Branding Documents Help Ensure Brand Accuracy and Consistency

Last week, Fire Enterprises, Inc. (FEI) marketing maven Marka and the rest of the FEI tribe discussed how an effective logo should derive from a company’s brand attributes. This week, Marka explains why a branding document is necessary to ensure FEI’s brand is accurately and consistently represented everywhere. Remember, fire=print.

One Casual Friday at FEI headquarters, Zoot showed up to the daily marketing meeting wearing nothing but a bit of toga that extended from waist to knees, wrapping around each leg. His torso was bare.

“You’ve taken Casual Friday too far, Zoot my friend,” Org said.

“You don’t like the new clothing item I created?” Zoot asked with disappointment. “I call ‘em ‘shorts.’”

“I call them inappropriate for the office,” Org said. “Go change, please.”

“Sorry,” Zoot said. “Nobody gave me rules for this ‘Casual Friday’ thing—how was I to know what I could and couldn’t wear?”

“Zoot has a good point,” Marka said. “People count on rules to guide their behavior. Some rules are OK to break sometimes, but most rules exist for a reason. This idea happens to apply to today’s branding discussions. Tribe, over the past few weeks we’ve constructed a new brand identity for FEI. All FEI promotions—from our print collateral materials to our O-site—must derive from this identity. This includes not only what they say, but what they look like.”

“I see a potential problem already,” Org said. “FEI is a big, growing organization with a marketing staff of four and counting. How can we ensure that every FEI employee with a hand in creating brand materials stays in line with the identity we’ve crafted?”

“By creating a branding document,” Marka answered. “This is an authoritative document that presents clear rules for how to—and how not to—represent FEI in marketing materials. We’ll distribute this document to all appropriate FEI staff, from designers and copywriters to the interns handling our O-cial media activities.”

T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or
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