Have you ever walked into a hotel room expecting something magnificent, just like the picture you had seen online, but it looks nothing like it?
Well, it is false advertising, but it is also inconsistent branding.
When done well, branding makes the user feel a certain way throughout the entire experience.
Let’s use the hotel example.
When you look up the hotel online, when you call to reserve a room, the way you get welcomed when you arrive, the quality of bedlinen, pen, shampoo, towel, etc., it should all give the same level or type of experience.
If you are at a luxury hotel you might expect things like light and airy surroundings, beautiful flowers in the entrance, magnificent art, a high celling, a glass of champagne handed to you by a gentleman with white gloves at your arrival, the best linens and fluffy white robe, a leather-bound menu with a golden logo embossed.
At every interaction with the hotel, you have an exceptional experience.
If you’re at a motel, you might expect something very different, and it’s different at every touch point too, from arriving and no one greeting you, no fresh flowers, no high ceilings, darker rooms, so-so beds, and a laminated menu. Although not as luxurious, it is the same level of experience in every interaction.
This is consistent branding, consistently impressing or not.
We as humans like to put things in boxes.
Yes, even you…
We are masters at jumping to conclusions based on our previous experiences.
It’s one of those things that is human nature, we try to interpret our experiences as soon as we interact with them. If we don’t know how to receive them, we simply “push” the experience into a box of something similar that it reminds us of so our brain can take it in and spit out a translation of how we should feel or react.
That’s why first impressions are important.
To keep that impression throughout the experience, is however just as important.
Consistency through all touch points on how you do things will reiterate who you are, what you believe in, and how you serve. Again, our brains are trying to find the shortest/easiest route (which is both a blessing and a curse).
Make sure that initial impression is what you wanted to give and create that experience by consistently showing up. Before you know it, you are in the user’s mind as the best/most/healthiest/cheapest etc. _______ in town.
This is also why it is important to start with defining your brand first, so you know in what way and style you want interact with your user/customer before you start creating all touch points from logo, marketing material, interior, exterior etc.