You just spent a considerable amount of time, resources and budget on your new brand or rebrand. Now what?
A new brand is like a new baby. It’s new, unfamiliar and will take some time to get used to. It also needs nurturing in order to grow and become a brand that your customers know and trust. How do you protect and grow your brand, your baby, your investment?
As a project manager, I often see three things happen with my clients:
1. They don’t consider the next steps
2. They don’t think about consistency
3. They don’t invest in a brand manual
1. Brand Launch
A new brand is exciting! Let’s celebrate the new birth of your brand.
A brand launch doesn’t have to include a party (although, it can). You can still have a great brand reveal that will help you achieve your marketing objectives and won’t cost you a lot in terms of budget.
I always recommend thinking about timing and tactics for the brand launch: launch the website, perhaps a few ads and social media at the same time. If possible, have signage installed the same week. Consider a bit of PR or a few teaser social media posts that coincide with the launch of your website and/or materials.
This means holding off on using the new logo/brand until then. We understand that it’s super exciting to have a new brand and logo and just like a new baby, you want to show the world. But just hold off until you have everything ready to go.
When the brand is revealed, make sure it is always as sharp and striking as it was intended to be by following the next steps.
2. Brand Consistency is Key
With a new brand, it is especially important to foster and nurture feelings of trust and recognition with your target audience. To create trust and recognition, you need brand consistency. In order for a customer to get to know a brand and trust a brand (like you would with any brand that you love, the classic example, Coca-Cola) there is always consistency. Even if Coke were to run a new campaign, sale or incentive; the position, look and feel is always consistent.
New ideas are always great! However, you need to take into account your brand tone, look and elements whenever you put together a campaign/promotion or new materials.
Because you’re likely making a considerable investment in your brand and you and your staff’s time and effort, we highly recommend that you invest a small amount of that budget towards professional design. This means making a list of materials that need replacing with newly branded materials.
Also, with the production management of the signage and materials, professionals can potentially save you money in the long run by avoiding reprints, blurry images/designs and/or misapplications as we can handle proofing and press checks with the signage companies.
Off-brand materials will hurt your new brand and devalue the investment made thus far. You always want your brand, like your baby, to put their best foot forward as they make their way in the world.
3. Always Reference Your Brand Manual
Think of your brand manual as the “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” or an other equally important baby book on what you need to know about your brand. Use it as a reference guide to creating your materials, your tone of voice and your objectives.
The brand manual is important because it protects and governs your brand investment. It explains your colour palette and photography style, it shows you which logo uses are acceptable and which are not. It’s an excellent reference tool for any suppliers, designers, sponsorships etc. that may use or encounter your logo or brand.
The brand manual is about documenting the detail and making sure that future or present employees, suppliers, partners or agencies don’t take liberties with the brand. We see it happen all the time. An organization changes management or hires a new marketing person and all of a sudden the brand starts to look different. You want to avoid design errors in your materials that hinder rather than augment your brand.
The manual helps to keep the brand and those who manage it in check and on track. It also helps your agency and internal communications department create your materials up front. With a new brand, the designers are usually still in the midst of exploring and growing the brand into different applications. So, not only is the manual necessary to make sure your first ad, campaign, sign or whatever is on brand right away, it’s also to make sure the sixth or seventh one is.
Congratulations, on the brand new baby! We’re excited to see where your new adventure in branding-hood will take you. And if you ever have any questions about your brand, be sure to ask your design team.