Brand consistency is more than just typeface, logos and colors. It’s about delivering a brand experience with your products, services and people that customers begin to expect and anticipate. That consistent experience ultimately helps your brand stand out from competition and drive sales.
Make the path to purchase easier with a consistent, compelling brand experience across local markets.
That’s a statement that may seem easier said than done. Ensuring teams, franchisees and partners across markets are properly representing your brand is a challenge marketers know all too well. In fact, it’s one we work closely with clients to help them solve. Here’s a quick list of my favorite tools that can help deliver a consistent brand across all your local markets.1. Brand Guidelines
Brand guidelines outline specifics, such as type, color or logo placement. But they do much more than that. Effective brand guidelines also include positioning statements, brand attributes, brand stories, elevator speeches and more. These elements are critical to help local sales teams fully understand your brand and how they can bring it to life for customers.
Nordstrom is a perfect example of this. You can expect the same great service at any Nordstrom you visit. Staff is trained to go above and beyond to help every customer that walks into their department store.
Done well, brand guidelines can inspire local teams to truly understand the heart and soul of your brand. Those motivations are critical in creating an authentic experience for local customers, which ultimately helps drive brand loyalty and purchasing behavior.2. Style Guide
Style guides focus on written materials – tone of voice, personality, spelling, grammar and writing style. Like brand guidelines, the style guide should do more than outline how to communicate with customers. It should provide the why – why it’s important to represent the brand in a specific voice or writing style. Style guides create a consistency in written communications, helping to create strong relationships with consumers.3. Marketing Material Templates
Put the power of customizing materials in the hands of local teams without sacrificing the brand. Offer templates of brochures, posters, signage, emails and more that allow staff to update and personalize materials within specific areas, and according to brand and style guides. Templates are an easy and effective way to engage local teams, while corporate keeps control of messaging.4. Local Sales Teams
The teams in local markets are a critical component of your branding strategies. Engage them early, listen to them often and empower them to make choices when it comes to marketing to customers. Those choices could include customizing marketing templates, participating in select marketing campaigns, or ordering relevant materials for their unique locations. A great, easy way to gather their feedback is through email surveys. Find out marketing campaign preferences, engagement and their customer preferences through quick, electronic surveys.
Bottom line: sales teams are more than just feet on the ground in local markets. They are the eyes, ears and voice of your brand. Partner with them wisely to build strong, lasting relationships with customers.5. Marketing Resource Management System
A marketing resource management (MRM) system is a web-based portal that can streamline local marketing efforts, and help ensure materials and messages are shared consistently across markets. Marketing material templates can be accessed in the portal, updated by local teams and electronically routed to corporate teams for review and approval. It can offer the processes you need to ensure brand consistency across markets.
These are just a few tools that can help deliver a consistent brand across markets. What are some of your tips to engage partners and ensure they represent your brand consistently? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter, @vya_systems.
Did you enjoy this article? Read more franchise-related resources on solving common corporate marketing challenges.