When a company grows, its brand has to grow along with it. But, extending your brand to reach the furthest parts of your organization is easier said than done. The problem boils down to this question:
How do you ensure everyone in your company is creating work that speaks to the brand identity you’ve built for yourself?
Finding a balance between controlling your image while leaving room for creativity can be tough to achieve, especially for larger companies. On top of this, you may also be facing the huge logistical issue of delivering brand assets from the corporate office all the way to the frontlines of the business.
If these are the kinds of problems keeping you from integrating your brand throughout your company, we’ve laid out a process to get there in four simple steps.
1. Create a brand style guide
A style guide sets the rules for using brand assets when creating anything your company needs and ensures everything your company creates stays consistent with your broader brand identity. At a high-level, here are four of the essentials components to a brand style guide:
- Decide on the do’s and don’ts for logo use. Your brand guidelines should clearly show how your logo can and can’t look on the finished product, describing elements like placement, color, and size.
- Pick a color palette. Color guidelines can get technical, especially when creating pieces for the web versus print. Make sure your style guide provides RGB values for digital products, Hex numbers for the web, and CMYK and Pantone colors for printed items.
- Create a font set. Keeping your fonts and typography consistent throughout everything you create is an important aspect of your brand. Pick a set of fonts and decide how each should be applied in different situations.
- Define your brand’s voice. The way your brand sounds is just as important as how it looks. Give clear guidelines on how to put your brand into words, as well as what to avoid. Highlight certain words or phrases that should always or never be used, and be sure the language always caters to your target customer.
For more detailed information about creating a style guide, read our blog article, 6 Critical Components to Include in Your Style Guide.
2. Follow up with training and education
Simply handing out a style guide and telling staff to “integrate branding” into their work isn’t enough. Everyone needs to understand not only how to apply the guidelines to the work they do, but also why it’s important to do so in the first place.
Once your style guide is ready to go, put together a series of training materials to accompany it. Remember that one size doesn’t always fit all when it comes to instruction. Whether it’s a video, PowerPoint, written guide, or in-person presentation, be sure to target training and education to specific departments, roles and learning styles within the company.
3. Notify employees when there is a change
A brand can only be effective if it is consistent. That is why it's important to notify your employees when there has been a change to your company branding. Whether it's as small at the way your email signatures are styled, or as big as dropping the tagline from you logo, if people don't know there was a change they will continue doing what they have always done. Communication is key when it comes to integrating your brand.
4. Make your brand assets accessible
One of the biggest challenges of integrating your brand company-wide is getting assets to those who need them. In the past, it was up to companies to rig up their own systems for passing logos, images, photos and other branded files around the organization, often making a mess in the process.
Today however, companies large and small are centralizing the way they distribute these key brand elements with the help of technology. File sharing software and Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems have emerged as valuable tools to many marketing departments. By keeping all digital assets in one place, they become easy to access through a web browser.
Some companies take distribution of their marketing materials a step further and implement a marketing resource management (MRM) system. With an MRM system, marketing and design teams can create branded assets and simply add them to the system for users to integrate into the pieces they create. Team members can easily access company templates and customize them as needed, all while maintaining the brand standards set by corporate.
If you are looking for an MRM system that can help you integrate branding throughout your company check out our customized brand portals and get a free demo today.