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 to? 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 a letterhead and an envelop that match. One is printed with dark blue ink, the other with bright blue. Those nice covers that you used last time for this same client are finished and the office manager bought 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”.
This doesn’t have to be so complicated, but you do need help.
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. What do all the rest of your marketing materials say: “we are cheap and bargain for the last penny to the lowest bidder” or “ our clients deserve the best and most professional material available within our budget”. There is a big difference in these two messages. 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 process.
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. There is so much a designer can do, he or she can establish the clearest guidelines and document them extensively in a beautiful manual, if no one follows them we are 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 the other you have to attend to the situation at hand so that both your feet will look the same.