It sets people’s expectations as they come to associate a colour, product, narrative, or piece of marketing with a brand.
However, complacency is often confused for consistency, causing a brand to grow rigid and unchanging. Leading it to be forgotten and replaced by one that introduces innovation into the market.
It’s a cycle that is continually repeating itself.
Blockbuster’s DVD rentals were replaced by Netflix’s on-demand video streaming service.
Polaroid’s instant film cameras were forgotten when Fujifilm introduced the world’s first digital camera.
And Blackberry’s smartphone fell out of favour with the introduction of Apple’s iPhone.
The complacent brands were all innovators. Blockbuster, Polaroid, and Blackberry all created and popularized markets that didn’t exist before their arrival.
But the innovation that put them on top couldn’t keep them there. For that, they needed consistency that signalled to customers that their brand was the right choice.
And this worked for a while.
But as the years passed, their consistency slowly transformed into complacency, turning a blind eye to competition under the belief that people would continue to want more of the same. In other words, they thought what put them on top would keep them on top.
Yet to stay on top, you need consistent innovation. We only want more of the same until something better comes along. It's the reason why we watch Netflix instead of going to Blockbuster. Prefer a digital camera over a Polaroid instant film camera. And have an Apple iPhone instead of a Blackberry.
It wasn’t figuring out how to innovate. It was realizing innovation was still an option.
Brand consistency doesn’t mean brand complacency. In a world that’s constantly changing, the consistent brand is the one that changes with it.
A brand is a promise. It's the promise you make to your customers about what they can expect from your product or service.
You can have the best logo, use the most fantastic typeface, create the perfect colour palette, but if you’re not using those elements consistently across your brand, you risk confusing and turning away potential customers.
Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business. If you're not branding yourself properly, it's very likely that your business will fail.
You know your business inside and out. You know what you do best, who your customers are, and what makes you different from competitors. But do others?