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What is brand alignment, and why does it matter?

Amber Snow

General Manager

27th February, 2020

3 min. read

A carefully managed brand can be a powerful asset. However, without thoughtful planning and attention, it can be all too easy for your brand’s message to deteriorate. This is especially true in the world of omnichannel marketing – where brands have to maintain alignment across a vast number of customer touchpoints. The process of ensuring that customers have a consistent experience at every touchpoint is called ‘brand alignment.’

As Forbes puts it, “A brand behaves badly when cohesiveness is steamrolled by confusion. A brand can be many things. It can communicate its attributes in many ways… But one thing a brand should never be is inconsistent, awkwardly straddling multiple platforms in search of a message that resonates.”

As 2020 progresses, brand alignment is more integral to business success than ever before. Audiences have increasingly short attention spans, are highly informed, and are presented with an endless variety of choices. Successful brand alignment means that your message will be consistently conveyed across a variety of channels with authenticity, uniformity and impact.

Is your brand out of alignment?

Brand alignment helps to promote trust – and people don’t buy without trust. Without proper brand alignment, you should expect to miss out on significant opportunities for sales and growth. There three quick ways to test whether your brand is out of alignment:

  1. Customers seem confused about your unique selling proposition. Without clear and consistent messages about what your brand represents, many customers will lose patience and simply move on to a competitor.
  2. Team members each describe your unique selling propositions (USPs) differently. If your team interprets and views your brand in many distinct ways, then chances are you need to improve brand alignment.
  3. Your brand identity looks different at every touchpoint. Does your shopfront relate to your website? Is your brand identity communicated on Facebook? Does this differ from what’s published on Instagram? These questions, and others like them, are all matters of brand alignment.

It’s important to understand that brand alignment also relates to how people feel about your brand. To achieve brand alignment, every experience that a customer has with your brand needs to evoke the same emotional reaction. This type of emotional consistency is the key to gaining customer trust – and keeping it.

Take Apple as an example: As an Apple customer, your brand experience will be the same whether you’re visiting a bricks-and-mortar store, browsing their website, or checking out social media. Apple delivers consistent content, with a clear brand identity and well-communicated USPs. Apple ‘Geniuses’ know what they stand for. Customers trust the Apple experience. The brand is aligned.

Can your brand be brought back into alignment?

If this article is sounding alarm bells, don’t panic! In many cases, brands can be brought back into alignment with thoughtful research and planning.

This research will often involve surveying both current and former customers to understand where your brand experience currently falls short. Understanding your brand’s ‘customer journey’ can help you identify areas for improvement and realignment.

Regaining trust will also be a central step in realigning your brand. You will need to pay careful attention to how your customer feels throughout every interaction with your brand. As Forbes puts it, “Today, a brand must double-down on their core mission and treat it as a hub that informs communication for a diverse and evolving collection of channels.”

“Today, a brand must double-down on their core mission and treat it as a hub that informs communication for a diverse and evolving collection of channels.”


Final thoughts

“Just as poorly aligned tires can affect your vehicle’s overall efficiency; an unaligned brand degrades the performance of your firm.” – Hinge Research Institute.

Brand alignment matters – it provides consistency and trust, which are both critical qualities for success in today’s competitive global market.

If you’re unsure how to effectively align your brand, contact the expert team at Pixel Palace today.