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Is it time you brought in the brand police?

Increasingly, marketing departments are generating visuals and graphics through a multitude of different resources. Many have brought in in-house design teams, who work alongside creative agencies, freelance designers, social agencies and videographers…the list goes on. There are more opportunities than ever before to work with talented creatives and designers but how do you monitor and ensure your brand consistency?

It’s a real challenge for many marketing teams. In most cases, a brand’s consistency is weakened by having lots of disparate people and companies working on design…however talented. The chances are your brand identity is slowly and unwittingly being eroded. For many marketers, there’s simply not enough time or focus on policing the evolutionary output and herein lies the problem.

Of course, the alternative is having incredibly prescriptive brand guidelines but even that’s not bullet proof and can often lead to creativity being strangled.

So, what is the solution?

One of the more interesting types of branding project I work on is not your traditional re-brand, but a more considered appraisal of a company’s branded activity across all marcomms. It’s an interesting task and I urge you all to give it a go (find the time). Gather all your printed material, collect all your digital assets including what you push through social. Take screenshots where necessary and then place everything on your boardroom table and big screen. Now sit back and reflect on what you see for a few days. I guarantee it will open your eyes to your current level of brand consistency. The result can often shock even the most experienced marketing team and the need for action quickly becomes apparent.

Having worked with a number of large, marketing-led companies of late, it’s amazing to see how a relatively simple evaluation can lead to some important conversations about consistency of brand.

Brand realignment projects are now proving more popular than ever, overtaking more expensive re-brands. I for one am an advocate. Of course, I would say that…it’s my job! But it’s not about me, the agency I work for or what we can do together. This is bigger than all of us. This is about keeping the structure and shape of your company’s brand intact against a backdrop of multiple design professionals working on your brand at any one time.

It’s not a criticism. It’s just a reality that some level of visual brand imbalance is likely to occur over time.

The design world is becoming a much smaller place and creative agencies must react positively to collaborating with in-house creatives and freelancers alike. That means it’s never been more important that everyone works in a unified manner to protect and guard against the slow visual creep of a client’s brand, both in print and online. 

Naturally brands evolve over time but when brand consistency is being diluted, it’s time to consider investing in some professional brand realignment work.

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