How to protect your #1 asset: your business identity
A business, in most cases, lives or perishes by its brand. A good visual identity can create feelings of familiarity and positivity for customers, whilst offering a significant competitive advantage. It’s also about the internal character though – your brand can affect how employees think of the business and their roles. A strong brand can increase employee satisfaction and have a significant impact on culture.
For some businesses, it can feel like a brand takes on a life of its own. The vast number of platforms it’s portrayed on and the way individual employees and teams present themselves can mean your brand quickly escapes the confines of its original meaning. It’s important, then, to make an active effort to keep your brand on track. Not doing so could lead to unhappy customers, unhappy employees, and ultimately lost revenue.
So how can you keep your business brand in check?
1. Ensure you have brand guidelines for all platforms and uses
Though employees can occasionally jeopardise a brand on purpose, in most cases it comes from a lack of awareness. Sometimes they might not be aware that not having a logo on a document can lessen the impact of the business brand. There are also times when, with the increasing availability of ‘do it yourself’ design tools, employees may decide it is quicker and easier to re-create the logo in a different colour or typeface to suit their preferences.
Having clear brand guidelines for every medium can help prevent employees from diluting the brand. These guidelines should ideally cover as many scenarios as possible and be subject to regular updates, to account for growth as well as new media types and products.
2. Be consistent
Brand guidelines will enable you as a business to be consistent. A consistent brand ensures you’re continually nurturing the audience you’re targeting. Inconsistencies can create mixed messaging that could be damaging in the long-term. To achieve consistency, make sure your assets are the same or similar for all platforms and uses, and regularly share new assets with employees.
3. Monitor your brand – even if it’s only for two minutes a day
Despite best efforts, brands can lose their strength and be displayed inaccurately; whether it be from lack of resources, lack of time, or misuse by a third-party. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to set up monitoring tools.
Using a monitoring tool like Google Alerts will provide you with notifications when your brand is mentioned across the web and allow you to keep tabs on where your brand assets are. It may also be worth assigning someone to compare your platforms against a brand checklist each week.
4. Use the right tools to maintain control
As well as monitoring tools, you can utilise software like Microsoft 365 to make branding easier for employees. It’s straightforward to create Word or PowerPoint templates and implement them across your organisation.
The same applies to email; one of the most customer-facing communication methods. A robust email signature solution like Letsignit can help you assign and manage signatures for the entire workforce via a centralised interface. With minimal effort, you can ensure everyone has a strong signature that accurately represents your brand.