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3 Ways to Ensure All Your Departments Are Adopting Brand Guidelines

Social media marketing company SproutSocial recently did a study that found some interesting data about consumers interaction with brands — 41 percent of consumers admitted to disengaging with brands because they don’t share relevant information, 60 percent get annoyed by too many promotions and 25 percent are bothered when brands don’t respond to them. Most interestingly, 34 percent of people admitted that a lack of personality for a brand is just as bad.

So while brands may seem successful at first, what is the cause of consumers reacting and slowly dropping off? An undefined and inconsistent brand voice is likely the answer. For ecommerce brands especially who don’t engage with customers face-to-face, it is vital that all marketing efforts emulate the same stance; customers need to know that the values and experience of a brand are a certain way before they are loyal. How can you ensure that your company has consistent brand guidelines? It all starts in-house, so let’s take a look at a few tips.

1. Brand Guidelines

How will your company know the brand voice if it isn’t clearly defined? Once your team knows the guidelines, try and put together a comprehensive brand book that clearly states important points related to how you want to present the brand. You could include identity guidelines for social, website design, general copy and affiliate sites, as well as content samples, key terms, important products and audience targeting. Nike, for example has a strong focus on elite athletes and hip hop culture, while Disney only refers to their customers as ‘guests’ — all of which would be included in their company brand book. By having something that your internal departments can always refer back to, you not only communicate the importance of these guidelines but reduce the chance of inconsistencies.

2. Ecommerce Optimization

Each department in your company has various responsibilities, and each step of a task can increase the chance of your brand voice getting lost in translation. Depending on the structure of your ecommerce business, you have people discussing your brand to various external entities, including social media and affiliate ecommerce sites that may be selling your products and publishers. Try using software that can streamline all processes and increase the likelihood of consistency across all endeavors.

Hootsuite, for example, allows you to update all social media platforms at the same time, while Content Analytics is a super easy and accessible tool that allows ecommerce businesses to update all their product pages across various sites from one single hub. Tackle ecommerce product page optimization in one go and ensure consistency and a single brand voice.

3. Education

How do you expect employees to communicate your brand voice effectively if they don’t really know what it is? Educating your staff on every detail of your brand, including objectives, partnerships, ideas, personality and values, is vital to them really having an understanding of the their contribution and knowing how to effectively portray this to the public. While one training session is a good start, it’s important to have regular meet-ups so that they can be updated with new information and company changes. Try to include PowerPoints, but also make it interactive with a variety of workshops, interviews, guest speakers and surveys. And make sure they know that they can extend the conversation and ask questions.

Ensuring every part of your company displays a consistent brand voice is integral to strong marketing tactics and on-boarding loyal customers. Take a look at these few quick tips to get across your guidelines to all departments and display the best possible version of your brand.

Patrick King

Patrick is the Founder of Imagine and advisor to places on brand strategy and creative. His insights have been published in Inc. Magazine, SmartCEO, Washington Business Journal, The Washington Post, and Chief Marketer, among other publications, and shared at conferences throughout the US. He also has an amazing sock collection.

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