Brand Guardianship

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Brand consistency and brand guardianship

The development of high performing, globally relevant and culturally sensitive brand language is a challenge for all of today’s top brands. These key targets can be met through content production, storage and approval, and safeguarding the brand language. This is carried out through copy storage, memory translation, in-situ translation workflow, and approval workflows.

Coherent marketing and communication are key to successful branding. The elements that form the brand are referred to as corporate identity and include the brand name, logo, font, colours, shapes and graphics. The fundamental principle of brand guardianship is that these must remain consistent in order to accurately communicate the brand message. Investment in corporate identity can be significant, and should be overseen by a brand guardian.

Responsibilities of the brand guardian include creating and upholding brand guidelines for the use of the aforementioned elements, including both internal and external brand usage. The brand guardian works together with clients to maintain global uniformity.

With a constantly evolving digital environment, brand guardianship should strive to remain relevant and avoid being stifled by strict brand guidelines. This is particularly applicable to social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. A brand’s marketing guidelines may not support newer formats and must be constantly updated to ensure the brand identity is displayed correctly on even the newest of platforms. The agency can then be confident that no matter where they place the brand it will be portrayed accurately.

Brand guidelines and Corporate Identity

Brand guidelines, also referred to as brand identity or corporate identity (CI), are an invaluable tool used to protect the brand and how it is represented by its employees. Especially for larger organisations, a brand will have many voices. From the CEO, press relations officer, salespeople, social media and content managers and more. The key is correctly informing all of these people to what identity the brand has. This includes font types, colour palette, size and orientation of logos and key files. There should be one source accessible to all constantly updated with the correct assets and information. The brand guardian should be responsible for the oversight of the brand guidelines.

Brand guidelines can look different depending on the type of sources. However, most often it comes in the form of a document stipulating specific uses of brand assets. It will clearly show use cases of for example logos and perhaps more importantly show how not to use said logo. It will include direct dos and do-nots but can also include more abstract points such as tone-of-voice and brand personality. Keep in mind that brand guidelines may be audience-specific and can vary depending on the region it is to be shown in. This should be clearly marked in the document so the correct guidelines are used in each market.

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