Multichannel Brand Management: Refine Your Message
Organization, Easy Access
The catalogers that organize their brand standards and all the elements needed — and even examples of use — in an FTP site accessible to all vendors, communicate their brands the best. Many vendors, such as e-mail or Web programmers, have no marketing training, so they really don’t understand how branding works. This is where many an integration strategy suffers from a general lack of experience.
So along with the FTP site, have an internal “brand policeman” — someone who knows your unique selling proposition, design and selling strategy intimately. That person can guide developers within your channels.
An example of a brand misinterpreted by a Web programmer: The brand standards at PeopleSoft were very clear. There was a Web site in which you could access CMYK and Pantone color schemes, many logo variations with rules on logo treatment, and even fonts and approved photos.
But when PeopleSoft attempted to translate the brand standards into direct mail, they came up short.
This lead-generation package was quite successful due to its market-appropriate offer and its friendly and approachable direction. That makes it look almost more “consumer” than business-to-business. However, when the Web programmers translated it from the same brand standards what they came up with was lackluster.
“Dull” would be an understatement. Ironically, the Web programmers did, in fact, use a few of the colors. They didn’t see a mandate saying they had to use photos, and there was no guide for the voice of the copy.
Programmers don’t take design classes for the most part; rather, they learn design on the job. And they almost never take classes in direct marketing creative.
Enter ‘Brand Police’
Here’s an example of why you need a “brand policeman” to guide the process, and why, if possible, the design team that does your direct marketing actually should be involved in the first layer of Web development.