One of the things that astounded us about Absa’s rebrand last year was how quickly the brand image was turned around.
Within a day all of Absa’s digital marketing had switched from the old to the new and it was something that we found impressive even if Africanicity is a word we still don’t understand.
To our mind this was an effort in pushing a message of brand consistency through to Absa’s customers and speaking to founder and chief executive officer at BrandQuantum, Paula Sartini, this is becoming terribly valuable in the digital space.
Being consistent allows folks to know exactly what to expect when they deal with your business. For example, when we decided to rebrand to Hypertext from htxt.africa we wanted to maintain certain elements of the brand so that even with a newer name, the brand was still recognisable.
“By delivering a consistent experience in every interaction with your customers, they know what to expect when they engage with you. It also demonstrates that you take detail very seriously and gives customers confidence that you will deliver quality service to meet their needs,” Sartini tells us.
Consistency allows develops trust but also provides a level of brand security. Sartini explains, “This consistency can also be used to provide brand security in that should customers receive a phishing email which includes your company logo, for example, based on previous experience in dealing with your company, they would know that the email didn’t come from your organisation.”
EMPLOYEES NEED HELP
As a business owner, you might find brand image and consistency is always front of mind. What should be clear however, is that employees might not think the same.
While it sounds like a massive undertaking to get everybody on board with the image the brand wishes to create, Sartini says it doesn’t need to be.
“Employees need to be given tools that will help them to deliver consistent brand experiences at every customer touch point. All relevant documents from letterheads to sales collateral and presentations should be easy to access from a central location using the technology they have become accustomed to using daily,” the founder says.
“Emails should be branded with beautifully designed email signatures and be written in the correct font type and colour. To provide added peace of mind for the recipient, emails should include the organisation’s unique font within the email signature as this is far harder to replicate than ordinary fonts and adds an additional layer of security.”
Of course simply appearing trustworthy is not enough. The BrandQuantum CEO says that companies must adhere to legal requirements and compliance. Locally that means the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) and Electronic Communications Act (ECA) but businesses should also look at the global market and at regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in the EU.
“There are several factors today that can cause serious reputational damage to brands, these range from social media to fake news to cyberattacks. As such companies must have measures in place to minimize the possibility of reputational damage. Brand consistency, which is critical to establishing trust, can provide a layer of brand security for both organisations and their customers,” concludes Sartini.