Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why you gravitate towards certain brands over others? Chances are that the company you admire has outstanding branding that continues to reel you and others in and keep you hooked.
Are you doing that for your business? If you're not quite sure how to nail your branding, then let's examine a brand who does and how they do it. In this blog post, we'll cover 4 key things that Athleta does to keep their branding consistent no matter what and how you can do it, too.
Why Branding Is Important
It's important to keep your branding consistent because you want your target audience to know who you are and what you represent. If you are constantly changing the voice behind your messaging, your mission, or even your font styles, then you are confusing your audience. They will view you as unreliable since you are always changing.
And well, when it comes down to who they're going to give their money to, consumers will choose to purchase from brands that they trust. That's why it's essential to have consistent branding that represents your company well.
How Athleta Does Their Branding Right
A brand that we admire for their branding is Athleta. Here are four ways they are staying on-brand:
1. Building their business around their values
Athleta built their brand around female empowerment, diversity, and being environmentally and socially conscious. They provide a number of resources for female education, grants, fair-trade policies, and sustainability practices that align with these values. Their social media posts are consistent with these values through their captions and imagery.
How You Can Do It
Take a step back and look at your company values. The first question you should ask yourself is, "Do these need to be updated?"
Secondly, ask yourself, "How do we portray these values in our messaging and in our actions?" The key is to find ways to tie back to your company values through your content so that your followers know you are consistent and can know what to expect.
2. Think creatively
While Athleta is primarily an athletic wear company, they thought outside of the box for ways they could attract even more leads while staying on-brand. They started to offer in-store fitness classes and events from local instructors. Not only does this align with their branding, but it is attracting high-quality leads who may be interested in investing in their products.
How You Can Do It
Think about what else you could offer your target audience. You can start by asking, "What will they be doing once they use your product/service?" In Athleta's case, their audience will most likely be exercising in their new athletic wear. So it makes sense that Athleta offers fitness classes.
Brainstorm ideas around what you could offer your target audience in addition to your product to attract more leads. Make sure whatever it is you choose, you can tie it back to your brand.
3. Being able to pivot and stay on brand
Despite the pandemic, Athleta continued to promote healthy physical activity. They created a hashtag campaign “Homebodies” where they asked fitness instructors to tag Athleta and use the hashtag “Homebodies” on their social media posts that show them leading a virtual or in person class. Anyone who participated had a chance to be featured in Athleta's Instagram Stories.
This strategy worked well for Athleta because people who are aiming for more exposure for their own page could choose to participate and tag Athleta so they would be re-shared on a larger platform. When people saw others participating in the Homebodies campaign, it influenced them to join in as well. Even if people didn't participate, it still grew Athleta's brand awareness.
How You Can Do It
Whether it's because your target audience's interests are slowly pivoting or something as grand as a pandemic comes along, you want to make sure that you always have a pivot plan in your back pocket.
When you are beginning to see a change in customer behavior patterns, ask yourself. "How can I still be relevant to my target audience?" In some cases, it may be as simple as launching a new campaign like Athleta did. But you also need to consider if this may be a new opportunity to uncover a new target audience.
4. Being strategic about their partnerships
To better promote their brand from a credible source, Athleta offers a sponsorship discount program for certified health and fitness professionals. The program, called “Athleta FitPro Program”, allows the professionals to purchase items at a discounted price in exchange for posting photos and sporting their Athleta wardrobe. The sponsors will also have access to exclusive promotions they can give to their own clientele to shop at Athleta.
These partnerships show people in the fitness world that Athleta is a brand that is used by professionals, which can help them seem more reputable.
How You Can Do It
Ask yourself, "Who does my target audience consider as a reputable source?" The answer to this question could lead you to partner with other brands or even social media influencers to get the word out about your brand.
Consistent Branding Is Key
These are just a few of the ways that Athleta maintains consistent branding. They are constantly thinking outside of the box for ways they can keep their audience hooked while still staying on brand.
Now it's time to apply at least one of the tips from this blog post to your company's branding to ensure your audience considers you trustworthy.