Consistency Consistency Consistency
by Aryeh Powers
Understanding the importance of consistency in your brand is a fundamental first step in creating a sustainable business plan or marketing strategy. Your brand’s perceived value and your company’s potential for customer retention is DIRECTLY related to the level of consistency that your customers associate with brand message and your product offering. If there is one factor that affects customer retention above all else, it is the way that customers perceive your products value AND that they can RELY on the fact that both you and your brand WILL NOT CHANGE. I can’t stress this enough.
A good analogy for this concept is the way in which relationships thrive. In relationships 101, you come to realize that your partner needs to trust you before the relationship can grow. How do you build trust? Building trust requires a consistent emotional and physical availability. Your partner will grow concerned if you behave differently unexpectedly one day out of every 6 or so. Your customers need the same level of trust from your brand and your services.
Your customers rely on you and your company to produce a similar product to the one that they enjoy and first fell in love with. They will expect the same prices that you originally had, when they first started buying your product. Unconsciously, they expect the same logo and the same colors that attracted them to your brand in the first place.
A great case study for this point is the Coke vs. Pepsi study that many of you may be familiar with. The famous case study brings out the correlation between Coke’s dominance of the soft drink market and its steady logo, vs. the the extremely similar Pepsi product, which changed it’s logo and brand message many more times, throughout it’s history. We all love and remember the Coke logo and the Coke commercials and I for one have always been a huge fan of the polar bear. The Coke logo and the polar bear commercials were a part of my childhood, and when I saw the Superbowl commercial with the bear, I was immediately reminded of those memories. Pepsi on the other hand had some cool commercials, like the one with Ray Charles, but for me, they’re but a drop in the sea of many ketchy commercials from my childhood.
It is the level of comfort and stickiness that your customers with your brand that makes your brand an easy one to choose when they are faced with numerous options of similar products. Think of the scotch that you like to drink. Think of your favorite restaurant. Think of your favorite clothing brand. They all have a certain element of predictability behind their creativity, which makes you attracted to those products and makes you a repeat customer.
Aside from your customers, it is important for your internal team to be consistent and always on the same page. This article would not be complete and would not have been possible without the experiences that I had, when I worked at HealthSTAR Public Relations. Although I was but a rookie Account Coordinator at the time, I did have some projects that clients DID see. When working with my colleagues on client projects, one theme that my co-workers always drilled into my head was that of CONSISTENCY. One of my tasks was to produce a daily media report for one of our clients. Every day the client would expect the same layout to our report, expect it at the same time and expect us to meet the same requirements as every previous day. This was only one example of where my job required me to CONSISTENTLY give the client the same level of professionalism in the way that they could only expect it from our team on a constant basis.
By nature I am a total structure-phobe, so if any of you hate consistency and feel that it stifles your creativity, trust me, I can relate. However, what I have come to appreciate more and more over the years, is that for business relationships to blossom, you need to cultivate a level of trust with your customers and clients that is based on a consistent and professional product offering.
Always be sure to give your customers, co-workers and friends a level of creative consistency that they can rely on, when they are faced with a particular problem and you can be sure that they will come back to you again the next time they are looking for a solution to a similar issue.Tags: coke, consistency, healthstar pr, marketing, marketing strategy, pepsi