Three ways your team can support branding harmony
This article will help you:
Understand the importance of branding and how to support brand development
You’ve worked hard to create a brand, but it looks ‘just OK.’
Could this be you?
Branding harmony begins with the right notes played to achieve the perfect tone. Once you’ve explored your brand’s identity and where it lands among the competition, those notes come together in a composition to form a defined visual brand identity (bear with me on the musical analogies here!).
Your brand identity comprises your logo, iconography, fonts, color schemes, photographic & visual style, unique mission, and voice/tone characteristics.
Creating your visual brand identity is an excellent opening, but the question is, “what comes next?”
You want to ensure your branding goes beyond what’s been beautifully crafted by your designer. Your team members will be the best advocates for your mission, but that’s only if they have the proper knowledge and understand the importance of branding for your business goals.
Otherwise, you’re leaving them to make it up as they go along, floundering as they try to determine how your brand is recognized by potential customers.
Here are three ways your team can support branding harmony.
- Develop and maintain branding with implementers
Introducing a brand should be backed by careful planning and a deep understanding of how to visualize your company services so that it resonates with the right audience. To do this well, you need a talented group of implementers.
These are the folks who implement digital design assets created for social media, deploy email marketing campaigns, write copy for your monthly LinkedIn newsletter, or keep your HubSpot landing pages up-to-date.
They’ll take their cue from a strategic design partner who’s perhaps created your visual brand identity, understands the company’s mission well, and who creates the digital design assets they need for websites, social media, email campaigns, tradeshows, and other marketing channels.
Together with your strategic design partner, this core group acts as branding stewards and ensures your brand looks and sounds consistently brilliant wherever it shows up.
Roles could include: copywriter, marketing coordinator, social media director, director of content
- Curate and protect branding with facilitators
Facilitators are the team members who actively engage with new ideas, opportunities for your business, and the overall customer marketing journey while looking through the lens of your branding and business goals.
Your strategic design partner will consult with these folks often to ensure the design thinking for marketing campaigns lines up with quarterly and yearly launch targets.
These team members deeply understand the business and your customers’ needs. They assess these needs by maintaining an awareness of the importance of branding, consulting with the strategic design partner, seeking input from implementers, and making critical decisions that are always rooted in the brand identity.
Roles could include: CMO, marketing director, product developer, VP of marketing & sales
- Equip your team with brand advocators
Finally, we have our advocators. Everyone in your organization should be an advocator, but identifying a few lead advocators helps foster a company culture rooted in your brand identity.
Creating a brand-forward culture starts by connecting your creative team with identified lead advocators and supporting their education and understanding of your brand. Teams need to understand how your company’s brand identity impacts their role in the organization so they can apply it to real scenarios and interactions with customers.
Sometimes you need to bring in outside help to make this shift. An expert Culture Consultant or Messaging Strategist can deftly solidify your core brand story across your company divisions so it doesn’t just live in the heads of the people at the top.
Roles could include: CEO, all VPs, HR manager, Culture Consultant, Executive Coach, Messaging Strategist
To sum it up
I see it all too often. An organization has a fantastic product and an even better team, but they need to work together to amplify their branding. (This is a lot more easily said than done, I recognize!) The disconnect is most commonly a result of teams working in silos and not coming together to develop authentic brand harmony.
Remember, one out-of-tune instrument can ruin the entire sound of a symphony.
- Start with a well-crafted visual brand identity and definition of your brand expression. It helps to have a strategic design partner to not only get you beyond the doldrums of ‘it looks just OK,’ but also to partner with your implementors, facilitators, and advocators
- Ensure you have the right roles to support your brand development efforts.
- Make sure you create a team culture where everyone understands the importance of branding. Get outside help if it’s a struggle to get everyone singing in harmony.
Design that drives business growth
I generate visual clarity wherever your brand shows up.
Do you want better market positioning so you can command a higher market value? I’ll visually harmonize and effectivize* your brand content so that it can be better understood by the right people.
Here’s what I offer:
- Strategic Design Partnerships to help companies command a higher market value
- 90-minute sessions to fix that pesky design or messaging issue you’re facing
*Yes, I made this word up.
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