A few years ago, a businessperson once told me, you are either making money or losing money. It’s a rather simple statement that made me question day-to-day tasks as well as our long-term strategy for growing the business. Building a better brand foundation means consistency, continuity and clarity across all channels. We use this foundation for our clients as well as ourselves.
Build systems rather than templates
As much as we plan, there are inevitable “fires” that arise. Set general processes for how a new product would be rolled out and allow your team time in the schedule to adjust tactics if something isn’t working. Think macro to micro in terms of scheduling and build in buffer timelines so that there is room to make mistakes (and learn from our mistakes).
Organize brand assets
Images, fonts, graphics, and key points of copy, should be clearly labeled within folders that make sense to your business. Use a coding system that your team embraces so that files and projects can be easily referenced as opposed to referring to a project as “that blue flyer we did for a special offer a few years ago”. Tip: never label a file “new”
Document and analyze
The process is just as valuable as the end result. Listen and watch your team work together and make suggestions to streamline the process constantly. When a project has been completed, measure results by weighing data as well as feedback from customers. Remember, not all of your branding efforts can be measured in converted sales numbers. Word of mouth, reputation and referrals are paramount.
Encourage brand ambassadors – people to carry the torch for your brand. Arm them with the right tools but not all the tools. Whether you are working with a marketing agency or with your in-house team, make sure everyone has been trained on how and when to use assets. Share your brand guidelines to ensure everyone sees the big picture, but don’t freely give out the vector format of your logo without vetting the end use.
Every brand should have a document that indicates fonts, colors, image usage and tone of message. This document is a guide and should be updated on a regular basis as your brand grows. New technology or expansion of your services usually prompts an update to the guide. Be careful not to lock yourself into too many rules that inhibit your brand to be relevant.
By creating flexible yet clear systems, training time for new recruits is more manageable and brand consistency is easier to achieve.
Published online at Community Newspapers.
About Brand Poets
Founded by Tana M. Llinas, Brand Poets is a collective of strategists, storytellers, and digital artisans crafting smart, poignant campaigns that command attention. www.brandpoets.com