How to manage unruly brands in 4 easy steps

By Steve Hunt

1st September 2015

In today’s lightning-paced world of multiple marketing channels with their varied but overlapping demographics, it’s more important than ever to know how to safeguard your brand message.   Like herding cats, it can be an exhausting and time-consuming job to keep multiple departments firmly on message, especially when much digital content is globally accessible 24/7. It’s all too easy to let one unruly kitty slip through your fingers, and before you can say ‘cohesive content strategy’ your core brand message has been watered down.   This might be barely perceptible at first, but a colour change here, or a different logo position there, can soon create a marketer’s worst nightmare – brand dilution and confused consumers.   If you’re a time-poor marketer struggling to bring order to a muddled message, follow these 4 simple rules to help regain control over your brand:

  1. Establish a comprehensive brand style guide. Make sure that your brand message is consistent but also tailored to optimise its relevance for each marketing channel. Be sure to create customer profiles for the different channels as part of this process.
  1. Get everyone on board. Sounds obvious, but in a time-sensitive environment where different departments are under pressure to instantly gratify customers, its not uncommon for contradictory messages to slip out. If your brand’s key message is its superior quality, messaging from every corner of the organisation – corporate, departmental and individual – should have this at its heart, and not be tempted to go rogue and, say, start trumpeting about a budget price point.
  1. Centralise your brand assets. Using a central digital store for all branded company collateral – from bid brochures to business cards and everything in between – protects your brand and gives everyone across your organisation a single point of access to the latest, most up-to-date information. It should take minutes, not years, for any brand or product updates to be adopted company-wide, and a well-managed central data store will facilitate this.
  1. Tune in to your target audience. Knowing your customers’ needs and speaking directly to them should be at the heart of your brand message, but anomalies can arise. Identify any misalignment between the customers’ perception of your brand and your own by requesting specific feedback, perhaps in the form a simple questionnaire. The data gathered may confirm a perfect alignment of brand promise and customer expectation, but might just suggest a change that will simplify your message and strengthen your brand.

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