When done well, branding can have a tremendous impact on your company. It can provide personality, differentiate you from the competition, and even instil trust. However, inconsistent branding can have damaging results.
When branding is inconsistent across channels, it can break down the connection a customer builds with a brand they recognize and trust, and the experience they are currently having.
Often, inconsistent branding is just one symptom of internal silos that are preventing effective communication. Silos can make life extremely difficult for your customers in many respects, but branding that is inconsistent or even misleading can have major consequences. However, an organization can’t begin to address branding issues until they know how to spot them.
Is Your Brand Suffering from Internal Silos?
There are a few tell-tale signs that internal silos may be causing inconsistent branding. Here are a few things to look out for.
Inconsistent Style Across Products or Regions
Inconsistent visuals are one aspect of branding that silos impact. If no one can find the latest style guide, how can you expect them to follow it?
The look and feel of your marketing content plays an important role: it lets customers know they are in the right place. If your sales team sends a brochure that doesn’t match your website, that can confuse prospects and erode trust. As prospects move down the funnel, they seek more detailed company information. If there are inconsistencies in how information and visuals are portrayed, the company’s image can be negatively affected.
Version Control Is Not Controlled
Do you have trouble getting other teams to use existing templates or leverage established marketing documents? Does your sales team routinely recreate the wheel with every sales presentation?
When silos are present within an organization, this type of employee behavior is common, and branding suffers. When employees can’t easily find the on-brand documents they need, they improvise, and the result is inconsistency for the consumer.
Interactions Are Disjointed
Branding moves beyond the collateral that the marketing team has created. Every department has an impact on brand perception, and this is especially true in both sales and customer service. If your customers complain of redundancy or mixed messaging, it’s possible that internal silos are the culprit. When customers interact with an organization, they want consistency and progressive information. If a customer receives conflicting information or the same information over and over, a company’s brand will suffer.
How to Solve Branding Issues Due to Internal Silos
If your organization finds itself in a branding crisis, what is the solution? Often, a knowledge sharing strategy can help.
A knowledge sharing strategy is a plan of action that outlines how your organization will capture, manage, and share company information, data, and knowledge to improve your productivity and efficiencies. The most successful of these strategies are closely aligned with individual department and company-wide objectives.
When you put a knowledge sharing strategy, it creates an environment that encourages effective communication and collaboration between departments and employees. Essentially, it’s communication that ultimately breaks down internal silos and improves the consistency of branding.
Centralizing your knowledge and assets is one part of implementing a successful knowledge sharing strategy. When team members are spread out across multiple departments, regions, and projects, communication and resource-sharing can be difficult. When everything is centralized and accessible, everyone can trust that they have the right information.
Ultimately, the goal of your knowledge sharing strategy is to replace isolation with collaboration and communication, which will improve the consistency of your brand. Consumers look for consistency and integrity in products and companies, and when an organization shares knowledge and collaborates, that consistency builds trust with customers.