expensive to create and develop as they may take many hours to edit and finalise, DiRenzo said.
“But it’s not impossible with stock imagery companies providing high quality content to brands and editing platforms making the process more affordable than ever.”
Another challenge is time – it’s a lengthy process to ensure consistency online and offline – “but the benefits are priceless, especially when it comes to building and maintaining long lasting customer relationships”.
DiRenzo said as more consumers head online from traditional brick-and-mortar stores, successful brands will be those that offer consistency and a streamlined customer journey in store and online. “Maintaining visual consistency is the easiest way to accomplish this.”