By Myra Sugg, Ad Media Sales Expert
Good branding is the foundation for all your marketing success, which is why so much effort goes into it. It’s important that your branding is memorable and constant across all channels and platforms, with one report finding that consistent branding increases revenue by 33%.
Variable, inconsistent branding confuses consumers and muddies the waters of your brand messaging. Once you’ve chosen a brand message and decided on your style, you need to ensure that you communicate it coherently and unwaveringly across multiple channels.
Even once you’ve covered all the most obvious platforms, there are often overlooked loose ends which can make your brand appear ragged and harm the impression you want to convey. Here are 4 areas that tend to fall by the wayside during branding sessions, but that still play a key role in expressing your brand’s personality and value proposition.
Ramp up your telephone manner
Since the rise of social media, the telephone manner has sadly dropped in importance. In 2021, it’s time to bring phone interactions back into the spotlight. B2B companies, in particular, still use the phone a lot for sales calls, customer support, and marketing interactions, so it would be a mistake to ignore it.
The same character that you put so much effort into conveying online should shine just as much in verbal phone interactions, so invest a little time and effort into creating phone call style sheets and holding telephone role-play sessions, which can be a lot of fun if you approach them with the right mindset.
There’s also a new generation of AI-powered conversational AI bots, which can help sales and marketing teams to practice pitches and deliver targeted feedback. Mastercard talks about building an “audio identity,” and that definitely should extend to a phone identity.
Polish your email marketing skills
Email marketing has been at the top of the marketing ROI charts for years, and it still hasn’t fallen, which means that you ignore marketing emails at your own peril. Your marketing newsletters, special offers, and other advertising emails are a key pillar of your relationship with prospects and customers, so it’s crucial to make sure that all your employees are following branding stylesheets and matching your branded templates.
It’s worth it to have a few training sessions to educate your teams about marketing email best practices, like subject line length and email tone. A professional, consistent email signature for Outlook, Gmail, and other email platforms is another valuable way to convey your brand and express personality.
The right email signature gives you a space to promote new content, remind people about upcoming events, celebrate your achievements, and even share your latest demo videos.
Maintain your presence on online review sites
The sad truth is that consumers have very little trust in your branding and advertising because they know that you are biased in your own favor, but they do have an astonishing amount of trust in the opinions of strangers on the internet who leave reviews. Review sites like Capterra and G2 are incredibly powerful, because they head the search results page, and prospects are heavily influenced by what they read there.
It’s crucial to develop a strategy for managing your online reviews, including ways to get happy customers to write a review and how to respond to negative reviews. People consider that any review over 90 days old is out of date and no longer relevant, so your online review strategy needs to include ways to keep on generating new reviews.
Ensure effective chatter monitoring
Although you do everything you can to communicate consistent and positive brand identity, there’s only so much you can do to make sure that the general public supports it. You can’t change what people are going to say about your brand, but you can use social listening to keep on top of it.
Consumers are increasingly paying attention to companies that respond quickly to social mentions, whether it’s a positive or a negative post. Your customers appreciate hearing from you after a positive review, and might even feel offended if you don’t express gratitude. On the other hand, replying to a negative review with an apology, an explanation, and an offer to fix the issue can turn even a negative review into positive publicity. At the same time, measuring consumer sentiment with social monitoring tools allows you to sell more effectively and forecast demand more accurately.
Consistent branding needs to cover every touchpoint
There’s no such thing as branding that’s “slightly consistent.” If you want to ensure coherent, effective messaging, you need to include every touchpoint and channel, including social media chatter, telephone conversations, online review sites, and marketing emails. Only then can you feel confident that you’ve successfully communicated your branding.