Jeri Denniston, Chief Marketing Strategist, Denner Group International
Takeaways: Consistent branding is important so your target audience recognizes you across all promotional platforms. Centralized control of the brand becomes more important as organizations grow in size.
I tell this story frequently when teaching students about the importance of Branding consistency across all marketing and social platforms – from print to online.
While working with a publishing company which consistently disbanded and then re-formed its marketing department (every 5 years), several marketing and advertising folks decided to showcase all the brands being used by the company.
At the time there was no centralized control of how the brand was used, so every department created their own for use on letterhead, flyers, invoices, advertising, etc. The group took each instance of the logo and placed it on a continuous sheet of computer paper which they then rolled up and brought to a meeting of what remained of the marketing department.
We met in the lobby conference room that easily held 100-150 people theater style. With a flourish, they unrolled the sheet of paper from the front of the room. It went down the center isle and out the door into the main lobby. There were more than 100 variations of the logo in use. Can you imagine how confused the customers were?
Following that exercise, the department regained a “little” more control over the brand, and ultimately was tasked with creating an “official” logo to be used by all departments.
The importance of branding becomes clearer the larger the organization.
The moral of this story is that as organizations grow, it becomes more important to centralize and control how the brand is treated in print and online material. This extends to colors, fonts, horizontal and vertical layouts, and even the amount of white space allowed around the logo. If you don’t control the brand, everyone in the organization becomes a creative artist and will alter it as they see fit.
What’s your favorite story?