branding

Are you protecting your brand?

We’ve all been there. You are at an event and you see signage that is difficult to read or you recognize a local business’ logo but something is out of sorts. You are listening to the radio and can’t make out the name of the business or can’t repeat the purpose of the spot. Maybe you are looking at a website banner and there is so much going on you can’t find the company’s name. These are just a couple examples of what happens when a business does not police its brand.
Everyone that knows me will tell you, I am brand crazy. It makes me cringe when I find out that a business has trusted another to take their logo and run with it.  This typically results in your brand being put in a bad place or subject to sloppy practices.
Your brand is your reputation. It should not be left up to someone with no clear understanding of why you do what you do to use it however they feel it should be used. I encourage all my clients, regardless of the situation, to require final approval of all their marketing efforts – ex. radio spots, print ads, billboards, press releases, articles, promotional items, signage, website banners, social media – and this includes the use of their logo in sponsorships.
Ads should be kept clean so that the brand is upfront and identifiable and the message needs to be short and concise. If your logo appears with a host of other sponsor logos, which is common with sponsorships, make sure yours is not compromised because of spacing issues. Find out how your logo will be used and the specifications of use so if you need to submit appropriate artwork you can.
Your logo is the face of your brand. It is what your customers and potential customers see and how they identify your company. Consistency is key in building a brand – whether it is the use of the logo or the experience one has with your brand. 
When you ensure that the presentation of your brand (logo, quality, price, customer experience, product offerings, etc) is consistent and inline with what your target audience expects, you create a trust without them having to think about it. They become brand loyal. 

Simon Sinek talks about loyalty versus repeat business in his book “Start With Why”. He says, “repeat business is when people do business with you multiple times. Loyalty is when people are willing to turn down a better product/service/price to continue doing business with you. Loyal customers don’t bother to research the competition. Loyalty is not easily won. Repeat business in.”

Conversely, if you are inconsistent with your brand, you send the message that you are not trustworthy or dependable. Your target audience is 
not really sure what they will get from time to time and begin to look elsewhere for a solution to their needs. 
Why do you think companies like Apple, Starbuck and Pepsi are fanatics about their brands? They understand that maintaining brand consistency and the user experience builds customer loyalty. These companies all have enjoyed solid devotion for years as a result of their brand stewardship. 

It is no exaggeration that brand consistency can make or break your company’s success. To ensure that you have consistency – protect your brand!

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