Before digital channels became the main space for marketing, sales and customer service, it was fairly easy to reign in brand consistency through top-down control.
However, this approach no longer works in today’s world, and as a result, it has been relaxed. Thus was born brand governance in its modern iteration, which gives a greater role in building a consistent brand to its employees and partners.
What is brand governance?
Brand governance encompasses all efforts made by a company or organization to control the presentation and use of its brand in both internal and public spaces. Two approaches can be observed here.
The first is the traditional “iron fist” model, in which the brand manager acts as the sole guardian of its identity and consistency. In this sense, he is responsible for establishing and enforcing established rules and guidelines in each department and team.
The second method turns this belief upside down. According to this model, the entire organization, not just the manager, is responsible for ensuring brand consistency. There is no need for top-down control, as every employee and team actively works for the brand and works to maintain it by creating innovative products and campaigns.
Elements of effective brand governance
Brand governance in the digital age requires abandoning strict control and allowing more freedom to employees. There are five key elements that make for an effective brand team:
- support instead of control;
- clear guidelines;
- a review and approval process;
- documentation of everything.
- Let’s take a closer look at them to understand what they mean in practice.
Support instead of control
Your management team is no longer here to oversee every aspect of your brand. Rather, it should offer creative advice and solutions to those involved in its creation. Brand custodians should make it clear what can be experimented with and what must remain the same. In this way, they ensure consistency and integrity of the most important elements of the brand, while allowing creative freedom.
Clear and understandable guidelines will be helpful in loosening control. They must be accessible to everyone – new employees, companies and influencers working with you, as well as the media.
Review and approval process
To streamline the entire approval process for projects and campaigns, use special software. This keeps everything in one place, and allows influencers to see all changes in real time. This approach also allows you to modify projects in their early stages, so you can avoid major mistakes.
Your brand guidelines are something that should change over time. Gather feedback, test new features and make changes based on what is well received and what is not. And remember that branding experts aren’t the only ones who have a say in this. All employees, specializing in all areas, will have their thoughts, too.
Record and monitor all the data you think is relevant to your brand, and use it to streamline certain activities and modify guidelines as needed. This will help you respond quickly to new customer demands and challenges in specific markets.
main photo: unsplash.com/Dose Media