It’s getting to be a lot like the holidays. That means festivities, gift-giving, yummy food and renovating your corporate brand. Wheeeeee!
What? Renovating your brand isn’t on your list?
Well, it ought to be.
Brands must evolve over time or risk all kinds of baaadddd things happening. Corporate logos and brand architecture that have grown stagnant are impacting your company in ways that might surprise you.
Maybe the company acquired another and a bit of the acquired company’s logo was blended into yours as a gesture of unity. It could have been as “innocent” as a color change. Or maybe your company has a long heritage and is hanging onto a symbol designed in its distant past. Or your company suffers from the dreaded “mega-sub-brand,” a product or division that is bending attention toward it with the gravity of a black hole. Not even light makes it out of that mess.
Regardless, all that stagnation and inconsistency mean one thing—confusion in the marketplace. CONFUSION—confused customers, confused sales channels, confused employees, or worse, all three. Confusion = lower sales. That’s bad, right?
Worse, multiple logos can create strife within your organization. Executives protecting their division’s brand turf mean they aren’t focusing on supporting the most important thing—the one main brand. And what about the capital costs of different signage, stationery, and the like. Or the personal embarrassment of being in a large sales meeting when all your various division directors and VPs of this and that whip out their business cards and the client wonders aloud why they all have different logos on them. Ouch!
Trust me, I’ve heard verbatims just like those from companies. Fortunately, there is a simple solution. Call in the professionals (What? You thought I was going to say do-it-yourself?). A firm that will review your company’s brand architecture; interview stakeholders (executives, sales teams, channel partners, clients, ex-clients, heck, the facilities maintenance guy if they need to); do a full in-depth brand audit of all materials; provide a full assessment of the need, strategic guidance, a roadmap, a continuum of possible solutions, and a plan for rollout along with the ability to implement the rollout. If the firm your company is reviewing doesn’t do all those things, call them up and cancel any future meetings. This isn’t the “it’s just a logo, I know a guy, who knows a guy who once went to art school” kind of thing. We’re talking about the single most recognized part of your company.
The solution may be only minor renovation or it may be a total overhaul. It’s even possible that what the company thinks is the answer isn’t even the question. Corporate politics being what it is, rarely will executive management truly hear the unvarnished truth—truth that a great planner can get out of a one-on-one interview. Truth that in some of our clients’ cases have led to an answer that was there all along, but had never been given any room to grow. (And that is why you can’t DIY this stuff).
So, in summary, if your business card has a bunch of logos on it, put it down, and call for professional help to get your company on the way to lowering its brand confusion.