There are many ways to tell your brand story, from the types of media you use right down to colours, fonts and imagery. As marketing channels expand, it’s not uncommon for brand messages to become diluted as they’re spread across different platforms and mediums. It’s therefore crucial that brands are conscious of how to keep their key messages intact.
At Patient Claim Line, we promote ourselves across a broad spectrum of media including social, TV and paid search, so we’re constantly working to keep our messages aligned. As a medical negligence law firm, we also have the added pressures of strict regulation, so it’s crucial that our branding is consistent in order to maintain the level of professionalism required to attract new customers. From reinforcing tag lines to customer-focused content, here are some of the ways we keep our brand messages consistent:
1. Know your customer
A thorough understanding of your target customer is crucial to keeping your brand marketing aligned. Whatever your budget, there’s a wealth of information available to every SME - from analysing trends in customer data to using Google Analytics to understand user behaviour. If you’re just starting to build a customer base, then Facebook’s audience insights is a great free tool that lets you understand target audiences by offering suggestions on demographics and interests.
Once you have a clearer understanding of your customer and their behaviour you can ensure that you're delivering a relevant brand message across channels that make sense to that customer.
2. Maintain tone of voice with tag lines
Tone of voice is especially difficult to keep consistent, as marketing channels often require you to adapt your style to best reflect their audience, format and intent. Content that’s published through Twitter is likely to read very differently to PPC campaigns, for example.
You can still achieve consistency in these instances by using tag lines to tie campaigns together. At Patient Claim Line, we use the tagline ‘know for sure’ across all marketing channels, from TV to social media, to keep our brand voice consistent.
3. Reinforce trust signals at every stage
If your brand message relies heavily on reputation, then trust signals are a good way to reinforce authority at each stage of the customer journey. Patient Claim Line is the highest-rated medical negligence specialist on Trustpilot and this trust signal is important to our customers, so we actively promote this message across our TV, social media, email and paid channels.
Trust signals will vary depending on what your customer values, and could range from things like awards and industry accreditations to social media followers and customer reviews.
4. Choose imagery carefully
Sometimes images tell stories better than words. So choose your images wisely to ensure that they reflect your key message and customer.
At Patient Claim Line, we always use real-life family scenes in videos and imagery to reflect our customers’ interests and ensure that our target audience can instantly identify with our brand. This also helps reinforce our message that we understand our customers and their needs, as well as to help break down the strict corporate facade that can sometimes put customers off making a claim.
5. Ensure topics align with your key messages
The content you produce needs to resonate with your overarching story as a brand. Therefore, it has to make sense to the customer and reinforce that you can relate to them and understand their needs. So if you’re an ecommerce store that focuses on rock-bottom prices, then don’t produce blogs about luxury goods. Or if your products are targeted towards families with small children, don’t produce a travel guide for solo travellers.
Stick to topics that reflect your key brand messages. Whilst it can be tempting to jump on news trends for a quick PR win, try to take a step back to assess whether the coverage opportunity makes sense to your customer. The same also goes for the publications you work with, as these partnerships also reflect your brand identity.
6. Create brand guidelines
It’s much easier to maintain control over a brand message if you have clear instructions on what that brand message is. Create clear brand guidelines to determine exactly how your business should be telling its story. It’s difficult to create examples for every scenario, so instead focus on a selection of things that brand ambassadors should and shouldn’t use to reflect the brand.
Define how you talk to your customer - the language, tone and places you talk to them - as well as what your brand should look like, which can be anything from the kinds of images you use to fonts and colours.
Whilst it can be tricky to maintain your brand message across different channels, especially when you're in the early stages of growth, solid brand guidelines and a thorough understanding of your customer will help you to achieve consistency.
About the Author
Owen Simpson is the Head of Marketing at Patient Claim Line, the medical negligence specialists owned and operated by award-winning UK law firm Fletchers Solicitors. Established in Southport in 1987, Fletchers Solicitors is the largest medical negligence and personal injury practice in the UK and currently deals with 1 in 10 of all medical negligence claims in England and Wales.