Every little thing counts. Protect your brand by ensuring all departments understand how they can subtract from, or add to, the value of your brand. The elements that drive brand consistency are message, tone, design and delivery. Below are examples of brands that understand the importance of consistency.
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Coke’s sales are astounding— 1.7 billion servings of Coke products are consumed every day. Coca-Cola and its products are practically universal, which means there are many points where they could stray off of the successful path they’ve built. Every can or label of Coca-Cola hits that iconic red. And while there are various skews of Coke, they all fit nicely within the larger brand. How is all of this accomplished? A deliberate commitment to brand awareness and consistency. Coca-Cola spends close to 4 billion annually to deliver a consistent message in the marketplace so you will “Open Happiness” as often as possible.
Our good friend, David Sylvester, recalls a time during his bipedal trip across Africa, when he was exhausted and REALLY thirsty. He’d been riding in the blazing sun for hours, and was ready to take rest under a tree, when out of the corner of his eye he saw it. Just a glimpse of it. Coca-Cola red. That was enough to get him running like a bull toward a toreador’s cape. When he reached the 1960’s-era vending machine, he dispensed a can of ice cold coke, and relished every sip. He was drinking happiness. He said, at that moment, he really understood the power of a brand.
As Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO of GE, will tell you “Imagination at work is more than a tagline or slogan. It is a reason for being.”
GE is a complex company that serves a host of industries from consumer products to aviation to finance, healthcare, oil and gas, and more. Despite the differences between categories, GE does an impressive job keeping its brand focused by tying everything to imaginative solutions. One example of how they do this is their website called Brand Central. It is “dedicated to creating positive impressions about GE in the minds of everyone who encounters their products, services or people.”
Love. It might be what makes a Subaru a Subaru, but it’s also what drives consistency. Being consistent isn’t always the most creative thing. It’s not always flashy or award winning (though it can be). Love and understanding for your brand, will keep it firing on all cylinders. Subaru recognizes this. They don’t build cars, they enable a lifestyle that let’s people do what they love, which is why they tout safety, reliability and environmental stewardship.
No matter what you do to promote your brand, internally or externally, keep it consistent. It really pays. Just ask Coca-Cola.