BRAND CONSISTENCY BRAND CONSISTENCY AND COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE By Tabani Moyo A s the curtain of the troubled last year touched down, putting closure to 12 months of manmade socio-economic and political crisis – projections on the posture and stature of 2017 remained blurred and a daunting task for the majority of the companies. While engulfed in that thought process and the mind running riot on the future of Zimbabwe, a promotion ‘‘ Brand consistency is critical in that it keeps track of the brand across the clutter of communication channels. This is critical in maintaining its strengths, which in the long run translates into customer acceptance and ultimately the much sort after sales.’’ 40 MAL 18/17 ISSUE by one of our very own local brand Lobels Biscuits and Sweets caught my attention on the social media. It rolled out a nine (9) second video clip of a sky-blue biscuits tin of the company’s assortment of the biscuits that have defined Zimbabwe’s market for decades. The company’s campaign was branded: Limited Edition targeting the festive season in stimulating sales. promise to the multitudes of its key stakeholders. Put in the simplest terms, “When you open a bottle of Sprite to quench your thirst, it must not taste like Fanta …” This is the level of consistency that must be maintained especially as the online channels are developing at a runaway pace. Coca Cola has mastered the art and science of this approach! Its like a forte! As I enjoyed the creative wizardry by our own Lobels, Coca Cola as its tradition had its own Limited Edition, of the festive season special bottles – a collector’s edition so to speak! These are the creative proses that should anchor competitive brand management going forward. This imperative proposition requires that marketing should ensure consistency of brand content regardless of the media channels. Such an approach leads to a strong and profound communication thrust which feeds to high customer engagement and the highly anticipated and yearned for brand value. Brand value is an asset that equips the company with unique and distinct edge over competing offerings. In realizing these creative exploits, the branding sixth sense was triggered which stimulated the focus of this installment. I asked the profound question of how brands will survive going forward! My answer was that: brands need to be consistent in delivering the brand As the brand grows, in this case, Lobels Biscuits and Sweets, chances are high that consistency across the platforms might be compromised, if there is no strategic framework to guide the engagement process on the multiple channels especially in the digital arena.