Two words that you never want to hear come out of the mouths of your employees when representing your brand: “Close enough.”
I’ve heard it—and seen it—countless times when working with individuals at companies that have, or should have, strict brand standards. While giving employees autonomy in the workplace has shown to improve creativity and production, giving them a free reign to make unguided decisions about your brand can undermine the company’s image and message – externally and internally.
A few dangerous examples: Steve from HR needs to fill a space on an internal Powerpoint presentation, so he decides to stretch the logo every which way to get rid of that nagging extra real estate. Janice in Events wants a “wow factor” for her next invite, so she uses a fun font that invokes a Star Wars movie. Dan from Sales needs to send out the latest product information to clients, so he finds cutesy clip art to really drive home his message.
I made up these examples, but these types of “creative” choices are far too common in the workplace. All employees need to embrace and understand the brand from day one. With no brand training or resources, it’s hard to blame employees for using their own creativity. A solid brand strategy not only includes all of the elements of logo usage, fonts, colors and tone of message that will be presented to the public; it also includes good employee training.
Every employee should have access to resources that help them learn and understand the brand. And they should be inspired to use the brand successfully and creatively. Brand training seminars, an internal microsite with standards and examples, and a brand liaison to respond to questions are just a few tactics that go a long way toward ensuring your identity and brand remain true (and we can help with all of that!).
At Cleveland, we work with companies like yours to establish, nurture and extend corporate brands. With custom tools and programs developed for your specific needs, we give you the resources, knowledge and power to maintain your brand integrity and equity.
Have you witnessed any “close calls” in your organization? Contact the team at Cleveland and we can help put your internal and external brand usage spot on, and not just close enough.