Is Your Branding Program The White Elephant of the New Year Planning Season?
Many Marketing Directors and CMOs are barreling through a busy time of year: planning season. The end of a calendar year often means the close of a fiscal year, which means marketers are budgeting and planning for the future. Sometimes, in the midst of allocating budget for public relations, advertising and sales support, a crucial piece is overlooked…
Corporate branding should be an integral part of any marketing mix on a consistent basis. Brands often begin a corporate branding program with a solid logo and rigorously enforced brand guidelines, but the management of this process can lapse over time and impact the brand without proper attention and strict reinforcement. It takes a lot of discipline to sustain a brand program when the business is in flux.
For the most successful and iconic brands, branding is not a once-per-decade project. It is an ongoing effort that ensures the look and message is always consistent, relevant, and equity-producing. Corporate branding goes well beyond an occasional logo and website refresh. Successful corporate branding programs incorporate design, imagery and voice.
Design should focus on a relevant and modern look and feel. Dated design gives the impression that a brand is not current. Design includes logo treatment, colors and graphic elements on all identity materials: letterhead, sales collateral, website, signage, advertising, etc.
Imagery is also an important element of corporate branding and a crucial counterpart to design. Imagery should mirror the brand’s desired feel and be inclusive of all customer groups. Imagery has the ability to project a brand’s heritage, quality, effectiveness, or value. Examples of imagery are photos, illustrations, etc.
Voice is one of the most easily lost elements of corporate branding, especially in today’s world of social media, reactive promotions, and real-time interaction. Brand personality should be conveyed through a consistent voice across all channels, even in something as quick as a tweet. Is the brand’s voice humorous? Brainy? Cynical? Uplifting? Whatever it may be, a strategic corporate branding plan will define it and provide guidelines for consistently using that voice, everywhere.
Kriston Sellier is President and Creative Director of id8, a full-service boutique advertising agency located in Marietta Square. To have a conversation with a branding expert regarding your specific needs, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 770-428-8668 or check out our website: www.id8agency.com