How to keep your brand “On Track”
Those nice covers that you used the last time for this same client should be ready to pick up but the office manager brings you some electric blue ones with your logo printed in black “because they were cheaper.”
Yes, well, that’s exactly what the client is going to think, that you are “cheaper”.
Do you feel that your office storage closet is like your home dryer?
You put things in, all sorted in neat sets, but somehow along the way the “dryer gremlin” eats up your socks and they never seem to match again. Where do they go? How do your envelopes suddenly not match your letterhead?
You need to get that important proposal out this afternoon but you can’t seem to find any letterhead that matches your envelopes. One is printed with dark blue ink, the other with bright blue. That office manager’s electric blue covers need to be tossed out and some retraining should be done, focused on the importance of your branded color scheme.
This doesn’t have to be so complicated, but you do need help and get everyone onboard.
Having a consistent identity is not just a matter of using the same logo all the time. To send out a unified message you have to look a little beyond your logo. Does your marketing material say, “We are cheap and bargain every penny to the get the lowest bidder?” Or does it say, “Our clients deserve the best and most professional materials available within our budget?” There is a big difference between these two messages and they can either make or break your business.
Hiring a graphic designer to oversee and evaluate all your communication pieces is maybe one of the best marketing strategies you have available. A trained eye can easily detect where your weak points are and recommend possible solutions. Someone with the appropriate training will evaluate the pieces in your business puzzle and be able to identify the misplaced and missing pieces. They will also be able to organize your materials in efficient, more cost effective tiers, simplifying your purchasing processes.
A design audit is the process through which the designer evaluates all your materials and establishes priorities and recommendations. But beware, you are required to make a shift in your mindset and understand the importance of this process for it to be of real value to you and your business. A designer can establish the clearest guidelines and document them extensively in a beautiful manual, but if no one follows them, there isn’t much a designer can do because you will be right at the beginning.
A corporate identity is something you have to maintain alive.
As with all living creatures you have to nourish it and see to its evolving needs. Once the “dryer gremlin” has eaten your socks, there is no use for the leftover-widow-sock. You move on and buy a new pair or solve the situation by finding another widow sock in your drawer. One way or another, you have to attend to the situation at hand so that both your feet will look the same.
By Marina Rivón of Maremar Book Design & More
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