What is brand management?
It’s at this point a company understands their customer and their market well enough to start designing their marketing communications. To ensure a brand is working as efficiently as it could be and conversions remain high across a brands marketing channels, brand management should be considered.
Why do I need to consider brand management?
Consider one of the worlds leading brands; Coca Cola, what immediately springs to mind? (even if you don’t like the stuff). Through years of ensuring brand consistency, everybody can picture the font and colours used within their branding, so much so, I don’t need to tell you what they are.
On the other hand, imagine if their messaging, colour and font had been inconsistent across the brand. Likelihood is their audience wouldn’t have built up an association with the brand in quite the same way and a competitor such as Pepsi may have stolen more of their market share.
Whilst investing in your marketing and therefore your brand, it’s essential your customers can instantly recognise it’s you!
What benefits will my business see from brand management?
Brand management is adhered to through a set of guidelines that any employee in any department of a company would be able to follow. We call these brand guidelines (clever right 😉).
These guidelines consider:
- The use of the logo on various marketing materials.
- Brand colours used across marketing communications.
- The tone of voice used with the audience when communicating with them.
- Font used when communicating with the audience through any piece of marketing.
- Style of imagery to be used to support the messaging.
Delivering this information to all employees within your business, in an easy to digest guide will ensure all communications remain consistent across your brand and none of the effort gone in to the research, strategy or design stages of your marketing is wasted.
How do I do create my brand guidelines?
Considering the points above, we have the start of a structure for our brand guidelines. Begin by considering:
1. The use of the logo on various marketing materials
Provide the most recent version of your logo and get rid of older versions, which are often sitting on employee computers for years!
Consider providing different logo sizes, depending on the area available to print and display the logo. Some marketing communications only allow a small square logo, so how will your brand facilitate a shorthand version?
2. Brand colours used across marketing communications
Colours can look very different when designing marketing campaigns, depending on the resolution of the screen being used by designers. To ensure all marketing communications, both in print and online don’t rely on one individual eye to match the colour, provide pantone references. These are codes which allow a designer to match the colours exactly to your brand.
A small selection can be found at www.pantone-colours.com whilst others can be purchased through widely available pantone fan decks.
3. The tone of voice used with the audience when communicating with them
During the research stage it will become apparent how your audience like to be spoken to. Some demand very direct responses, if for example they’re looking for a plumber because a pipe in their kitchens leaking but some will require a softer, more emotional tone if for example their loved ones just died. It’s important the correct tone is used so your audience absorb your marketing and aren’t put off.
4. Font used when communicating with the audience through any piece of marketing
The style of font used across your brand will help to communicate the tone of voice your audience respond to. Like the logo and brand colours, it’s important this remains consistent so your audience gets used to your tone, whether it’s direct, informational, tongue in cheek or emotional. This is another way people will instantly recognise your brand.
5. Style of imagery to be used to support the messaging
The style of imagery used will help support the messaging you’re communicating. Although widely available through free stock imagery websites such as pixabay and Pexels, some can look very generic and dilute the messaging you’ve crafted through the research and strategy stages of your marketing campaign. Sites such as iStock and Adobe Stock are better paid resources but if you really want to create the best imagery to support your messaging we would recommend shooting your own photos.
If you would like some support considering where to begin with your own brand guidelines, we can provide guidance free of charge. Get in touch here.
What else do I need to know?
Brand guidelines aren’t just for your employees. If you consult with any company external to your business, you’ll want to provide them with a set of ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ to ensure your marketing messages are communicated effectively.
Just like having a well laid-out strategy based on research, without brand guidelines the messaging you’re trying to create may fall short of your expectations and what you’re trying to communicate.
At Need to Know Marketing we love providing information for SME’s so they can grow. We also understand this work can be time consuming and difficult to begin with. To assist you, we provide a free of charge one hour consultation, where we have an open discussion about your business objectives and what you’re looking to achieve.
Following the consultation we will provide you with a marketing strategy, advising how we recommend meeting your business objectives through marketing. If you are interested in knowing the cost of our services, you can use our calculator as a guide.
“Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.”