On your way to work today, did you stop at Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts for your wake-up coffee? While waiting in line for that tall, skinny latte or straight up Americano, did you consider why your coffee purveyor and other companies like Disney, Apple and Nike are so incredibly successful at establishing and keeping customer loyalty while others seem to shutter their doors only after a few months?
Consistency could very well be what drove you to your favorite coffee spot today. I know it works for me. When I head to Starbucks I know my short, flat, white will be delectable, and my dog, aBoo, will receive her consistently delicious puppaccino . (Yes, that is a link to a video of my dog.)
Almost every client and customer loves consistency. They enjoy knowing what to expect and come to expect what they know. The mega companies understand the power of consistency; there are diligent about their brand “experience” – and work to have it permeate everything they do.
Several years ago , I had the opportunity to see Michael Eisner, former CEO of Disney, speak at a conference. In his speech, he metaphorically likened a consistent brand experience to a series of very small dots – somewhat like pointillism – creating an overall image of the organization.
What if we were to look at our brand as a series of pointillism dots creating an overall image or feeling of our firms? We have the ability to focus our image just as Disney does and we have the potential to grow to heights just as impressive. (It all starts with just one dot—one clearly defined dot.)
Consistency and Influence
Interestingly a book written in 1984 provides the perfect scientific foundation for the importance and validity of brand consistency: Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini. In the book Cialdini reveals his six principles of influence: consistency, reciprocity, liking, authority, social proof, and scarcity.
Cialdini confirms scientifically what Eisner knew intuitively, “a high degree of consistency is normally associated with personal intellectual strength” while someone whose actions are inconsistent is considered “indecisive, confused, two-faced or worse.” Consistency confirms to your clients and prospects that you’re reliable, trustworthy – and possibly even smart!
In fact, consistency is one of the reasons I recommend sticking with a single social platform until you've nailed it. Nothing is worse than being inconsistent across multiple social platforms. (If you chose one, pick LinkedIn .)
When I speak , I often share what I believe is the magic of marketing: content, contact and consistency. I believe business owners and sales folks end up missing the magic because we attempt too much in the branding/marketing realm at one time.
My challenge to you: What three dots can you work on for 2016 to up your consistency quotient? Make them super simple. Consider, how do you answer the phone? How quickly do you return client calls? How might you make your voicemails shorter and more actionable for the recipient?
For more on branding, check out Create a Magnetic Brand, Build Margin and download my Brand Touchpoint Audit Checklist to help you get going.