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HOW DO YOU STAY ON BRAND, ANYTIME AND WORLDWIDE?  

Achieving a consistent brand experience worldwide is a lot of work. Of course you do your very best to manage and plan everything – whether you’re organising an event, fitting out a store or packaging a new product – but sometimes it doesn't go exactly to plan. Then it’s tempting to make pragmatic choices and to settle for a lesser solution. But there’s a danger that this will lead you to stray from the branding guidelines. Your brand is the foundation of everything, which is why it’s important to consistently monitor the brand in all its forms and all its messages. How do you make sure that you always stay on brand worldwide?

A great example of a brand with a consistent and recognisable look is Apple. The company does a fine job of ensuring that each of its phones is immediately recognisable as an Apple. And it’s thanks to this strength that Apple can afford to ask for the highest price every time: their products don't have anything more to prove, they have a ‘quality label’. This emphasises the importance of consistent branding: as a company or organisation, if you have a strong product or great service to offer, above all you must emphasise this fact. Apple does this by incorporating the minimalist look of its products in all its branding: from logo to use of colour and from use of language to design.

INVEST IN EMPLOYEE BRANDING

Research shows that brand advocates are seen as much more reliable than influencers. Proud employees provide positive exposure. This is precisely why it’s important to involve employees in the brand. For example, by developing good branding guidelines and ensuring that everyone understands the philosophy behind a logo, name or particular message. But also by creating a positive company culture which they are happy and proud to be a part of. The appearance of the working environment also plays an important role here. We all know the stories about for example Google’s cramped offices in New York. Is there no view? Then we’ll just bring the view inside with the help of life-sized prints. In addition to the positive impact which this has on company culture, it also immerses visitors in a huge brand experience from start to finish. They want to do business with this kind of company. This is completely different to the translucent LED lighting and prints with stripes by the local low-cost supplier. If you want to position a brand in the market or strengthen your brand experience, you need to keep a good reputation.

WORK WITH AN INTERNATIONAL BRANDING SUPPLIER THAT SUPPORTS WORLDWIDE 

Particularly for companies operating worldwide,  it’s important to remain consistently on brand. It’s tempting to make concessions – a slightly different colour, a lower quality print – but this will quickly be the start of a slippery slope. Where do you draw the line when deciding what’s allowed? Particularly for international players, it’s a challenge to make a good impression, everywhere and at all times. This is why it’s wise to enter into a cooperation with a permanent partner that operates internationally and can thus offer support in every country worldwide. After all, a permanent partner is familiar with the branding guidelines, won’t make any concessions in terms of colour or material, and will ensure that concepts and materials are strategically re-used.

BE ALERT ON THE IMPACT OF COLOUR

Research into the impact of colour on marketing has shown that 90% of impulse buying decisions are related to the colour used. So the appropriate use of colour plays an important role: a green shade evokes a positive association with sustainability more quickly than an aggressive red, for example. However, it’s not wise to make such decisions purely on gut feeling. This is precisely why it’s important to test things out in advance.

Just as colours can be linked to specific emotions, strong brands also have recognisable colour combinations. The yellow ‘M’ of McDonalds would just look crazy in blue, and if Google’s letters suddenly all had the same colour, there would be some confused looks. At Oracle, all brand communications are in red, while its major competitor Salesforce has all its communications in blue. Brands have a lot to gain by having a recognisable image. The brand colour is crucial here, and must always be right. So make sure that colours in all communications, worldwide, are used consistently. For example, make sure that your suppliers can guarantee use of the correct colour. If you strive towards the highest possible quality with your branding, it’s wise to perform extensive testing beforehand. The same applies for the material of course: if you want to stand out among world players, you must use the very best material. If you settle for less, you run the risk of endangering your branding.

A STRONG BRAND IS YOUR REPUTATION 

Precisely now that technology is taking over more and more tasks from us, and everything seems to be moving at an ever-faster pace, there is a great need for experience and recognition. A strong brand experience is more important than ever. If you’re able to give your target group the idea that you deserve their attention, then you’re doing a good job. Show what you stand for as a brand and that you take this message seriously. This is the best way to ensure customer loyalty in your target group. It allows you to keep an eye on your good reputation on the one hand, and on the other, use this same reputation to bring in new orders.

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Niels van Straaten

NIELS VAN STRAATEN

DIRECTOR, VAN STRAATEN LET'S IMPRESS

"Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful."

Joshua J. Marine