Why The Integrity Of Your Brand Is At Risk Of Being Destroyed (And What To Do About It)

Why The Integrity Of Your Brand Is At Risk Of Being Destroyed (And What To Do About It)

How much importance do you place on your brand?

Let me play Devil’s advocate for a moment…

I bet it’s not enough.

An inconsistent representation of your brand creates confusion
and can even reduce your ability to expand your business.

Research by Interbrand
shows a strong correlation between
the consistency of branding and the revenue a company earns.

Brand integrity - image 1

It’s no surprise then that
almost 80% of B2B marketing leaders
determine branding to
be a critical contributor to growth.

Why are modern brands more at risk than ever?

Here’s the thing – your brand doesn’t exist in a silo
within your organization. It’s fluid and uncontrollable. Once you
let your brand out of the bag, it now belongs to your customers and
anyone else who is exposed to it.

In a world with short attention spans, remote working, high
service expectations, and digital platforms designed to proliferate
the message of average Joe and Joanne,  it’s harder and more
important than ever to protect the integrity of your brand.

There are 4 key drivers putting your brand integrity at
risk:

1. Your employees are going rogue

In a social media world where irreparable brand damage is the
snap of a photo or the click of a button away, brand guidelines and
employee training are essential to maintaining your reputation.

But, unfortunately, some employees still go rogue…

The team at SketchDeck coined the phrase
“Shadow Design”
an adaptation of “Shadow IT,” which
refers to the use of services and software outside the control and
governance of the organization. Shadow Design, in much the same
way, refers to “design created outside of the influence of brand
owners.” Where the result is “inconsistent and sometimes
low-quality design.”

Controlling the use and proliferation of your brand, even with
employees, is extremely difficult. Especially when employees are
expected to get things done at a speed faster than ever and with
limited resources.

2. Everyone is expected to work faster

The workplace is accelerating by the day. This is especially
true in a fast-moving space such as digital marketing where trends
and tactics are becoming obsolete overnight with the shift of an
algorithm.

This environment puts added pressure on teams to work at speed
– most of the time with fewer resources and less support. Remote
teams, timezone clashes, and over the top output expectations are
the norm. Internal team members are now project managers, expected
to achieve more and more every day with a team of disparate
workers.

Given the state of growing expectations for speed and limited
internal resources, it’s uncommon to see a dedicated brand
guardian in an organization. Even if there is, they are probably
working on five or six other roles at the same time. The likelihood
of a brand slip up under these conditions is high.

3. Content is being produced at scale

Content is being produced by businesses at an astonishing rate.
There are more channels, customer touchpoints, and increasing
expectations for immediate response times.

In fact,
research conducted by the Content Marketing Institute
found
that 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing as part of their
digital strategy. That is a LOT of content!

Brand integrity - image 2

More channels, more content, and increased expectations mean
there is simply more brand to protect – and much more integrity
and value to customers are at risk.

4. Design is growing in importance

The appetite for content creation has a flow-on effect on the
importance and need for design at scale – an agenda that results
in greater chance of brand guidelines being broken and brand
integrity compromised.

But the implications of large-scale design requirements don’t
stop there.


McKinsey conducted a comprehensive research study
spanning
for over five years that looked at the design practices of 300
publicly listed companies. The data collected was then matched with
over 2 million pieces of financial data to identify any potential
correlations between design practice and financial performance.

The results?

A higher “Design Index Score” as determined by the study,
correlated with higher revenue and business growth.

Brand integrity - image 3

In summary, quality of design results in consistency of brand
and better business performance. Something that is harder than ever
to achieve given the growing need for design fueled by content
creation.

How do you maintain the integrity of your brand in this
environment?

“Investing in your brand, being your own best brand champion,
or hiring a brand champion should be a strategic imperative.”
Forbes

Today’s branding ecosystem is complex – there is an
increasing amount of content being produced, growing expectations
for team productivity, and a high benchmark for design.

In combination, these forces put your brand integrity at risk
and expose your business to rogue brand representations from
employees.

All of this can result in a lack of brand consistency, which is
severely damaging to the growth trajectory of organizations.
However, brand consistency shouldn’t be confused with rigid
policies and restrictive guidelines.

Brands that are too inflexible are also getting left behind, as
other more nimble businesses leverage the power of social media and
the reach of their extended network.

So, how do you balance risk-aversion with flexibility to
get the best of both worlds?

In our digital era, you must be able to apply brand guidelines
in a thoughtful, agile, and creative way that is also built for
scale. The only way to do this is with a brand guardian.

Your brand guardian is appointed to monitor and optimize the
performance of your brand on a regular basis. They work closely
with your team to first establish, and then reform and iterate, a
set of guidelines that minimizes risk and maximizes brand
proliferation.

An effective brand guardian combines technology with people
power to create design consistency and access across the entire
organization.

Think high-quality, on-brand design is out of reach? Think
again. There are solutions available that learn your brand,
assisting you on virtually any project – so everything stays on
task and on brand.

For example,
SketchDeck
 is a platform that combines people and software to
make high-quality everyday design accessible to your whole
organization – it acts as a brand guardian of sorts. They have
worked with brands such as Remy Cointreau and Colliers to de-risk
and strengthen their brands, without the need for outdated offline
systems and documentation.


Find out more here.

Is your brand integrity at risk or have you enlisted a
guardian to keep things in check?

The post Why The Integrity Of
Your Brand Is At Risk Of Being Destroyed (And What To Do About
It)
appeared first on Jeffbullas’s Blog.

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Why The Integrity Of Your Brand Is At Risk Of Being Destroyed (And What To Do About It)