Your firm’s brand isn’t what you say it is. Your brand is what your customers say about your firm when they speak to others about your business.
The brand is the personality your business has developed through your leadership and the systems you and your management team have put in place. Customers will be treated consistently and see the same products or be able to buy the same services.
Lack of brand consistency stands out like a sore thumb. When your customers experience your products or services, look at the website, visit your premises, receive business cards or visit your social networks you want the experience to be consistent. Take a look at a Big 4 accounting firm, their offices around the world will have a consistent look and feel. Their reports will have a similar look, feel and quality regardless of whether they were produced in Bristol or Glasgow. That is brand consistency. Regardless of what you see, feel or experience, you will know it’s their brand and brand consistency isn’t the expensive concept you might think.
Your products and / or services should also carry some of the same messaging. If your brand is, for example, “high quality service delivered to all of our clients”, then your messaging should refer to this. Equally, in this example, the product or service itself must be of a very high quality.
You need to agree, as part of your firm’s strategy, what the service level is that your firm wants to offer to its customers. Whether you want to offer the best service with a premium price or a low price product/service with a budget level of service, this needs to be consistent across your business. You need to set the expectations of your customer and deliver to those expectations. A customer who is attracted to a budget offering will not necessarily expect premium service, for example.
Look and feel
The look of your business should be consistent across products, marketing materials, websites, business cards, signage, offices, etc. Your firm should agree standard colours, fonts, logos and even staff should project a consistent image for your business.