You may have heard the old adage, “Know who you are and act that way.” That is a great piece of advice for any individual. When it comes to your company’s brand, you can pretty much boil down all the rules and regulations to this point. Brand identity is one of the most important priorities in marketing today. Establishing clear standards and a strong process for following them will help your business meet external marketing compliance regulations. It will also help your company grow, which is really the whole point.
The Rules of the Game
The importance of following external regulations are pretty clear. Violate the rules, and you could pay a significant fine and face the consequences of bad press or additional punishments. Internal compliance, however, is more nuanced. This is something that a company needs to do in order to establish and strengthen its identity. Monitoring guidelines is just as important because the consequences of not doing so can mean losing momentum, losing customers, and potentially hindering growth.
To ensure that your brand remains strong, you want a clear set of guidelines for:
- Consistently using the brand logo correctly
- Using official brand colors and fonts
- Designing materials that are consistent with your brand
- Text that stays true to your brand’s messaging
The Benefits of Consistency
The very words “rules” and “regulations” can seem to contradict the creative nature of marketing. You want your people to be free to develop dynamic messaging to set your brand apart. However, rather than stifling your team, marketing compliance gives them a framework in which they can operate creatively. Just think of the most effective brands out there like Apple, Google, and Facebook. Their brands are consistent and associated with the image that they want to convey to their customers. And yet, their marketing materials are as creative and dynamic as just about anything you see. Their marketing people are skilled at developing quality materials that stay true to their brand.
Manage How You are Perceived
Staying true to your brand helps consumers know who you are and what they can expect from you. It also helps you control the ideas and expectations that are associated with your brand. The key to accomplishing this is consistency. If you stay loyal to your branding, your customers are more likely to stay loyal to you.
Watch Your Attitude
How you talk to people tells them a lot about who you are. Your branding communicates not only what you have to offer, but how you feel about it and how consumers should as well. Whether your brand’s attitude is serious, light-hearted, or adventurous, it needs to stay that way in all your messaging so you can reinforce who you are.
Stay True to Each Other
All these efforts help build consumer trust. People want to know what they can expect from you. They might not vocalize it, but when people feel comfortable with a brand, they will continue to turn to it. If messaging is inconsistent, people will feel less comfortable and more likely to walk away.
Value Your Investments
There is a bottom line to effective marketing compliance. Not only could poor compliance lead to fewer customers, but it also turns its back on the investments your company made to create and build its brand in the first place.
3 Steps to Building Your Brand Identity Framework
The potential for strong consistent branding is limitless. Getting the attention of consumers is a challenge all marketers face. Once you have it, you need to hold onto it. That involves the hard work of producing good creative marketing materials, and it must stay true to your brand. By consistently complying to your own internal marketing standards, you can build a reputation that people can trust.
First, set the standards. Your employees need to know what the guidelines are before they can follow them. Work with decision-makers and your marketing team to decide on all the key elements that need to run through your branding efforts. From the logo to brand colors and messaging, decide how you will define your brand’s voice and appearance.
Second, train your employees on the guidelines you establish. Let them know the rules and frameworks within which they can operate. Make sure they have clear instructions to avoid confusion. In the process, also communicate the reasoning behind the guidelines and encourage them to be creative within the space you have defined.
Third, monitor your internal marketing compliance. Have a clear system for checking compliance, and design it in a way that does not hold up your marketing efforts. Just as your messaging needs to be consistent, your monitoring does as well to ensure that your audience gets the messaging that you want them to receive.
It takes a lot of work to build a strong brand. It takes even more work to keep it strong. By designing and maintaining effective internal marketing compliance, you can help ensure that all your messaging stays true to who you are as a company.