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Five tools to help manage your brand

This article was posted on Thursday, July 31st, 2014

tools-to-help-manage-your-brand

Here is a list of the five tools we believe are essential in managing brand integrity and gauging client perception of your brand.

1. Corporate identity (CI) manual and Pantone colour guide (or other printed reference)

CI manual

Unless you are a multi-national giant, you don’t need a 300-page CI bible, a simple easy-to-use guide will do. At the very least it should cover basics such as:

  • Brand background and tonality. This should give some insight into the big idea behind the development of your brand as well as introduce its personality
  • Logo application and usage. Rules such as how the logo should be used on various media, when to use the strap line, minimum size, logo placement in relation to other images, text and colours etc
  • Colour breakdown and usage. This should detail the makeup of all your brand colours in all the various formats: CMYK, RGB, Hexcode, Pantones etc. (See A guide to choosing the correct colours for your brand for a more in-depth look at the various colour formats)
  • Font usage. What fonts to use in your corporate communication. It should include size, styles, colours and formats for headings, body copy, etc

Pantone guide (or other printed samples)

Every printing firm operates differently to some degree, therefore when printing full colour CMYK jobs or simple once-off digital banners, it is essential to have a printed sample of your brand colours as reference. Purchase a Pantone Colour Guide, if your brand colours have Pantone references, this will make the colour matching job easier.

2. A library of collateral

This library should be on a secure network and easily accessible,or it could be hosted online, and it should consist of the following:

  • Your logo in various formats. Small RGB JPEGs and GIFs for web and online, hires CMYK JPEGS and TIFFS for high quality printing and vector formats such as Illustrator, Freehand or PDF for large format printing such as signage
  • Your corporate font/s
  • Your corporate stationery. Word templates, PowerPoint presentation templates, Business card artwork and templates, Letterhead artwork and templates, etc
  • Your images. Any imagery you may own or have used in advertising campaigns and communication. As with your logo, they should be available in various formats

3. An online presence

It goes without saying that having an online presence is essential. You should have:

  • A website. There are millions of websites out there, to help reach your audience your website must be search engine optimised (SEO), user friendly, rich in current and pertinent content and have easily accessible contact details
  • Social networking channels. Brands use Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Youtube as effective tools to communicate directly with clients, share information, handle queries and complaints and gauge brand perception

4. A brand custodian

The best way to keep your CI manual and collateral library up-to-date is to appoint a brand custodian or brand agency to look after your brand’s integrity. The advantages of having your agency as custodian is that your library will always be stocked with the latest artwork and images, the designers will be able to advise on technical issues and they will have the resources to supply artwork in the correct format, size and application.

5. A brand internalisation programme

You can spend a fortune on the perfect logo, corporate identity and brand strategy but if your internal branding is not right it’s all for naught.
Your employees need to buy into your brand. They have to understand it, be proud of it and be a part of it. They are your ambassadors and your brand will be judged by what they say about it in their social capacity.

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