Brand application is simply the rollout of your brand on your marketing materials and customer touchpoints.
Interacting with consumers through a consistent brand voice and aesthetic is a significant step towards letting consumers get to know you as an organization. Consistency across all your different brand applications means your brand feel more dependable. When getting to know your brand, customers develop opinions, ideas and assumptions based on each interaction.
How do I even start to plan a Brand Application rollout?
If you leave your brand open to various interpretations, you’ll find building brand awareness harder (and much more expensive). That’s why it’s so important to be consistent at every application, both on and offline, meaning every touchpoint your customers have with your brand should embody the brand promises and values dependably and understandably. After we’ve developed your brand identity, it’s essential to have a library of the brand assets so all the stakeholders can roll out the brand. But it’s also vital to have a set of brand guidelines or what we call a brand book.
Hopefully, you’ve identified the essential touchpoints for your brand? Identifying your customers’ path to purchase will help but start with where your brand currently lives? You don’t want a mix of language or graphics assets or, worse still, different logos. So planning how you will activate your new brand is also critical via a soft or hard launch. As applications are designed and as the brand develops, add to your brand book to improve consistency.
What are the most important things to consider with Brand Applications?
Start by remembering that you create a consistent brand experience through your brand applications.
As we’ve said above, consistency is critical, which is essential not just what you are but also how you say it. If you are building your brand around being environmentally responsible, do precisely that to amplify your brand. Martin Dorey found out the hard way brand application can shoot you in the foot when his new book No. More. Plastic arrived from the publishers wrapped in plastic.
It’s a great example of considering all your touch-points and applications. The final brand application was missed after writing a book chasing a publishing deal and probably getting the text printed on recycled paper stock. This single sheet of cellophane undid so much hard work.
Activate your brand based on:
• What needs to be replaced or updated? i.e. what needs to be rebranded to be consistent? Can this be done as a soft or hard rollout?
• Where are the gaps? What other brand applications have been identified so far that, once implemented, will drive the momentum of the newly aligned brand.
• Who is managing the brand? Be that an internal champion or Be you not them as a brand manager, it’s essential to get that hierarchy in place early.
• How do you check it’s working? Does it deliver on your brand promise? Regular review of applications helps you constantly improve communications and increase ROI.
How do you start planning your brand applications?
A strategic brand application plan is an integral part of any branding effort and the key to getting the best return on investment while building your brand. Integrating a strategic brand application plan into your marketing efforts assures that your brand is consistent and on-point when reaching the right audience. The following five components are the backbone of a brand communications strategy and will inform the rest of your plan.
We start to build your brand application plan through these five questions.
Who is your target?
What is the audience for your products or services? Perhaps there are multiple audiences. Identifying your audience is the first step in your strategy.
What are we communicating, and what are we trying to achieve?
Too often, brands communicate for the sake of sharing. Your communication efforts should always support a more significant objective other than increasing sales building your brand positioning. Never lose sight of this goal when communicating your new brand.
What are the Key Messages?
What clear and concise messaging communicates your brand to your audience in a simple, easily digestible way?
What’s your application Plan?
What are the ground level brand applications that support these strategies?
How will you measure success?
Metrics are important. Whether or not you’ve reached your organisational goal should be reasonably easy to determine. But where your brand application tactics and strategies are ultimately successful – and what role they played in getting (or not reaching) your organisational goals can be more difficult. There are, however, various options for capturing these data, especially in digital communications. Whenever possible, apply outcome metrics instead of output metrics.
These five basic questions are an excellent basis to start planning your brand application rollout.