Brand Guardianship: How to Protect Your Brand
Brand image is the most valuable asset that an organisation can possess. Built over the years, it is often the result of countless hours spent investing in visual and emotional equity.
Brand guardianship pertains to the protection and safeguarding of a brand’s core assets, or its brand image. To discover the benefits of brand guardianship, and why it is so important, read on below…
Brand Guardianship ensures consistency.
Consistency is key in ensuring a seamless customer experience across a plethora of digital and off-line channels. The better the user experience, the more likely you are to create strong, positive brand ties with your target demographic.
Increased brand consistency creates a higher level of brand recognition, meaning that your brand will stand out amongst competitors. The stronger and more impactful your visual identity is, the more likely customers are to choose your product or service. Additionally, protecting your brand by having tight, clear and consistent emotional equity (e.g phrasing, taglines, slogans etc.) you’ll be able to reinforce your key messaging – meaning that your message will stand out in your customer’s mind.
Brand Guardianship protects your image.
Ensuring accurate, on-message delivery of your marketing communications is key to converting leads into sales. In particular, when an organisation is large e.g operating across multiple locations and countries, it’s even more important to ensure that your brand is telling one narrative, rather than multiple.
The same can be said when a brand is deployed by multiple stakeholders. Different minds work in different ways, particularly when it comes to creating new messaging. By keeping a close watch over tone of voice and brand personality, control can be retained over how your brand communications are received by your target demographics – you’ll protect your brand persona and stop it getting fragmented.
Brand Guardianship saves you money.
Guarding your brand can save you time and money in the long run. By creating a clear outline of rules and conventions to follow, you can help your business protect your brand and deploy it quickly, with minimal confusion and fuss. In addition, utilising consistent brand equity elements, means that you can create assets or contents once, and then efficiently deploy across multiple markets.
Brand guardianship doesn’t just concern usage, but also relates to how brand assets are stored safely. Many brands make use of digital content management systems, which can be used to assist with efficient delivery of materials across multiple markets. Additionally, legal context and usage rights can also be stored, avoiding unnecessary issues later down the line.
How do you deploy Brand Guardianship?
Brand Guardianship can be facilitated through a range of practices, the most obvious being the use for a comprehensive set of brand guidelines. Brand guidelines can vary from being very simple documents comprising of just a few pages, to incredibly complex documents stretching for multiple chapters. The best guidelines are those that don’t just show deployment, but provide an explanation and instruction set for future use. Creating a dedicated repository for brand resources is also beneficial, the key point here is to ensure universal access and clear navigation of assets.
Assigning an individual to act as brand guardian can be an important strategic decision to make to protect your brand, with positive benefits for your organisation. Brand guardians can be either internal and external, and their purpose is to have an in-depth understanding of your brand’s assets and structure. They should be immersed in your brand values, and have a keen eye for consistency and design application. Guardians act as protectors for your brand, ensuring that rules and conventions are adhered to whilst providing support to users that are actively deploying the brand.
As a creative studio, we regularly act as ‘guardian’ for a number of brands, ensuring visual consistency of brand communications. We also guide the development as well as carefully introducing new elements of the brand that are compatible with what exists out in the market. We often have to articulate reasoning behind our decisions – and have to be prepared to argue our case for our thinking, even if this leads to disagreement!
Fundamentally, as an external brand guardian we deliver trust as well as a high degree of impartiality. Our goal will always be the pursuit of exemplary creative communications, that fulfil our clients aspirations.
If you’d like more information on the brand guardianship services we offer, do get in contact with us – we’d love to help.