Obviously, there are so many things that can go wrong as far as branding is concerned, but ironically, the biggest problem is usually not the ugly logo, funny colours or a tagline that doesn’t stick with people – it’s actually an inconsistent brand.
If you feel the pain of inconsistent fonts, colours or images used in your social media marketing and across other marketing channels, here are three quick steps to point you in the right direction.
1. Finalize Brand Guidelines
Make sure you have a centralized go-to brand binder that contains all of your main Brand Guidelines and your Logo User Guide. This document will show the final logo, colours, fonts and examples of what to do and what not to do with the logo. This step seems to be obvious, but it does get overlooked very often. Too many companies spend their time on “creating the perfect logo” yet forget about the process that happens right after the logo is born. It could be a good idea to print the file and keep it in a folder somewhere visible in the office, so everyone knows where it is. This way when someone needs to create a new letterhead or a thank you card, they know exactly what fonts/colours to use, to keep all outgoing communication consistent.
2. Develop a solid “brand discipline” company-wide
That’s right – no cutting corners anymore. This means sticking to the templates and taking the time to go to check the colour in your Brand Book. Branding is not only a discipline, it’s a habit, and like any habit, it needs to be developed. Make sure you have someone on your team (or an external marketing agency) accountable to act as your branding police. This person would have to review and approve all new creatives, to ensure they stay in line with your brand’s mission and vision. Once the habit has been developed, you will be pleasantly surprised that your brand is not running wild anymore.
3. Keep all files handy
Make sure you have the following versions of your logo.
- TM/R’ed versions and non-TM/R’ed version
- If your logo is one of those longer/horizontal logos, make sure you have a square/vertical option, in case you need to put your logo in a smaller/square format. A smaller brand mark that compliments the logo could be a good idea to have for these purposes as well
- Full-colour version and black + white (reversed) versions for using the logo on backgrounds of various colours
- Formats: .ai, .eps, .png, .jpg – this is important, as you will need your logo for print and web use, as well as when you need to modify the logo for large format printing – you will need to make sure you have the original vector format, too
As we often say here at Cucumber – the future of marketing is branding – so take care of your brand, and it will take care of you!
Are you on a branding crossroad of your own? Give us a shout or stop by our marketing agency in Vancouver – we always have chocolate.