Learn how brands like Skittles and Crocs have successfully revamped their image to attract new audiences.

Is Your Brand Consistent? How Brands Build Market Share with the Right Story

Mike Bowman

Remember The Truman Show? Chances are, at one point you had a fleeting thought or feeling in line with the premise of that film, ‘Am I the star of the show and the whole world is watching my every move?’ I’m sure that thought was short-lived, and that you chalked it up to vanity. Why then, do so many brands think this way?

They think they’re the star and that everyone’s watching to see what they’re going to do next. They’re not. No one’s watching that closely.  

I can’t tell you how many kickoff meetings with a new client that I’ve been a part of over the last decade-plus, where someone on the brand team says something akin to, “As you know, everyone knows us as…” Whenever that happens, everyone on the agency side rushes to jot it down. Why? Because even though we’ve all done our homework on the brand that we’re meeting with, we’re hearing it for the first time. Not everyone knows your brand as anything. 
A major reason for that recurring scenario is two-fold. The first is that most brands and their people have been inside their brand’s "bubble” for too long. The focus required to get a great product to market, by nature, creates myopia. It's just why an outside agency is such a valuable partner. The second reason, and the one I’ll spend time on, is because their brand is inconsistent and vague about who they are starting with their internal stakeholders. How they speak to different audiences (including themselves) changes based on the audience and the channel in which it’s being served. 
Your brand needs to tell your story in a consistent way, at every touchpoint. The first step for any brand is to solidify theirs. With the ever-growing channels available to speak to your audience, it’s more difficult than ever to achieve this, so the need for a cohesive brand message is crucial. 
Legacy brands have the hardest time with this because they’re under the impression that their brand carries some kind of immutable perception in the minds of their audience. Even your most loyal audience isn’t all that vested in your brand, and if they’re true ride or die they are willing to accept new facets of a new story. There are many examples of brands who’ve ditched their origin story for more modern brand messages. 
Take Skittles. Growing up, Skittles was just Skittles. Now, if you ask anyone what Skittles stands for, you’ll probably get responses like “quirky” or “weird.” They found a whitespace in the candy category, and went for it. Really went for it. Now they own “weird”. And they successfully own it at every touchpoint. 
Brand consistency doesn’t mean that the brand message needs to be identical for every audience. Every brand should have levers that they push and pull depending on the brand's message and where it will live. The footwear giant, Crocs’ stated brand purpose is being, “Rooted in comfort, our purpose is to create a more comfortable world for all.” At a glance, comfort is a functional benefit, however, they’ve since expanded upon what that can mean with their “Come As You Are” campaign. This long-running campaign urges consumers to embrace and celebrate their own unique selves. This strategy surely reached and won over new audiences due to their 12% increase in revenue in 2023 that totaled $4.0B according to their Q4 & FY 2023 Investor Presentation.
Consistency with your core brand message not only provides the freedom to move your brand's levers; rather than being in the endless loop of always having to stick to product benefits, you can explore new ways of getting your audience's attention and making a lasting impression.
Whether you're launching a new brand or making updates to an existing brand, starting the process of streamlining your brand message to be consistent in every channel can be daunting. If you’d like help getting started, give us a shout.