Tag Archives: rebrand project

Five Reasons Why Templates are Critical to Brand Success

As you read the headline, you may shake your head and shrug. Who cares about templates? Templates are so boring. Brand is all about the visual identity some may say.

And my friends, there lies the issue. Templates reinforce the brand, but they are seen as necessary evils that no one wants spend spend time on. It’s tedious work to think about business cards, word documents, proposals, stationery, and guides. It takes several conversations, meetings, countless emails, and time to coordinate and communicate the process.

Truth be told, templates are vital to educate your frontline advocates, employees.

The reality is most brand projects focus on the visual identity and leave templates to the end. And, by the end of the brand process, there is no stamina or money left to build these critical elements. This is a missed opportunity for a number of reasons:

  1. Consistency. The longer you wait to deliver templates, the more difficult it is to maintain consistent message and brand. Why? The larger your organization is, the more templates and versions are floating around. Just ask your sales team. They have different versions and messaging sheets saved on their laptops. Since templates are saved to personal folders or machines, it is not always clear what is current or not.
  2. Governance. Tied closely to consistency, multiple versions of templates make governance challenging because of version control and maintenance. Ask any creative team. If your templates are not updated, it is difficult for them and their partners to maintain the brand and govern identity.
  3. Messaging. Templates may not seem like a messaging vehicle but they are. The colors, pictures, layout, and tone all communicate your brand and what your organization stand for.
  4. Enablement. To change your employees communication of your brand, they need templates to do this. Left to their own devices and ideas, you will have multiple versions and identities that muddle your positioning.
  5. Money. Multiple version equals more money. It is just that simple.

If your company wants to help employees embrace the brand, then make sure to consider how templates will be deployed and used. Spend the time meeting with stakeholders across the business to find out how they use templates. It is tedious to interview everyone, but the end product will not only be visually appealing, but functional.

Fun Fact Fridays: How Content Creation Helped Create Corporate Change

While preparing for a speaking proposal last month, I pulled together case studies how content creation can help start a quiet revolution for corporate change. I am a big believer that everyone in your organization has the potential to help promote the brand. Over time, employees’ contribution to content will be more important than what is said in your media release or company’s newsletters. But, this is a huge shift on how most business are operating today. Often times the employee is an untapped resource when it comes to content and social media.

Challenges of Building Social Business

There are a lot of conversations about how company today need to preparing for Web 3.0.  While there are many articles about this topic, one that I found as an awesome resource is from the Altimeter group on the challenges corporate social strategists are facing with bring social to their business.  Anyone interested in social and how to bring it to your company should read it.

The report outline challenges that I had experience when building my current organization’s social strategy. Most organizations are still struggling how to use social media and control its brand on those channels.  I would say many social strategists already know that the paradigm of control is already shifting. Specific to public relations and social, I spoke about the important of earn media a few weeks ago and its impact.

Image from Walker Zine (UK)

Image from Walker Zine (UK)

This sparked the idea about how companies should better leverage their employees for social media (also outline in the Altimeter paper). But beyond that, I began think how do you leverage your employees’ talents for content? This question is vital especially since you cannot participate in social if you do not have any content to share.

With this in mind, here are some of my own case studies that highlight the importance of content creation and brand advocates.

Rebranding Project

I had the fortune of working on rebranding project last year that really was more of a corporate culture shift. So, a couple of things we did that helped not only our content machine, but also our business:

  • For the prelaunch of our brand initiative we created an internal campaign to get folks excited about the brand and why employees where critical to the success of the overall project. The month-long campaigns yielded 4700 opens, 640 click-throughs, 2600 views on its internal site, and 150 posts. Our internal campaign won the Bronze Stevie for Communications Campaign of the Year – Internal in 2012. I also talked about the campaign in-depth in AMA Marketing News.
  • We assigned brand ambassadors for each department. They helped disseminate the message and distributed templates to their teams.
  • We went to each office (US, UK, and Australia) and kicked off the brand launch through targeted activities including what the new brand meant, architecture, how to talk about it, its impact on our marketing (example: events and webinars), and how to use it in terms of their daily work.  It was important that every office get the full impact and exposure of how important this initiative was.
  • Fun fact: I led our APAC brand launch in our Australia market. I spent my downtown touring Australia and where I took the photo for my blog. The photo is of The Twelve Apostles. If you don’t know where this is, it was taken from Port Campbell National Park on the Great Ocean Road, outside Melbourne, Australia.

Company Blog

  • We created a blog where internal (as well as external) folks can share their passion and expertise. To help folks with writing, we crafted guidelines to establish our brand messaging and overall tone. So far my corporate blog, which started in June 2012, has 21,000 page views, garners 2300 unique visitors a month with an average 2 minutes on site engagement.
  • Everyone has the chance to participate. We sought out folks who had something to say. Sometime, it was the customer support rep and other times it was our division leaders. We search high and low in the organization and didn’t use title as a prerequisite to contribute.
  • In order to quell my stakeholders’ need for equitable sharing of resources, we created an editorial calendar to make sure we had equal share of voice across business interests both domestic and international.

Social Media

  • After we streamlined some of our social assets, I led a few workshops how employees can use social more in their work.
  • As I wrote in my previous post, if you want your company to be more social train your people.
  • In addition to training, you need to provide some type of guidelines or playbook.
  • In addition to the playbook and training, we showed folks where to go to find content in addition to their own.
  • I repeated training, playbook, and where to find content often.
  • I encourage folks to follow me and other folks to find content.
  • I trained anyone independently when they asked. I am a true believer that mentoring and coaching are the keys to adoption.

While I don’t believe the above case studies were different or unique, the point of those are you can start a quiet revolution by planning small, but delivering big results.