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.”

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T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.
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