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Why You Should Keep Your Branding Consistent Across the Customer Journey

Customer interactions build brand awarenessLoyal customers are essential to the success of any business.  These customers are your repeat business and often advocate for your brand with their recommendations, reviews, and referrals.  To help build and maintain that base of customers, you need to ensure you deliver a positive customer experience every step of the way.

Every interaction with a customer should be reliably “on brand.”  Strong branding reflects a confidence in your company and helps solidify consumer trust.  To help ensure consistency, consider how your brand is represented at each stage of the customer journey.

What is the customer journey?

While every business is different, the process that consumers use to decide when to make a purchase follows a remarkably similar roadmap.  This framework of consumer experiences is the customer journey.

The main steps in the customer journey are:

  • Awareness – consumers become aware of your brand
  • Discovery – consumers research your brand (and others)
  • Purchasing Decision – consumers make the decision to purchase
  • Retention – your brand continues to engage consumers
  • Advocacy – loyal customers advocate for your brand

Why is consistent branding important?

Typically, it takes 6 to 8 interactions for a consumer to consider your brand when making a purchasing decision.  Brand recognition and trust for your business are more easily accomplished when your branding is consistent through each touchpoint of the customer journey.  Each stage in that journey has its own considerations.

Awareness

At this stage, consumers are just becoming aware of your business and your brand promise. It’s extremely important in this stage to establish your brand clearly and to use customer-centric messaging that is appealing and concise.  As you build awareness, don’t forget to include your logo and contact information in all marketing.

Discovery

Once consumers are aware of your business, they’ll likely research you online to learn more.  Consistent design across all online channels, including all your social media, is extremely important.  Stay on brand with your colors, fonts, imagery, and all other design elements.

During the discovery phase, consumers are exploring your value proposition to determine how you can help them.  Make sure your brand promise is explained and that you have someone ready to respond quickly to any inquiries.

Purchasing Decision

Once a consumer decides to make a purchase from you, they move into the next stage of the customer journey.  You want customers to feel good about their decision to buy from you and confident that they made the best choice. At this stage, you want customers to recognize that your business delivers on the brand promise made during earlier stages.

If your business has a brick-and-mortar location, all on-site branding needs to be consistent with what consumers saw during their online research.  All in-store signage, exterior signs, even packaging, should match your branding.

Your sales and customer service teams need to be using fresh, up-to-date collateral.  All your brochures, flyers, rack cards, catalogs, and stationery need to be consistently branded.

Retention

The sale might be final, but the customer journey doesn’t end there.  It took several stages and multiple touches to get to the purchase, so you’ll want to leverage all those efforts to ensure customers come back for more.

A negative or inconsistent experience with your brand can destroy all the good will you’ve created.  Pay close attention to any follow-up communications.  Make sure any additional touches (whether digital or printed) stay true to your branding.  Each contact should reinforce your value proposition and build trust.

Sending a thoughtful, branded Thank You card after the sale is always a nice touch.  Make sure any follow ups (written or digital) are on-brand.

Advocacy

Focusing on customer retention creates happy, repeat customers.  These are exactly the people you want advocating for your brand.  Make it as easy as possible for customers to sing your praises by directing them to places where they can leave reviews and feedback.

Be sure you’re responding to all comments, especially any that are negative.  Bad reviews happen, but they are an excellent opportunity to demonstrate your customer-focused approach by apologizing and working with customers to regain their trust.

Great customer experiences start with great branding

Building brand loyalty is a multi-step process.  It begins with the very first impression a consumer has of your brand and continues long after a purchase is made.  Reinforcing your brand at every step of the customer journey builds trust and results in repeat customers who are happy to recommend you to others.  Don’t neglect any step in the customer journey and you’ll likely be rewarded with a loyal customer base that will help your business grow.

Learn more about our brand identity services.

Learn more about using content to create customer loyalty.

AG Franklin

Posted by AG Franklin

AlphaGraphics Franklin is a provider of print and communication services in greater Nashville, TN area. We provide design, marketing, print and fulfillment services to businesses of all sizes.

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