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Brand Identity - Overcoming the Naysayers

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At Geber Brand Consulting we have two major types of brand identity system projects: 1) creating a new system from scratch and the 2) clarifying and making existing identity more consistent.  

Surprisingly enough it is the second case that is harder.

 

The first reason; modernization, is one fraught with danger as a designer. The current logo and identity may have a deep connection with those at the company. They see it as "theirs". There could be a large faction that says "it's worked in the past so why fix something that's not broken?" Moreover any refinement to an existing logo or logotype will inevitably be seen as "what did you do, that's almost the same!", or "whoa, way too much, you're losing the essence of who we are!" 

 

Number two, adding features of a brand identity system that were missing, is by and large simpler. In this case we're often gathering design items that were being used around the organization, putting them together in a guideline, and filling out areas where items are missing, such as brochure templates, catalogs, color schemes and secondary colors. This then allows the company's own designers to have a "blueprint" to follow to make sure that all their future marketing materials reflect the true identity of the brand. 

 

Now if you really want to see some in-company silo and political warfare action, I introduce you to the third and last reason we come in to build up the brand identity system: the brand system isn't being applied throughout the company.  This goes beyond simple design issues. It can be because different divisions or even departments have followed their own rules in the past. Or it could be that there just wasn't a centralized identity system in place. Whatever the reason there becomes a totally fragmented situation and people in the company will stick to what they've done in the past.

 

 The solution here is that we need to find out why this has happened. Perhaps there are good reasons for some of it and these special needs need to be taken into the brand identity system.

 Next we've got to educate people why a consistent system is needed. If you want a strong brand you need to have a consistent image. This is no less important in the B2B field as it is in B2C. In fact, consistency can be even more important in B2B as it reflects a company's professionalism and therefore ability to be your "good partner". 

At the end of the day, after our designers have created the finalized identity system and created the brand book and other items, it is extremely important that we come in and train our clients and all the departments on how to use the identity system. We've seen companies that have gone to the trouble of creating their brand identity system and then not even show people how and when they should use it.  That would be the ultimate pity.