Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Are You In Control Of Your Brand?

June 19, 2019 by  
Filed under Money/Business, Weekly Columns

(Akiit.com) Your brand is a very important part of your business. It’s what helps people to recognize you and develop brand awareness. It also helps tie your business together. Having a brand isn’t just relevant for companies that sell products either, a brand is important for any kind of business.

However, sometimes your brand can get lost or people can fail to use it properly. Being in control of your brand is important to ensure consistency, and cement your status as a professional, recognizable business.

Are you in control of your brand? Here are some pointers on how you can improve the use of your brand.

Agree on a consistent, uniform brand

To be able to implement a brand successfully, you’re going to need to agree on a brand first. Building a brand will require some thought and consideration about what you want your brand to be, how it should look and what you want it to say about your business. It will include everything from a logo to the colors your business uses across everything it does. For small businesses without a dedicated graphic designer, it might be worth outsourcing your branding work to make sure you get a professional and complete result.

The next stage will be for you to think about where to implement your brand to ensure that you get maximum exposure for it.

Make a style guide

Having a style guide is one of the easiest ways for your company to promote a consistent brand across all employees and departments. It should cover all areas of your brand, including: logo use, taglines, straplines, colors, fonts, font sizes, tone of voice, use of photographs, etc. With a detailed style guide, a new starter should be able to pick it up and be able to use your brand correctly straight away.

You can take a look at some amazing examples of style guides to give you some inspiration for creating your own.

Be explicit when you hand over assets

There will be times when you need to hand over your branding guidelines to external parties. This could be external companies who you’ve outsourced work to, partner organizations, etc. It’s important that when anyone is using your brand that they are given clear guidelines on how to use it, and it should be written into any contracts that you provide.

You need to be able to manage brand content if you’re going to ensure consistency. If you receive work that doesn’t follow your branding guidelines, you need to push back until they get it right. Large corporations like Coca Cola and Disney have strict guidelines for the use of their brand, and you should too.

Provide training to your employees and internal stakeholders

As the people who will be using your brand, you need to make sure that all of your employees know how to use it correctly. You should provide them with resources in a central location, as well as consider providing hard copies of your style guide to everyone so that they can reference them easily. New starters need to get to grips with the brand straight away so that they can get tasks like sending emails and creating documents right from the off.

Remember that it’s not just employees who need to have training in how to use your brand. Your internal stakeholders also need to be able to use it effectively. Making sure that senior management, board members, etc., can also use the brand is important, as successful implementation usually comes from the top down. Agree on any branding decisions during leadership meetings to ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to your brand.

Update and communicate

A brand will evolve and develop over time. It can be difficult to know when to update your brand, but when the time does come, you need to make sure you communicate changes effectively. As with any key changes to your business, you need to communicate with employees at all levels and make sure that they understand the changes. You can provide training and workshops to help the message sink in, with a clear date for implementation put in place.

Staying in control of your brand isn’t always easy. But if you take the right measures and approaches then you should be able to develop a brand that works for your business and is implemented successfully throughout. Give some thought to the best ways to maintain control over your brand and help make sure your business stays the real deal.

Staff Writer; Sherry Moore

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