Your brand is what you share with the world. And a carefully managed brand is a powerful asset.
Brand congruency happens when everything you experience shares the same voice. Influential, authentic brands are relatable; they also have consistent messaging and stories. Thoughts, actions, and communications should all align. Congruence between people and their perception of a brand’s personality leads to more consumer loyalty. And to build a loyal following that believes in what you do, you need a consistent brand.
What is brand alignment?
Brand alignment measures how well a brand fulfills its promise: it is the definition of authenticity. Authentic brands understand themselves on a deep level. Logos, typefaces, voice, values, customer service, and product quality all contribute to building a brand. The strength of your brand lies in how well employees and customers understand and relate to it. Delivering precise and consistent communication about who you are and what you do instills confidence in your brand. Alignment happens when both internal operations and external clients understand a brand’s purpose—and act accordingly.
Internal brand alignment
Employees are the frontlines of your constant interactions with customers. They are the representatives of your brand; so, they need to understand your core values. Employees should feel invested in the success of the brand and like a vital part of its story. Because of this, it’s essential that they feel appreciated. If you create a rewarding work environment, employees’ attitudes and behaviors are more likely to align with your brand. Teach every employee how vital their role is in maintaining your story. Internal brand guidelines should be positive and easy to understand. As well, consistent training strengthens your brand’s promise and values. Happy, educated workers are more likely to follow and share your brand’s story appropriately.
External brand alignment
Customers need to know what your brand is about—and you have to guarantee this. Your audience won’t recognize your business without a consistent brand. People are more likely to act when they feel connected to a brand. So, it’s crucial to take every opportunity to build this connection. Your strategy will interact with customers in countless ways—from an online presence to the one in print and on the streets. Your goal is to make sure that the message delivered at each of these points is compelling and consistent. Have a consistent brand experience when it comes to design elements like logo, advertisement layouts, social media design, and photography. As well, all of your communication must align with a larger, unifying narrative. Both design and communication make you quickly recognizable to your audience and contribute to your brand’s story. Your audience needs to feel invested in your narrative to identify with your purpose.
Maintain your brand
Brand alignment is the product of a well-planned and executed strategy. Positioning your brand and getting it out is essential. But you can’t expect it to remain active on its own. Maintain the initiatives you’ve put into place with current training for staff and consistent external communications; it ensures your brand’s purposes and promises are fully understood. And it is a sign of brand authenticity. Design, plan, and execute your strategy, so that your clients are clear about what you stand for—then work to protect and sustain it.