In a world where competition constantly intensifies – and where marketing strategies become increasingly sophisticated – it is essential to know how to stand out from the crowd.
A saturated marketplace makes it very difficult for companies to be heard by their target audience, even with the current range of social and digital platforms. However, differentiation and customer engagement can be gained with a strong, meaningful brand that resonates with the audience.
However, it’s one thing to know that your business needs a strong brand, and another thing entirely to create and successfully implement one. So how can you get it right?
Use a professional
Corporate branding exercises are not the time to commission someone’s teenage nephew to ‘mock up a logo’ from his bedroom. They should be carried out through the marketing team, with the support of a graphic designer. Some larger companies will use brand strategy agencies to carry out in-depth customer and positioning research beforehand. The approach you will use will depend very much on your budget, your business and the sector that you operate in.
At the very least however, you need a professional graphic designer to produce your brand assets for you in a range of file formats that web developers and printers can use – along with brand guidelines that define your associated brand visuals. Your marketing resource will lead on the content for this and the guidelines should cover everything from your brand colour palette, through to tone of voice, imagery, approved marketing collateral and brand values. This ensures that all communication from the company is consistent and on-brand, to help build it with the audience in mind.
Keep it simple
Don’t create an overly complicated brand logo that is essentially a piece of art contained in a tiny format. Look at big successful corporate brands such as Google, IKEA, Nike and so forth. Invariably, their brand logos are simple, minimal and clear. Remember that your logo will often be printed in a very tiny space, so legibility is key.
Roll it out properly
When you’ve invested in a new corporate brand, you need to roll it out properly. This means creating a sequential rollout plan that takes into account every audience and group that needs to know about the new brand, and the communications channels and methods that you’ll use to tell them about it. Remember to include your own staff here – a brand launch event is a great motivational opportunity to celebrate success and get everyone on board. Make sure your staff are confident about sharing the new brand and have the materials, assets and help that they need to do so consistently.
When it comes to collateral, make sure your plan includes updates to key materials and an audit of everything currently in play. Much legacy print can be consolidated or digitised completely. Have a brand ‘amnesty’ to get rid of all old materials and recycle them.
Have specialist support to hand
Most operational managers will not know about marketing to the degree that you need to rollout a brand. Consider outsourcing the activity to a specialist branding agency who can deliver the strategy, rollout, consultancy, market research, branding development, print production and digital development services that you need. Ultimately, this will save you time and money, allow your managers to concentrate on their day jobs, and ensure a quality result.