Every local marketer knows (or at least claims to agree!) that consistent marketing execution (also known as brand compliance) is key to leveraging the value of the brand. But when you’re trying to get a promotion out the door, it’s easy to forget that even the smallest nuance of design adds to or subtracts from brand equity.
When there are hundreds of franchisees, dealers or retailers producing marketing materials all around the country, how can brand managers ensure all of those promotions are brand-compliant? The best way to achieve brand compliance is with the process they create for their local marketers. For these marketing leaders, the devil really is in the details.
When local marketers hear that they’ve broken the brand’s design rules, they’re usually shocked. They think they’ve tried to be good “brand citizens” all along the way and think the marketing they’ve produced really looks and feels like a professional piece. But all too often, local marketers’ best intentions don’t translate into the consistent branded executions that franchise and dealer brands depend on to build brand trust with customers.
Take a look at the coupon examples below for the Massage Envy brand (not a CampaignDrive by Pica9 customer, but one that we’ve always admired) to get a sense of how this kind of disconnect can happen.
|A brand-executed coupon|
(we assume designed by a graphic artist at headquarters in compliance with brand standards)
|A locally-executed coupon|
(probably designed by a freelance artist or newspaper production department for a California franchisee)
At first glance, the designer of the local coupon seems to be eager to leverage the Massage Envy brand. The use of the purple brand color, brand photography, and the prominent placement of the brand logo all seem to indicate that the creator was keen on complying with the brand standards.
But take a minute to look more closely at the two executions. Assuming that the brand-executed coupon is indeed 100% compliant with brand standards, see how many deviations from brand-standard you can find in the locally-executed coupon on the right. In less than a minute’s time, we found nine.
Insufficient “air” (space on top and bottom) around the corporate logo
Looked at from the local marketer’s perspective, the local coupon is a faithful, well-intentioned effort to produce a brand-compliant promotion. But seen through the eyes of the brand, the coupon has to be judged non-compliant. In some areas, like the non-standard mixing of purple and black, the differences are minor. In other areas, though, these off-brand elements create problems that could have serious consequences. For instance, the missing legal disclaimers in the local promotion could open up the brand to lawsuits.
What’s worse, the non-standard elements don’t do anything to add to the selling power of the coupon. The standards are broken, really, for no good reason at all. More likely than not, the local marketer, lacking a brand designer’s eye, just didn’t see the differences as important — or perhaps, didn’t really see the differences at all.
By providing users with marketing templates that automatically activate brand guidelines, a modern brand management system can address all of the problems we just reviewed, without (A) forcing brand designers to produce each and every local execution (which is unsustainable), or (B) handcuffing local marketers to brand-approved promotions only (which is infuriating).
Here are just a few of the common issues that a brand asset management system can address.
In short, a modern, well-designed brand management system can help you to make true brand compliance the fastest, easiest way for local marketers to get their promotions out the door. It makes marketing safe, reliable, and even fun—and it saves brand designers hundreds, even thousands, of hours per year.