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Why consistency matters most in successful communication

August 12, 2013

Ford Mustang

Consistency is boring. Consistency is easy. Consistency is overlooked.

Wrong, wrong and wrong.

For companies big and small, a consistent message can be one of their greatest challenges. Small companies often lack the resources to keep the message going. Big ones trip over themselves as departments and vendors wrestle over control.

Consistency in communication requires teamwork, focus and discipline. It advances the idea that one message can have many facets and many voices, but still sounds unified. It also advances the concept of simpler by design, one message that can cut through the clutter and reach a target audience.

I have been lucky to develop this consistency in my projects and with my clients over the years. While it can be difficult to master at first, the rewards pay out early and often.

Your audience, for the most part, is indifferent. They don’t know who you are or what you do. They’ve probably never heard of you.

As you put your message out there through traditional advertising, social media marketing and other channels, consistency is your best ally. Having a consistent look, color scheme and tone helps people identify you.

yall-alabama-power-logo-transparent-300x300

With our conference, Y’all Connect Presented by Alabama Power, I designed a logo with a simple color scheme, a couple of fonts and a less-than-formal feel. I made sure that carried over to the website, the Facebook page, the Twitter account, my business cards and other products,

Do all of your corporate materials, virtual and physical, match up on branding?

But a logo is just a logo. With only a few seconds to snag people’s attention, you must convey a simple, direct message over and over.

Some companies have become gun-shy in the digital age, afraid of alienating customers through too many emails and social media updates. Yet, the giants such as Apple, Coca-Cola, Honda and so on don’t balk at saturating the airwaves with commercials.

Trust your audience to decide one by one what is “too much,” by opting out. Whittle your masses down to a core group of loyal fans, and then add more of them regularly through consistent messaging.

That means more work: scheduling campaigns, developing editorial calendars, seeing what messages stick, figuring out where your audience is most receptive, fine-tuning and revising the message, tracking metrics and more. It might mean more spending, and dropping marketing tactics that aren’t working.

(Many marketers and business owners struggle with determining what is a success in marketing. For example, dipping a toe into Facebook advertising, or PPC ads, or direct mail. That’s an area where I can help evaluate so your limited marketing dollars work harder.)

When your company nails consistency, it stands out through its message. It builds trust with its audience by showing reliability, while shedding those who don’t identify with the brand (this is a good outcome, folks).

Can companies be consistent with a lousy message as well? Yes, and I’ve seen many examples of it, and likely you have, too. Getting a poor message out consistently is as bad as getting a great message out haphazardly.

Fortunately, the bar is low. Those who put out messages consistently will surpass bigger competitors in the long run. I’m a one-man operation, and I can run rings around others through tenacity.

Pick your look, pick your message, pick your channel, and pound away. Measure, adjust, and keep going.

Be the company that looks like it has the million-dollar marketing budget, and help your audience connect with you through old fashioned consistency.

Photo: Alden Jewell (CC)

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