The care and maintenance (or defense) of a brand

Last week was a sort of case study of a branding. The two strategies of FOCUS: Hope are to post the mission statement everywhere so visitors and employees never loose sight of the ultimate goals. The second are pins of the organization’s logo that are worn by every employee and handed over any time it is asked about, allowing the giver to talk about the organization. Fabulous you say, but you are branding a payroll company, or something so esoteric that even your spouse doesn’t know exactly what it is your company does. Like I said before a mission statement and a pin or logo isn’t a branding strategy. So what is? This:
1. Clarity–know what you are branding, what the mission is what goals are you aiming for. Don’t obscure it in babbling double talk.
2. Conviction–believe in the mission, the goal. If you don’t then your branding strategy is off–fix it.
3. Talking points, mission statement, goals what ever, spelled out, in print, in everyone’s hands. Posted at every turn is not a bad idea either.
4. Identity–logo, colors, typeface, and a guide of how to use them. Your look, not just your message needs to be consistent.
5. Enforcement–um, I mean persuasion. Your team must use the branding, not deviate, not interpret at least not without an okay from whomever enforces the branding.

Last words: Enforcement. Empower someone (note I said one) to be the last word on how the branding is interpreted. If that person says no to a use of the logo, type or a style outside the branding, then it’s no. Managers, VP’s can’t over rule. See my entry about being a logo cop.


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