Mid-year assessment: Marketing and branding

There is no wrong time to make sure your marketing activities are working as intended. At mid-year, though, this may be the last, best time to have a meaningful impact on this year’s performance.

There is a lot to assess. From a thorough audit of your communications, marketing, social media and messaging to ensuring strict adherence to your brand guidelines for brand consistency. It all matters.

We’ve recently published our, “Guide: Mid-Year Marketing and Communications Assessment.” Please check it out when you can, but I want to spend just a few words clarifying some commonly misunderstood words used by us marketers.

To ensure brand consistency, it first requires clarification of two other commonly used terms: brand and brand guidelines. Let’s start with brand.

What is a brand? I won’t go through the evolution of this term. And, it is true that the word “brand” can mean different things to different people. Generally, though, as reported from The Brand Dictionary, “brand” is often defined as “a person’s perception of a product, service, experience, or organization.”

In other words, “brand” is experiential and not simply nomenclature or imagery. It may have started as a mark or a product name, but it has evolved into much more.

What are brand guidelines?  This is, perhaps, a little easer to wrap your head around. Brand guidelines are the set of rules that govern all brand communications. A comprehensive brand guidelines document includes the brand positioning (the basis upon which all the guidelines should be derived), as well as the rules for how to talk about, write about and design for the brand. Voice, grammar, logos, color palettes, fonts and photography style are all typically detailed within the guidelines. At this link you can explore multiple examples of brand guidelines.

So, now, what is brand consistency? According to the creative aggregation website called Medium, brand consistency refers to how “on-brand” all of your company’s marketing content is, with respect to your brand identity and brand guidelines. Being “on-brand” is brand consistency. It means there is adequate operational and creative discipline to ensure adherence to the brand guidelines when presenting, discussing and experiencing your brand.

If now is a good time to ensure brand consistency, it assumes that you have a helpful set of brand guidelines that adequately capture the essence of your brand that, in turn, ensures a consistent customer or consumer experience with your product or service.

Take advantage of this mid-year pause and give yourself a good brand check-up.

By |2019-08-14T13:06:26-04:00July 19th, 2019|marketing strategy|Comments Off on Mid-year assessment: Marketing and branding

About the Author:

Nick Vehr
If Nick ever needs a personal slogan, a good one would be, “I’m open!” Whether catching passes as a Notre Dame football player (including from Joe Montana) or tackling any personal or professional challenge with a “We can do this!” enthusiasm, he’s open. That game attitude informs every project he takes on – and he’s taken on countless complex ones, including serving as managing director for the massive World Choir Games and founding Cincinnati 2012, Inc. to pursue designation for Cincinnati as a “U.S. Olympic Bid City.” Thanks to his varied background, from his past as a Cincinnati City Council member to his present as chair of the Economics Center at the University of Cincinnati, Nick understands the tough issues. Which is why anytime things hit the fan for a company, organization or local influencer, they call Nick.