When I was a child I played with Legos. I loved being able to build cars, houses, buildings, spaceships, and anything my imagination could create. My mom brought me to K&B (an old drug store) one day to buy a Lego kit of a really cool spaceship. After inspecting the box I realized that it wasn’t a Lego brand product. I figured, hey it’s close enough, it will probably work with my other Legos. As soon as I got home I built the spaceship then tried to integrate the kit with my other Legos. Well guess what? It didn’t work and I was a little perturbed. I felt like I wasted my money (Mom’s) and those pieces forever haunted me every time I would come across them in my Lego stash.
Now what am I trying to get at here?
Over the years I have seen some of my clients and potential clients have trouble integrating their pre-existing branding with in-house creative or design from other vendors. Many times the attempted integration has proven to be unsuccessful. Sometimes they get lucky and it works out, but more times than not the message gets muddied, the visuals don’t connect, and the brand equity is lessened.
Advice for Maintaining Branding from Multiple Creatives
- Have a Brand Standards Manual. This will give your company a set of rules on how to use and not use the visual elements for your brand in all advertising mediums as well as messaging.
- Have a point person in your company who oversees all branding related projects. They must fully understand the brand and know what the company’s objectives are regarding how the brand is to be positioned.
- Have a rock-solid agency on hand to monitor and maintain the brand. If you can’t do it in-house let the pros do it. It’s not worth saving the money if it’s going to de-value your initial investment.
Is Budget the Problem?
Bringing in a upper level agency can get expensive, but that shouldn’t deter you from talking to them first. Many times they can help you figure out how to stay within your budget with several different creative approaches. It’s what we do! Agencies don’t want to lose clients, they don’t want to see their hard work destroyed, and more importantly they don’t want their clients’ businesses to suffer.
The next time you are looking at your marketing collateral from the past year and you notice that the pieces just didn’t seem to fit quite right, think ahead and plan accordingly so that a more cohesive approach is planned for the coming year.