Traditionally, much of successful marketing focused on who could make the loudest noise in their marketplace. The most expensive big advert or the fanciest campaign would grab your customer’s attention.
The digital world has changed that. The Internet has opened up possibilities that printed adverts could only dream of. Not only is the potential reach of your marketing worldwide but it also means that there are many different channels available to communicate with your potential and existing customers. Websites, newsfeeds and social media bombard customers with information and images all day. In reality it isn’t uncommon for a customer to see your High Street store, follow your Facebook updates, your tweets on Twitter and order something from your website all in the same day, or even within minutes of each other.
Throughout your customer contact, your brand is one of your most important marketing tools. It’s a retailer’s best chance at communicating with their customer to let them know who they are and what they stand for – to show your customers that you are more than just a logo or a well-known name. But if your customers encounter different versions of your brand online and instore then your brand can fragment. Now more than ever, your online and instore presence should be consistent so that your brand becomes cemented, recognized and more importantly, recalled by both your customers so that when they come to the point where they want to purchase they think of your brand first.
If a customer sees different versions of your brand it can be confusing. Retail is highly competitive and a customer has lots of different steps and options before making their buying decision. With current thinking that a customer needs to have as many as 10 points of contact before they purchase these should be consistent. Do they want to purchase from the company they recognize and know or one that changes frequently and appears different wherever they see them?
Consistency isn’t just about using the same logo or the same colours. It is much more subtle than that. The energy of a company, the beliefs, the tone and the look all play an important role in consistency and all of this can be portrayed across your online presence. If your store is bright, has vibrant displays and staff have an energy then this should be matched online with a website that has the same feel. The tone that you use when you create your online content should be the same as what you would expect your staff to use in-store. This should also be reflected in your social media presence where your content should always reflect the personality behind your brand.
One of the larger retailers that does this particularly well in the UK is John Lewis. Across each of their different channels, there is a certain tone and look which captures the John Lewis ethos. They actively train their staff to provide the level of service in-store and online that they are well known for and they promptly and politely respond to queries, questions and negativity on their social media feeds.
How do you maintian consistency across all of your marketing channels, both in-store and online? Let us know in the comments below, or join us on Twitter.