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How to Drive Brand Consistency Across Sales Channels

What do you think when you think of Dallas? A city that has doubled in population during the past decade? JFK? The TV show? If you’re like most people, it’s America’s most iconic team – the Cowboys. With every touch point, the beloved colors, branding, and image of the Cowboys are reinforced. The play on the field can be mediocre (and it is!), but the brand is remembered, and the TV ratings always prove the power of brand consistency.

With so many sales and marketing channels at your organization’s disposal, it can be nearly impossible to maintain a recognizable and undiluted brand. But in order for your customers and prospects to remember and choose you, you must maintain the consistency of your company’s tone, voice, style and personality. 

So how can you steal Jerry Jones’ playbook (the marketing one, which actually wins) and use it to build your brand across all direct and indirect channels? Script these first six “plays” and your customers and prospects will become your greatest cheerleaders:

 

  1. Know your buyer personas. Who are your buyers? Where do they rank in their own organizational hierarchies? What do they do in their roles and what motivates them? What are their greatest challenges and where do they seek information about solutions? Whose voices do they currently trust? These are the questions you’ll seek to answer along the way to developing specific buyer personas.

 

  1. Establish a compatible brand voice. ACE is the helpful place, for do-it-yourselfers who truthfully shudder at the idea of doing it alone. Home Depot, through their branding and slogans over the years (like “You can do it. We can help.”) speaks to the confident do-it-yourselfer. Coke promotes togetherness while Pepsi encourages standing out. Snuggle expresses softness while Brawny conveys strength. Within your industry, chances are, many voices sound alike, even though they should be finding their own niches along the branding spectrum. Claim a part of the branding spectrum that resonates with your prospects and customers, yet is uniquely your own.

 

 

56% of surveyed channel partners agreed that maintaining brand consistency ranks first among marketing issues. -- Aberdeen

 

  1. Take control of your brand voice and content. Your channel partner representatives, as well as your own reps will need to establish their personal brands through all marketing communications, including social media. By instituting marketing automation through a sales enablement platform like Bridge Metrics, you can control your voice and branding while leveraging the power of personalization through the frontline individuals who will represent your solutions. Playbooks that detail what content is used in every scenario and Ready-to-Launch (RTL) campaigns that automate delivery of the content enable you to control your brand, while allowing your representatives to automatically personalize your content (saving them time as well).

 

Organizations classified as Top Performers are 7 times more likely than Everyone Else to invest in centralized, multi-channel marketing tools. – Gleanster Research

 

  1. Keep visuals consistent. Whether you’re posting content on LinkedIn or sending direct response emails, the photos, images, logos, and colors that you use should all be consistent. Disseminate your branding guidelines across your organization, and to channel partners to enable your creative team, marketers, and sales reps to maintain consistency. It’s not just what you say that reinforces your brand; how you “wrap” your messaging matters just as much. A lack of control makes your brand forgettable, or worse – untrustworthy.

 

  1. Be human, with social media. More than ever, people ultimately buy from people, not monolithic organizations. Implement all of the above “plays” in social media, and ensure that everyone in or representing your organization is following them. Then apply the general rules of social media and specific etiquette for the channels you’re using. Generally, interact as you would in a community, sharing information and responding to questions. Talk with, rather than at people. Build trust and form relationships. Contribute actively, frequently, and regularly. Plan ahead, to avoid sporadic use of any social channels. If your organization has been slow to adapt social media policies, you may want to initiate a formal discussion about the tone and voice that should be consistently used by anyone representing your organization in social media. 

 

  1. Assign a brand monitor. You may want to formalize a role in charge of checking your sites, social media accounts, direct response campaigns, and sales collateral once a month to audit all content and make sure that branding and messaging are tight and consistent across all touch points.

 

It has been proven that people choose brands with which they are familiar. The best way to develop familiarity – and ultimately trust and loyalty – is with clearly identifiable branding and messaging throughout all of your communication touch points, direct and indirect. If you would like to learn more about branding, marketing automation, and sales enablement, please contact a Bridge Metrics executive today at 877.801.7158.

About the author

Alan Margulis

Sales Enablement Columnist

Alan Margulis is a frequent contributor, specializing in sales enablement, channel marketing, and software.

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