You’ve put a lot of thought and planning into your brand. You’ve decided on the brand’s characteristics and the tone and feel you want to project. You’ve got a brand promise you feel good about and, in the process, you’ve nailed your key messages.
Everything is coming together nicely. A well-thought-out visual identity, complete with imagery, colours and graphic elements, will identify your business and soon be how people will come to know you.
So now what? How are you going to keep your brand consistent and memorable? The answer? A governance plan.
What’s in your plan?
A brand governance plan sets out the steps and processes you’ll follow to control your brand’s presence internally with your employees and stakeholders and externally with the public. Consider key decision makers, processes and individuals or units involved in making changes, resolving issues or approving brand uses.
Your plan should also include timelines for regular review of brand performance. When will you conduct research with employees, consumers or customers to gauge brand perceptions?
Another big part of your plan should address levels of approvals. Consider who will have the highest authority and who on your team can make critical decisions about various aspects of your brand without having to escalate to senior management.
Staying on track
From time-to-time, you might find an employee or two wanting to share their own creativity in the way they present your brand characteristics. This isn’t unusual. To address these situations, your plan should include processes to monitor your brand and steps to address times when your brand goes off track.
Engage the team
There will always be changes as your brand evolves. Well-prepared guidelines will help you pivot with ease. As well, if you engage your employees as you evolve your brand and encourage them to share their input on how your brand is doing, you’re sure to build strong brand ambassadors. After all, in some cases, they may be closer to the customer than you are!
Sharing tools and reference materials to help individuals apply the brand is one way to ensure everyone understands how to represent it well. Good communication is key.
Capturing all the elements of your brand isn’t an easy task, but it’s important to growing your business with a consistent brand approach. With all the different platforms available to showcase your brand, having a brand governance plan in place is an asset. And, when it’s done, don’t forget to share it with the team.
It’s your brand, inside and out! Keep it consistent and memorable!