Two golden arches against a bright red background. A sleek swoosh with the words “Just Do It” below it. An apple with a bite taken out of it.
Odds are that when you picture these images in your mind, you can automatically envision the iconic brands behind them. You know what to expect when you click on their websites, open their emails, or check out their latest products. This is the power of branding: to deliver a cohesive, trustworthy brand experience.
But printed material that strays too far from an organisation’s image, reputation and values can damage its brand identity and confuse or even disappoint it’s target audience. Multiple content creators across dispersed locations are the most frequent culprits of inconsistent branding, substandard content and off-brand messaging, but any organisation lacking comprehensive brand guidelines or a central control repository can face this problem.
It’s crucial to develop robust brand guidelines and carefully monitor brand compliance to prevent these mistakes creeping in and safeguard your brand’s integrity.
What is brand compliance?
Brand compliance is the process of ensuring that the brand elements on premise or mailed out strictly adhere to your brand guidelines. When applied correctly, it ensures your content, messaging, and look and feel doesn’t stray from your fundamental brand identity.
The key elements of brand compliance are:
- Ensuring your brand looks and feels visually consistent across all your communication channels.
- Applying the correct tone of voice across platforms to maintain your distinct brand personality.
- Communicating with consistent messaging across different locations and mediums.
- Using the correct logo, colours, fonts, and imagery style across all marketing and sales assets.
Why is brand compliance so important?
Data from Stanford University reveals that three quarters of consumers judge an organisation’s credibility and trustworthiness on its website and communication’s look, tone, and feel. It’s evident that appearances matter – a lot. That means creating content that’s consistently on-brand is vitally important.
Your branding represents your business
Even small irregularities in branding can dilute your brand integrity. Disjointed, off-brand content is typically ineffective content. It can even damage your brand reputation. Think about it, if your branded content is regularly inconsistent and weak, what’s to say your quality, service, and products will be of a consistently high quality?
Defining your brand standards
Brand standards are a set of concrete, written guidelines that specify the colours, imagery, graphic elements, logo, fonts, and messaging that defines your brand. Think of them as the glue that unifies your brand and gives it a structured identity.
These guidelines must be upheld by your franchisees and employees to maintain a consistent brand story and avoid the risks of ambiguous or conflicting messaging.