A staggering 90% of consumers expect your brand experience to be the same across multiple touchpoints (source). So how are you making sure all your brand’s assets around the world are the same, especially when managing marketing materials all over the globe? Here are the essentials to cover for your digital and physical resources – with some often overlooked by marketers.
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Brand consistency means that your company’s looks, image and (perceived) identity are always the same, whenever and wherever your customers come into contact with it. This means that you consistently tap into predefined visual and written expressions that support and strengthen your brand message, vision, values or point of view. Recognizability is essential in establishing a valuable connection with your target audience.
Brand consistency allows your fan base to identify with you. This is difficult enough for smaller brands. On a global scale, however, the challenge is of a wholly different magnitude, as it is harder to control digital and physical assets your local offices produce.Brand consistency is not simply a nice-to-have. A worldwide survey showed that 90% of your global customers expect a consistent experience across all channels. Interviewees indicated that they value predictability. In other words, that your brand behaves the way they’ve learned to expect. And love, if you do it right.
More advantages of brand consistency
Consistent application of your brand values isn’t easily acquired. It takes a lot of work to convince and train your local branch offices in your Best Brand Practices, and it will need to be monitored on a regular basis. So how do you ensure brand consistency across all channels, around the world? Here is a step by step guide.
Start out by making a survey of your brand assets, both digital and physical. What do you already have? What do they have in common? What not? How do they line up with your brand identity? Are they consistent when it comes to fonts, use of color, dimensions, imagery and shapes? What can be kept or dismissed?This will give you a clear picture of your current brand consistency’s status. It will also show any gaps in your brand identity. This will give you an indication of what to do next.
What’s your vantage point? Your place in the world? What do you want people to think and feel when they encounter your brand? Once you have that settled, you can start to think about how that affects your looks. How must logos be used? Where can they be placed? Where not? How big or small can they be? What fonts fit your profile? What are your brand’s colors?Establish your brand mission, your expected tone of voice, logo use, and color palettes. With a clear and complete brand book, you can make sure you leave nothing to chance.
It’s easy to lose track of what you already have. Especially in the digital sphere, things like outdated or inconsistent logo files, ad campaign drafts and all kinds of expressions may end up in folders on people’s local computers, from where they continue to muddy up your global image as they keep resurfacing in local output. By centralizing all expressions across offices into one easily accessible platform (DAM for example), including colors, fonts and fixed templates for all kinds of expressions, you make sure that everyone is on the same page and uses pre-approved materials that are automatically on-brand. Both internally and externally.
Consistent implementation of your brand values takes an orchestrated effort from all members on the team across the globe, and it should be ingrained in everything they do. To help them achieve brand consistency, make sure that colleagues who handle the assets are well-versed in your global vision. It also means that they should be comfortable around your DAM. Organizing training sessions, as well as comprehensive briefings before a campaign rollout can help your teams get familiar with your intents and tools, and helps you tackle a great deal of inconsistencies beforehand.This also works internally. By adhering to brand standards within internal communication, you make sure everyone in the team is exposed to it, making it easier for them to internalize your preferred tone and brand looks.
Brand consistency also extends beyond your own enterprise. For instance, to the printers who take care of your physical assets, as well as the designers who create them. Granting (limited) access to your DAM may help ensure consistency; designers will have clear-cut materials to work with, and printers can download properly made-up print files.It’s wise to negotiate your expectations in terms of quality, transportation care, and delivery times. They must know that you represent a global enterprise, with high demands to support your global brand awareness. Being clear on paper and ink types, aspect ratios, lead times, and delivery specifications will greatly reduce the time you spend afterwards in making print results match your expectations. It will also cause dramatic waste reductions.
After your campaign has received the green light and things are in motion, you may want to occasionally check in to see how things are progressing. Whether the final product will meet your parameters in terms of quality, quantity and speed of delivery, and review if they may need some last-minute changes. Tracking your order statuses will allow you to monitor your global carbon footprint, which can help you define your future brand sustainability decisions.
PS Sort out your tax compliance
It’s not an issue many marketers think of when they work on their campaign strategy. But when you start implementing the steps above and are ready to talk to external contractors, remember to explore how local tax compliance affects your local output. Hiring external, local parties for your worldwide ad campaign can bring about a whole range of tax issues. Fiscal policies and arrangements vary greatly from country to country, and it may be wise to explore this beforehand, or you may at some point hear loud shrieks coming from the Accounting department.
Imagine not having to go through all of the above steps, and have a ‘plug and print’ option taking care of your global printing demand needs. One that fully integrates into your current workflow, helps your organization cut printing costs and save on carbon emissions. Enter Peecho. Through our powerful platform, you can have your content printed near your local offices, and shipped to any location around the world. Discover how to maintain your global brand consistency both digital and physical the easy way on our Global Enterprise page.