Strong Brand IDs CAN Exist Through Local Channels

April 12, 2010 Jared Shusterman

A Brand ID is characterized by a number of attributes that define the personality of your brand to your customers. These can include:

  • Visual: Graphics, Symbols, and Icons
  • Content: Messaging and Slogans
  • Philosophy: Service, Value, and Support

Brand IDs are built strong, but maintaining that strength can be a challenge, especially when your brand and company is represented through distributed marketing channels. Many times during the introduction of our platform to new clients, we come across horror stories of the way a brand is being represented across the local marketing ecosystem.

Bad IDs What would happen if a participant in your company’s local network changed the color of your logo from blue to red, or a well-thought out marketing asset is used improperly? A lot, actually. In fact, just a simple change in logo color/messaging can confuse end-buyers of your products/services, or give them a new perception of your Brand ID that may be detrimental to your company. Now take that one step further, to a retailer that has changed your marketing message to suit their demographic, or an agent that used your outdated slogan by accident. Suddenly, your once strong Brand ID is being chipped away at by the very individuals that promote it on a regular basis – until it is just a shadow of its original self that your customers cannot recognize anymore.

Strong IDs To prevent your brand ID from market disinter-mediation in local markets, your company should have a strategy and system in place for its maintenance and control (a plug for SproutLoud here of course), which is part of a well thought out local marketing strategy.

Update Often - Marketing materials available to your channel should have your most recent brand information to date. Old messaging can detract from marketing message and the business growth that your company has achieved. Be sure to take older collateral out of circulation among your local network or delete it.

Evolve Smart - As your business grows and evolves, so will your Brand ID. When this happens, you may be ready to change some characteristics of your brand. Choose a smooth and gradual transition into your new ID. Let your local channels know that you are making changes to your Brand ID soon, what to expect from your new image, and how to use these changes in communications to their customers.

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About the Author

Jared Shusterman

Jared is the Founder and Managing Partner of SproutLoud. Since 2005, he has been primarily responsible for strategic direction of the Company, as well as the oversight of SproutLoud's Partner ecosystem. Prior to SproutLoud, Jared worked in Thomas Weisel Partner’s internet and online advertising investment banking practice in San Francisco. He served as the lead analyst on a number of Corporate Finance and M&A deals including Newscorps’ buyout of Intermix Media ( Jared graduated with a B.A. in Finance and Marketing from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia. Jared has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and is a member of the Young President's Organization (YPO). Jared has been honored as one of the Top 40 under 40 entrepreneurs by South Florida Business Journal and a Top 50 Entrepreneur by Business Leader Magazine. Jared lives in South Florida with his wife and two sons.

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