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4 Ways to Cultivate Brand Consistency in Your Multisite Salon
Brand consistency is a crucial technique that ensures clients can expect the same experience at each of your salons — even with different stylists at each location. Inconsistent messages create doubt and give people a reason to choose an option they view as more reliable. These tips can help your clients feel comfortable with your salons, no matter where they are.
Why brand consistency matters
Your customers want to feel like they know and understand your business, but that won’t happen from a single encounter. A single post on Instagram isn’t enough to get them to trust you, because awareness is a process that takes place over time. If your messaging is all over the place — Boho-chic one day, upscale the next — it’s hard for anyone to know what to expect from you. For people to trust you enough to become (and remain) a client, their expectations need to be met every time, in every place. They should be able to recognize a piece of marketing as being from your salon every time they see it, and for that, you need brand consistency.
Create branding guidelines
The most important step in brand consistency is having a clear vision of what your brand is. Spend some time thinking about the promise you want your brand to make to its customers, and create guidelines that ensure everything in your salons supports that promise. If you’re stumped about where to start, envision the one word you’d want customers to use to describe your salons. Classy? Cool? Luxurious? From there, select the color palette, logo, fonts, and images you associate with that feeling. These will become the foundation of your branding guidelines.
Once you’ve created your guidelines, be sure you know how to communicate them to your staff. Usage rules for specific colors are easy to follow, but different employees may have different interpretations of a brand mantra, like “everyday luxe” or even “beautiful.” Not only do they need to understand what your brand is, they need to internalize what it means so they can make consistent decisions.
Keep your assets together
If your salon has grown to have multiple locations, more than one person is likely creating marketing materials, whether Instagram posts or on-location signage. Rather than send out a company-wide email that not all color blues are the same, for example, just keep your brand elements in one easily accessible location. An asset management tool corrals the various visual elements, like your logo in different formats or examples of the kind of language you prefer, in one easily accessible place. Having one place for all assets ensures that your marketing always looks like it was created by a single hand, rather than several different teams.
Understand your brand’s voice
When talking about branding, “voice” is the personality behind your marketing. It can even be helpful to create a persona that represents your brand’s voice to better help visualize how to use it in different situations. Envision your target customer and then consider how they’d like to be spoken to, and you’re on the right track to finding your brand’s voice. The most important thing to consider when developing your brand’s voice is authenticity because everything associated with your salons has to be able to use it without coming off as awkward, or worse — fake.
Commit to brand consistency
Even with all the other checks in place, your brand voice can wander if it’s not monitored regularly. Make consistency a priority and devote resources to maintaining it across all channels. Perform regular audits of your on-and offline marketing. They should be consistent not only within themselves but compared to each other. If your branding is consistent, it should be difficult, if not impossible, to tell who made what for where.
Mastering brand consistency creates trust with your clientele and maximizes the benefit of your marketing, which is reason enough to make it a priority. In addition, it can help guide your business as it pursues new opportunities. Carefully consider each messaging element to see how it aligns with your core brand values. A new initiative may seem too good to pass up until you realize it’s at odds with the rest of your brand — and the reverse can be just as true. Let your brand consistency be your north star, guiding your salons to long-term success.