Consistency or adaptability: what drives brand success in a competitive market?

August 2023

In the fast-paced world of advertising and communication, do you often find yourself questioning the importance of brand consistency? Are you tempted to make swift adjustments in reaction to competitor moves or shifts in market trends? It’s a common dilemma. However, consistency is crucial to building a strong brand image, despite the attraction of rapid change.

In short

  1. Consistency is key to creating a strong, memorable brand image.
  2. Beyond logos and colours, every brand element must be consistent.
  3. Consistency generates a deep connection with consumers.
  4. Brands can evolve while maintaining consistency by staying true to their core values.
  5. Consistent customer experiences breed loyalty and word-of-mouth advertising.

The power of brand consistency in a volatile market

Creating a strong brand image doesn’t happen overnight; it requires consistent effort. Consistency is what makes your brand unforgettable and invites loyal followers. Despite the challenge of maintaining uniformity across different parties, channels, and formats, it is consistency that can transform your brand into a memorable brand with an army of loyal fans.

While brands may be tempted to adapt suddenly due to external influences or increased competition, consistency remains vital in strengthening the brand-consumer relationship. It goes beyond merely the logo and colour palette; every visual, auditory element and execution of values should sing the same tune.

The human brain is keen on consistency

Reiterating brand elements in every interaction can create harmony between your brand and your customers. Everything associated with your brand should echo the same language, evoking similar visual sensations across every context. This consistency increases the likelihood that consumers will feel connected to your brand, potentially leading to purchases or recommendations.

"Building connections through consistency - every brand-related aspect should convey the same narrative, fostering a strong, emotional bond with consumers." Wolf Florizoone, MD June20

Research confirms: increase revenue by 33%

Studies by Harvard Business Review, the University of California at Berkeley, and Landor show that consistent branding builds trust, boosts sales, and cultivates an identity. According to the ‘State of Brand Consistency Report’, it can increase revenue by 33%. However, 81% of companies still face off-branded content. A consistent message builds familiarity and increased consumer preference for trustworthy brands to stand out in a landscape where 50% of organisations create more content every year.

Consistency and evolution are complementary, not contradictory

Evolution doesn’t necessarily mean losing consistency. Brands can embrace change while adhering to their core values, providing the necessary flexibility to adapt. Before initiating change, understand your brand’s core principles that drive all marketing and communication efforts. A rapid shift could cause customer confusion and resistance, so it is crucial to evolve gradually and strategically, always staying true to the brand’s core values.

The importance of consistency in customer experience

Providing a consistent customer experience is essential to winning and retaining customer loyalty, from pre-sales support and information provision to post-sales support and complaint handling. The assurance of consistent quality leaves a powerful, memorable impression, leading to the most potent form of advertising – word-of-mouth.

Successful case studies: Netflix, Airbnb and M&M’s

Netflix transformed from a DVD rental platform to an entertainment streaming service, yet retained its core values of innovation, ease of use, and diverse quality content. Similarly, Airbnb expanded its brand values to inclusivity and embracing different cultures while evolving from a unique accommodation booking platform. Their “Belong Anywhere” campaign underscored the importance of openness and acceptance during travel, creating a consistent message that resonates with their target audience. This illustrates that brands can evolve while maintaining a consistent brand identity.

The iconic brand M&M’s from Mars, Incorporated is a prime example of how consistency and evolution can coexist within a well-considered strategy. In 2022, M&M’s underwent an evolution that emphasised inclusivity, celebrating individuality and self-expression. M&M’s utilised their recognisable colour palette and distinct shapes to connect with customers while adding an ampersand in the logo to signify unity and diversity. This brand evolution reinforced M&M’s commitment to societal values and helped foster a deeper emotional bond with its consumers.

How can June2O help you?

At June20, we’re not just about moving brands forward; we’re about moving people. We adopt a unique approach we refer to as “Engineering Emotions.” The core of your brand lies in the hearts of your audience, and our expertise is in forging that crucial emotional bond. We understand the delicate balance between maintaining brand consistency and navigating the shifting tides of the market. Our experienced team can guide your brand through this journey, ensuring you stay true to your core values while strategically adapting to market changes.

“It takes 20 years to build a brand reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently.” - Warren Buffett.

Wolfgang Florizoone

Wolfgang Florizoone, Managing Director at June20, is a versatile professional with a wide range of experiences and a passion for effective communication. He has excelled in various roles, including Sales & Marketing in the media industry and as a strategy consultant. As a guest lecturer, Wolf shared his expertise and contributed to the advancement of the industry. Since 2010 he has been leading June20 to move brands forward by moving people.

Photo of Wolf Florizoone, Managing Director at June20

Peter Hoogland

Peter Hoogland, Cultural Strategist at June20, started his career in Flanders’ media industry, serving in various roles across radio and TV programs. He then spent seven years in management at Kursaal Oostende. Concurrently, he explored diverse fields of study, including psychology, workshop facilitation, behavioural design,, innovation, and business models.

Photo of Peter Hoogland, Cultural Strategist at June20