Sunbird Brand Bites: Episode #2
Sunbird Brand Bites is a podcast where we answer real questions from small business owners and solopreneurs around building an irresistible brand.
As a strategist and graphic designer who have worked with over 100 small businesses, Bianca and Mara have decided to share their best advice for solopreneurs in these bi-weekly episodes. In the second episode of Sunbird Brand Bites, Mara and Bianca explain the importance of consistency when it comes to your brand. Here are some of the highlights:
Episode #2: How important is consistency when it comes to your brand?
Why business owners are apprehensive about consistency
It complicates things.
As Bianca explains, if you’ve had a business for 10 years, you might have a ton of assets, resources, logos, store signage, or a custom built website with a lot of content. Having all of these materials may be overwhelming enough. But now trying to make everything consistent can get pretty complicated.
It’s a lot of work.
If a small business owner admits that consistency is important, then they would have to go back and do an audit or assessment of all of their content and materials. And Mara admits that can be very painful. It’s a tedious process that can be very time consuming. But taking stock of what resources you already have is necessary in order to make sure your customers have a consistent experience with your brand.
It’s boring to some creatives.
Bianca falls into this category of people! She’s always striving to create new things, and feels like consistency ties her down by things she’s done or said in the past. It can feel like “consistency costs you in terms of your freedom.” But the reality is that staying consistent where it matters (your values, your style) creates space for meaningful experiments; creativity thrives within boundaries.
It drives perfectionists crazy.
As a self-proclaimed “struggling perfectionist,” Mara sometimes falls into the trap of feeling the“burden of everything having to be perfectly consistent.” Perfectionists can easily turn the importance of consistency into the absolute necessity of total consistency. That burden is always at the back of Mara’s mind when she’s creating new materials or reviewing old ones. But a healthy respect for consistency doesn’t have to drive you crazy.
Why consistency is important
“The confused mind says no.”
This is something that Mara and Bianca say all the time. Sometimes solopreneurs just don’t realize how much damage being confusing can cause to their brand. When you present yourself differently to your audience on different platforms, or use different symbols or names to identify your business, your audience gets confused. When your audience gets confused, they can’t trust you. If they can’t trust you, they won’t buy from you.
It helps build trust.
Bianca says, “There’s no neutral path with trust”—it’s either broken or strengthened. “Someone can’t just be inconsistent and you feel nothing about it.” Mara agrees, “When brands are inconsistent, it does lead to some feeling of betrayal or suspicion.” When you’re consistent across all platforms and all of your materials, it helps your audience believe that you are who you say you are, and they can trust their purchase from you.
It helps you measure what’s working.
As an entrepreneur, you are constantly going to be trying out new ideas, strategies, campaigns, offerings, and launches. A huge part of experimentation is tracking and measuring your efforts. Otherwise, you would have no idea if your experiments are working. In order to measure your efforts effectively, you have to remain consistent in everything else you’re doing, or else how would you know what you’re testing and how it’s performing?
Some Tips for Consistency
Although some consistency is an important aspect of business success, consistency in certain aspects of your business matter more than others. It’s important to distinguish between what’s important to keep consistent in, and what’s not. This way, you’re not focusing too much time, energy, and resources on something that isn’t a necessity. We’ll have an upcoming blog post on what you absolutely need to be consistent in and where there’s wiggle room, so stay tuned for that!
Prepare yourself for the commitment.
Consistency is not something you do once, and then you’re set for the rest of your business’ life. It’s an ongoing process that you need to be conscious of every time you publish a new piece of content, release a new material, or do any form of marketing.
Practice what you preach.
Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Always remain your true and authentic brand on all platforms. Don’t pretend to be someone else on one platform just because you think that’s who that audience will like. You’ll seem fake and untrustworthy, and probably end up attracting the wrong customers anyway.
Plan, plan, plan.
Use an audit or assessment to make a detailed plan of what to change or update (and what to not change at all) to bring trust-building consistency to your marketing materials. It will make the process go a whole lot smoother.
Listen to Episode #2 of Sunbird Brand Bites now: