Brand systems are the visual and verbal systems representing your brand — names, symbols, concepts, colours, images, fonts, tag-lines and the like. By using your brand systems consistently, you can create a valuable intangible asset that ensures recognition, memorability and relevance in the minds of your stakeholders.
While the value of committing to brand systems is straight-forward, it can be hard work to prevent team members from taking naming and design into their own hands. This work is made even harder by the digital age. Gone are the days when all letterhead was pre-printed and all communication, proposal and messages could be controlled by the executives on mahogany row.
The answer is not to despair for the by-gone days of command and control, but rather the answer is to have clear and concise guidelines to keep your team “on brand”. To do this, you need an actionable brand strategy summary and brand guidelines which can be disseminated, metabolized and committed to by every member of your team. If these documents are a clear and concise page, they will be actively consulted. A fifty page brand strategy report or brand guideline binder is rarely consulted, and, unfortunately, such behemoth reports are the norm coming out of branding agencies today.
With a one page brand strategy summary and a one page brand guidelines summary as your foundation for all communication, you can engage your team and your customer more successfully and using less resources. You will have:
1. A Brand Strategy Framework for Content Review
You will have a framework in place for you and your team to review content effectively to ensure it meets the brand’s objective.
2. Creative Campaigns That Build Your Brand
You can instruct creatives and ensure that the creative work builds and reinforces your brand promise, personality and position. Your marketing campaigns will build your brand. Compare this to an unconscious brand strategy that emerges and changes with each campaign.
3. Consistent Naming, Taglines, Colours, Fonts and Concepts
Your team will have the tools to create collateral that is “on brand”. Consistency is king when it comes to brand building. Your team will be empowered to support your brand if they have a clear understanding of how to use your verbal and visual brand systems.