Your brand is your promise. Any interaction you have with others—prospects, leads, customers—will either reinforce that promise or break it. That's why brand consistency is so radically important.
How important is it? According to McKinsey, strong brands outperform weak ones by 20 percent, a substantial figure which echoes the findings in our own brand consistency survey. So it would seem that, when it comes to brand management, consistency is the secret ingredient.
Now that brands are managed online, too, there is higher risk. There are more potential points of failure where inconsistency could rear its ugly, off-brand head. If brand consistency is a priority for your organization, here's what you need to manage your brand in the cloud.
The first step toward better brand consistency is having a robust set of brand guidelines. In my eBook, I talk about 10 essentials to make sure you have in your brand guidelines and give examples of each. They're divided into two sections: internal and external.
Internal brand guidelines
- Brand purpose
- Positioning statement
- Marketing personas
- Key messaging
- Value proposition
External brand guidelines
- Name and logo
- Slogans and taglines
- Color palettes
- Tone and voice
If any of these are missing from your brand guidelines—or if you're not sure what they all mean—download our free eBook here to get up to speed.
The 3 phases of brand management
Here's something many marketers might not realize: brand management can be broken down into distinct phases. As you know, managing a brand is not a single act in itself, but the culmination of many actions. These actions can be categorized into 3 main phases:
- Establishing the brand (creation)
- Positioning the brand (communication)
- Maintaining the brand (conservation)
It's helpful to imagine these phases as a cycle. You always start at the first phase, when the brand is established. Then you move on to the second phase, where communication helps you position the brand in others' minds. From there, brands move into the maintenance stage, where you search for opportunities to improve or reinforce good brand perception.
Successful brands will navigate between the second and third phases as needed. The only time you would return to the first stage is during a rebrand.
For a more in-depth look at each of these phases, jump to Section 3 in our free eBook.
Where to go from here
So you've got your brand assets. You understand the phases of brand management. What now?
This is the time to scale your efforts and empower other team members to create, communicate and conserve the brand with you. We know from our own survey that the easier it is to find brand guidelines, the more likely people are to use them. Tools like Lucidpress can streamline the process. By uploading your external brand assets—logos, color palettes, fonts—into Lucidpress, you make it easier for the whole team to maintain consistency.
To learn more, flip through our free eBook: Managing Your Brand in the Cloud