Look beyond looks. Brand consistency applies to behaviour as much as identity
When trying to drive ongoing interest in an impulse product, it’s tempting to keep doing different things to try to stand out. But beware pursuing novelty at the expense of consistency. True brand consistency goes beyond a clearly defined brand identity, and applies as much to every behaviour a brand delivers. Our study shows that recommendation in particular is driven not just by visual consistency, but consistency of experience and the sense that the brand will deliver wholly against a consumer’s expectations.
When it comes to pure salience, the leading brands are unsurprisingly the the ones who have reinforced their identities for years: Coke, KitKat, Walkers, Nescafe. But this recognition doesn’t on its own translate into recommendation. For consumers to recommend a snack brand, they want to feel that the brand provides an authentic, unique experience where the brand’s narrative, product, packaging and marketing exist as one. They want to feel that the brand’s body language is consistent wherever and whenever it is experienced. Ultimately, that the brand will deliver consistently against audience expectations – giving me what I want, when I expect it.
But in FMCG why does recommendation matter? Because the brands people discuss with their friends are the ones they are willing to pay more for.
A truly distinctive character allows people to quickly, instinctively recognise and feel affinity for a brand. The most powerful are multi-faceted , provocative and reinforced simply through body language and iconography in every brand experience. The ultimate sense consumers desire is one of authenticity – that every experiences of this brand will deliver against its promise and purpose.