The Urban Dictionary defines 'bastard' as: "something that is of irregular, inferior, or dubious origin."
I can't think of a better word to describe the recent product of an internal campaign for a large corporation.
The team I was working with wanted to bastardize the corporate logo. Think inappropriate color choices, ridiculous add-on design elements, and other “enhancements” that would conjure images of a cosmetic surgery gone very, very wrong. They could not fathom why I would find fault with such brilliance, despite my best efforts to lure this team back from the dark side.
I'm going to guess you may have a few bastard logos running amok within your corporate house, too. The danger in letting these guys roam free is multifold:
- It demonstrates to employees that deviations in brand and identity are acceptable, implicitly condoning further modifications and inconsistencies.
- It demonstrates a lack of professionalism, and shows that dilution of the brand is not a concern.
- It renders irrelevant the significant resources that went into developing and nurturing the brand in the first place.
- And, worst of all, there's a very real possibility that these bastard logos will be leaked outside for the world to see.
Companies of the caliber I referenced in my example do have brand standards, but many don't have a resource or internal person to ensure compliance with the standards and protection of the brand. And really, it's not enough to know the rules—it's about understanding the brand in its entirety.
Consistent and correct application of your brand on the inside of your corporate house will not only inspire your employees in their usage of the brand, but will help build a positive overall experience of living your brand as well. And that will invariably project to the outside world.
Every employee should have access to resources that help them learn and understand the brand, and they should be inspired to use it 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, increase its equity, and preserve its value.
If you suspect there may be a few rogue elements of corporate identity running loose inside your company, get in touch with us. We'll take care of those little bastards.