The journey to brand success

30 May 2014

Here at Workbrands we talk a lot about brand success, it’s kind of our raison d’être. But what does it mean for your organisation and how do you go about achieving it?

At the risk of oversimplifying things, here is our step by step – or stop by stop – guide to the journey to brand success.

The best thing about this journey is that it’s flexible – you can jump on anywhere, stay on for as long as you want, you can even go round a few times, redefining your message as you go.

First stop: Define it.

It seems obvious, but without having a clear idea about what you want to say you don’t stand a chance of communicating it successfully. This could be a brand identity for your entire organisation or a specific division, but the basic questions are the same:

  1. Where are you now?
  2. Where do you want to go?
  3. How do you get there?

OK, so there’s a little more to it than that – a lot of questions will need answering by any number of people before you get the answers you need, but the findings of this research will allow you to achieve the right strategy for your project. What’s in this strategy is largely dependent on the scope of the project you undertake, but for a brand creation or brand review exercise your strategy should include:

  • Positioning/repositioning
  • Brand architecture
  • Name generation
  • Customer/competitor research and insight

Armed with your strategy, a defined brief can be put together allowing you to develop your creative ideas successfully. To find out more about how to write a creative brief click here.

Next stop: Manage it.

It’s fair to say that the best creative has every chance of failing if it isn’t managed correctly. This is particularly relevant where a brand is shared by multiple people in multiple locations. But, rest assured, there are many proven methods to protect your creative masterpieces from the ravishes of time and misuse.

Brand guidelines

Brand or campaign guidelines are a tried, trusted and successful means of managing your message. But all too often these are unwieldy volumes that have very little relevance to everyday folk.

In addition to your full guidelines, you should consider a ‘light’ version which is easy to use for the lay person. The vast majority of people within an organisation don’t understand – or, for that matter, care – about Pantone colours, eps files and extravagant font sets. This information can be intimidating and off-putting. Instead, explain why the brand is important and where they can access and use assets which will mean something to them – Powerpoint, Word docs, email signatures, jpeg logos, standard fonts etc.

Brand management tools

In addition to traditional guidelines there are now a host of online tools available to help an organsiation manage their brand successfully. Increasingly they are proving to be cost-effective and very simple to use. Here’s our quick run-down of the top 5 must-haves:

    1. Digital Asset Management (DAM)
      An online library that holds all the materials your organisation and your associates need to maintain your brand.
    2. Web to print
      A web to print system will allow you to manage your print perfectly. Let your colleagues and associates edit and order pre-approved branded marketing and business materials from anywhere in the world – 24/7.
    3. Email marketing templates
      It’s easy to understand the main benefits of email marketing as a part of your overall marketing strategy. But to make the most of email marketing you should invest in getting branded, flexible templates onto a platform which will allow you to easily edit content, seamlessly send campaigns and enjoy the benefits of real-time tracking.
    4. Create-on-demand’ documents
      When was the last time you checked if you had a full, working suite of sales enablement documents – each potential touch point with your audience effectively communicated? A create-on-demand document management system will empower people within your organisation to edit and use the business materials whenever they need them.
    5. Campaign management tools
      We’re living in an integrated world, we need to manage a consistent message across traditional and non-traditional marketing channels – and these channels are ever-changing. It can be a daunting proposition, but help is at hand with systems that will allow you to automate your on- and offline campaign messages.

Final stop: Make some noise

You’ve got your brand and you’ve looked at suitable ways to ensure it stays as beautiful as the first time you saw it. Now it’s time to get your message out there and reap the rewards for all your hard work.

You could throw a lot of stuff at the wall and hope that something sticks but we would wholly recommend a little due diligence to give you the best chance of success. Start from the beginning and get your strategy right, things to establish include:

  • Campaign objectives
  • Target audience
  • Budget
  • Timescales

These answers will help you develop a suitable campaign message, but how do you get yourself heard above your competitors? The following diagram breaks down the marketing communications mix and where it fits in with each stage of your marketing pipeline, giving you a far greater chance of achieving brand success.

diagram

We hope you’ve enjoyed your whistle-stop journey – you have now reached your final destination. Please mind the gap.

By Nick Farrar, Director at Workbrands