How to achieve best practice brand deployment
When you’ve gone to the trouble of creating a new brand – or even when you’re working with an existing one – successful brand deployment is essential. What do we mean by this? What’s the definition of brand deployment, and what does it mean in practice? Here, we look at the ways you can activate your brand, and how that will make the difference between success and failure.
What is brand deployment?
If you’ve been through a rebranding exercise, you’ll know that the amount of work needed to arrive at your new branding – whether that means your logo, your look and feel, your values or your mission – is significant.
All too often, that work can be squandered by poor brand deployment.
When we talk about ‘deploying’ your brand, we’re not just talking about the process of creating your brand guidelines; setting the rules that everyone in your firm should live by. These are important – but what’s really crucial to a successful brand deployment is the way it’s put into practice. The actual execution of your brand, in your literature, online, and in physical branded assets.
Brand deployment for a new brand
When your brand is – in the words of perhaps the most accomplished re-brander, Madonna – ‘shiny and new’, deployment can seem easy. Everyone’s excited about your new logo, colours and fonts; keen to put your new brand guidelines into practice.
With a clean slate, you’re able to design all your customer and client touchpoints to reflect the brand you want to be. All the collateral and assets you create should complement and amplify your values and brand positioning.
Of course, newness also has its downsides. Your brand isn’t yet second nature to people in the business – even the Marketing team isn’t quite sure how to put it into practice. Getting used to new fonts, imagery and tone of voice can take a little while.
Getting external designers on board with a new brand can be a challenge too – particularly if you now have a markedly different visual image or brand positioning. Many organisations are overcoming this by finding ways to create on-brand documents themselves, without having to resort to outsourcing design.
This too, comes with its challenges though. Consistency is a vital element of brand deployment; consistency reinforces your brand, delivering a professional result, making you more memorable to your customers and differentiating you from your competitors.
But giving your internal teams free rein when it comes to executing your new brand can lead to ‘interesting’ creative interpretations. Training is essential when you’re rebranding; your Marketing team in particular needs an in-depth understanding of your brand standards so they can act as brand guardians.
Challenges around deployment of an existing brand
Once your brand has been in existence for a while, you might expect some of the challenges to disappear, or at least reduce. But that’s not always the case.
Established brands continue to face ongoing brand deployment challenges around:
- Local interpretation of branding. If you have a centralised marketing team, you may have offices, branches or teams of associates who work remotely from ‘brand HQ’. If you’re a small marketing operation trying to keep control over geographically diverse teams, you may find some unorthodox variations on your branding. This can particularly be the case if local designers, who haven’t been fully briefed on your brand guidelines, are used.
- Small design jobs done in-house without the requisite assets or expertise. Business teams are often required to produce ad-hoc pieces of communication, digital or printed. These smaller pieces of creative – customer emails, posters for internal or local office/branch use – will include your branding, but all too often don’t adhere to brand standards.
- Lack of care or understanding around your brand standards. We’ve all seen the abominations that result when well-meaning individuals take branding into their own hands – stretched logos; ‘off’ colour palettes; non-compliant imagery. Without oversight of the materials produced, it’s all too easy to let your brand compliance slip.
Empowering people in your business to take the initiative is great – but not when it comes at the expense of successful brand deployment.
Wouldn’t it be nice to give local teams, or people outside the central marketing hub, the ability to produce their own collateral, safe in the knowledge that it complies with your branding? A desire to do just this is why more and more teams are turning to marketing software and in particular smart template solutions, giving them the power to produce professional, on-brand materials in-house.
How smart template marketing software can support your brand deployment
Harnessing the potential of on-demand marketing software enables marketing teams to produce their own content, without the risk of non-compliant branding, and without the time and expense incurred by using external design agencies.
Using smart template-based marketing solutions supports brand deployment by:
- Delivering fully customisable templates that bring your brand to life
- Giving in-house teams instant access to these branded templates, reducing the risk of off-brand design
- Providing up-to-date, accurate data and corporate information, preventing non-compliant or outdated content being used in error
- Making it easy to reproduce documents across a number of programmes – enabling team members with no design training to create new documents from brand-compliant, pre-existing templates
- Producing on-brand materials that can be published in hard copy or digitally
It also increases Marketing team efficiency, speeding the collateral production process, improving version control and minimising duplication and rework. All marketing materials can be planned, reviewed, approved and stored in one online platform – reducing production costs and enabling similar documents to be produced quickly and simply in future, without the need to ‘reinvent the wheel’.
The risk of regulatory compliance breaches is reduced via the ability to use pre-approved content, to mandate the correct approvals, and to automatically produce a compliant audit trail.
To find out more about how Enable, Perivan’s on-demand marketing software, can support your brand deployment, please contact us.
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