Some businesses and organizations open their doors with little more than a logo and basic brand identity materials like business cards, letterhead and few forms. Others make their mark in the marketplace with a well-defined set of brand identity guidelines for application across all of their marketing communications.
Some quickly discover it’s not long before brand standards begin to slip. As you open new locations, launch new products, services and packaging, or create new marketing materials, it’s not uncommon to see logos and branded materials with different color shades, inconsistent fonts and other unwelcome variations.
If this situation applies to your operation, don’t panic. Instead, audit.
Begin by collecting all of your printed materials, like business cards, invoices and statements, letterhead, annual reports, brochures, newsletters, point-of-purchase signage and sales materials. Lay them out on a desk or conference room table, and evaluate every piece to see if your logos as well as brand colors, typefaces and other elements are used faithfully – or if “rogue” styles have crept in. You may even discover you’ve produced some items that aren’t displaying your identity at all.
Follow the same process for your online branding. Websites, email templates, and social properties should reflect your offline branding.
When conducting your brand identity audit, consider enlisting the expertise of a graphic designer. Logos, colors, typefaces and more are their “stock in trade,” and they’re often able to identify irregularities that others might overlook. Of course, if an inconsistency in detected, you’ll have a design professional on hand to suggest or implement a solution.
To Do: If you don’t have it documented already, create a style guide or sheet that outlines proper and improper logo usage, company fonts and colors, email signature standards and more for easy reference throughout your organization.
Need help conducting your branding audit? Require assistance in updating or applying your branding to any marketing materials? As your local full-service resource, we’re here to help.