When it comes to your retail brand, consistency is key. This applies to all messaging—design, logos, emails, blogs, and so much more. If each of your retail channels looks and functions differently, how will your customers identify you?
Every business wants to understand their customers, meet their expectations, and develop lifelong customer loyalty, but how? In this article, learn which red flags to look for in your branding, learn how to align your brand with the customers you want, and become a household name in your industry.
What is brand alignment?
Brand alignment is a company's efforts to keep messaging, visuals, and communications consistent with their brand identity and brand voice. Brand alignment is important for employees and sales associates to understand and even more so for buyers to experience throughout their customer journey.
Strong brands will have cohesive messaging across all channels—social media, email, advertisements, billboards, websites, and apps.
Why is brand alignment important for your company?
When your company's branding includes a consistent message, your brand is much more easily identified and remembered by your customer base. Familiarity with the brand will increase and consumers will understand your company's core mission.
Well-aligned brands are quickly recognizable and will stick with your customers to keep them returning to your business. Recognition and a positive reputation builds trust between company and buyer. According to Adobe’s Future of Marketing Research Series, 71% of consumers say that they will not purchase from a company if their trust has been broken.
It requires effort from everyone on your team to maintain brand alignment—including sales teams, marketing teams, business development teams, frontline teams, and customer experience teams. The efforts required to keep everyone on the same page will be well worth it for your company in the long run!
How do I know if I have bad brand alignment?
Brand alignment efforts can easily slip through the cracks when you’ve got so many other things on your plate. Let’s go over a few signs that might indicate the need for branding maintenance in your business.
Your team members describe your business or offerings differently
Your key messages should be crystal clear to all employees in your entire company. If you were to conduct a test asking each team member what principal characteristics, core values, or product offerings your company has, ideally all of their answers would be more or less the same.
If there are alignment gaps within the company, it's likely that it's lacking a cohesive brand experience. Brand alignment among employees is an important first step.
Your customers are confused
One definitive way to know if you have alignment across channels is by checking for alignment among consumers. If your buyers are confused about what it is you're offering because of bad brand alignment, you might reconsider your marketing goals so that you can create a more consistent experience for your customer in their buying journey.
You struggle to differentiate yourself from your competitors
One common alignment challenge retail stores face is standing out among competing companies. A strong and cohesive brand experience will make your business rise to the top as decision makers (ie. investors, buyers) do their research about which company to pursue.
How to align your customer with your brand
A few key elements to keep in mind when deciding how to align your customer with your brand:
Maintain consistency across channels
This applies to visuals, messaging, goals, and offerings. Make a marketing plan and make sure that it achieves alignment across marketing channels. One helpful way to do this is by creating internal branding and external branding guidelines for your business.
Let’s break down the difference between the two:
- External branding alignment can look like making sure your color palette and font choices are consistent with your brand, or that you're using the correct and updated logo on all of your branding. It’s the creative and advertising side to your business that consumers will see and remember.
- Internal branding should include a degree of alignment in marketing emails, SMS messaging, and blog posts. It could also include check-ins from sales and customer support and Slack messaging. Internal branding focuses on company culture and ensuring understanding of the brand among team members.
Use your brand story and bigger-picture goals to maintain a consistent vision
What matters most to you in your company? All the decisions you make in your business should fit within this brand narrative and work toward your goals. These core values will act as a north star as you pursue brand alignment and remember what's at the heart of your business.
Identifying your key customer based on your retailer type
Knowing which type of retailer you are will help you to decide how best to market your product and align your customer with your brand. It also helps you to understand who your customers are and what their priorities are. Which type does your company align with?
Three retailer types
You deliver value by providing the lowest priced products. Customers of this type of retailer will be looking for products that don't cost as much as competitor retailers. These customers will be more money-conscious and less focused on product quality.
You deliver value through a combination of price and promotion. You're delivering a quality product for a reasonable and competitive price. These customers will likely be in the market for higher quality, more expensive items but not quite into the premium category.
You deliver value through a premier product/experience. This is the top tier in terms of quality and price. These customers will be recession-proof and willing to pay any price for a top-quality, premium purchasing experience.
Understanding the value of your customer base and being able to align your branding to meet their expectations will improve your retail sales and customer retention.
How Clientbook can help retailers of all types connect with their customers
Once you understand your customer base and how to align your brand to meet their needs, the next step is to really connect with them. Clientbook is an app and customer relationship management system (CRM) that creates the perfect bridge between you and your customers.
Having a CRM is vital to connecting with your buyers in a meaningful way. The Clientbook app provides your sales team with a system built for retail that contains a customer database, messaging, and customizable wish lists. You can use this app to build your customer relationships through clienteling while also gathering info from the client about product preferences and interests.
Your brand has the potential to become a well-known, easily recognizable name—something that's extremely important in today's retail market. This directly ties to how many customers you gain and maintain through consistent brand alignment and by appealing to your customers.
Ready to level up your brand alignment and customer understanding? Book a demo today!